How to lose the bloat – Secrets to a flat belly

As the days get longer and the temperature rises, the more social we become. A common question I often get asked is how to lose weight quickly for a special event. Whilst rapid weight loss is something that I would most certainly not be an advocate of, there are some foods that may contribute to bloating and fluid retention which can make you look and feel heavy. There is no one size fits all approach and whilst some foods may cause bloating for some for others they may not be an issue. Monitor symptoms and if you notice certain foods are causing the dreaded bloat perhaps consider cutting them out a few days out from a big event.

Foods that may cause bloating

Rich foods high in fat and refined carbohydrates such as rich desserts, high sugar foods, fatty meats and high starch foods e.g. burgers and fries, pizza, pies can be harder and slower to digest meaning they are more likely to ferment in the gut leading to bloating.

Refined carbs such as sugar, white rice and white bread may lead to fluid retention and bloating. This can give a puffy appearance particularly noticeable around the face, fingers and feet. When we eat lots of carbohydrates the body stores excess sugar as glycogen. This can cause the kidneys to retain sodium which in turn can lead to fluid retention.

High FODMAP foods can be problematic for some people such as apples, cherries, watermelon, mangoes. FODMAPs are a collection of carbohydrates and sugar alcohols found naturally in foods which some people have a problem digesting which in turn may lead to tummy bloating (some dairy, legumes and grains also fall under this category so be mindful here also)

Cut back on processed foods which are often high in salt and refrain from adding salt to cooking and food. Salt causes us to retain more fluid which can lead to swelling and bloating.

Alcohol and fizzy drinks can lead to bloating due to excess bubbles and high sugar which feeds the bad bacteria in the gut.

Simple tips to alleviate the bloat -

Chew your food – eating too fast and not chewing food properly can lead to swallowing air which can lead to belching and bloating. Food that is not chewed well is harder to breakdown and digest. Chew your food until it is almost liquid which equates to about 30 chews.

Include green vegetables or green juice in your diet. Leafy greens help to support liver function and detoxification due to their choline content. Add a squeeze of lemon juice to aid digestion. Bitter greens such as rocket and radicchio are also wonderful liver and digestive aids.

Dry body brush every day to stimulate the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system helps to aid the removal of excess fluid or bloating but unlike the circulatory system it does not have a pump to keep it moving. A sedentary lifestyle and lack of exercise can therefore lead to fluid retention due to a sluggish lymphatic system.

Increase fibre to avoid constipation and swap to lower FODMAP foods – green leafy veggies, green beans, carrots, pumpkin, bananas.

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