"beat the bloat"

Thursday, August 04, 2011

The one thing everyone, especially women, dreads is bloating. Sometimes, it's just out of our control. Bloating affects women most because we go through nature's monthly cycle and experience that pre-historic monster symdrome (PMS) and bloating is one of the side effects - which so does not help with the mood swings at all.

Bloating is caused mainly by water retention & constipation. Yep, you either have too much water, or too much shit (no pun intended) in you.

The good news is, beating the bloat is achievable. The bad news is - well apart from having to DO more for our health - nothing really. Everything to do with beating that bloat contributes to our health, which makes it a massive win in this situation. Let's start beating that bloat so that we can fit into that tight, form-fitting dress with ease.

Wait. Did I just add more water to the equation? Yep, I did. Why? Simply because your body is always looking out for your well-being. Water retention is not programmed into your body by accident. Think of this as your body storing water for survival, like how a camel or cactus does in deserts where water is scarce. So whenever you do not drink enough water, your body immediately goes into survival mode and starts storing that extra water for later use - which creates that bulging bloat. So drink a constant flow of water, especially after you've already let some out. Drink up!

I know people groan inwardly whenever the word exercise pops up. Hear me out! Sweat helps your body get rid of those unwanted storage of excess water hiding under your skin, plus, it makes you burn those extra fats. This brings your overall water weight down and leaves you with a flatter stomach. Just don't forget to replenish the lost water with fresh water.

Ingesting outside food or processed food allows unnecessary salt to mess with our body's system.

It's no secret that the sodium content in salt is one of the major contributors to bloating. Salt makes your body feel more thirsty than usual which triggers your body to store that extra water even if you don't need to. This causes unnecessary bloating despite you keeping yourself well hydrated. So, avoid food that's high in salt and I find that having a bowl of fresh fruit always seem to be a pretty quick cure.

Diuretic food? That means food that naturally get rid of water. There are a lot of fruit and veggies which are diuretic. The best fruits for the job are bananas (high in potassium), melons, oranges, lemons and even coconuts. As for veggies, look for those with leafy greens as well as tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots and onions. Having the extra fiber is bound to also get rid of your pooch if you're constipated. Belly bloat be gone!

Of course, no one can give up alcohol forever, but just give it a go for at least a month. Notice how much difference it will make to not just your bloat but your overall health and weight. I've written about how alcohol is bad for your body but I'm not saying you can't indulge in it once in a while. I think once a month is a great start.

Caffeine has its benefits, when it isn't taken excessively.

Studies have shown that taking coffee or tea 30 minutes before a workout helps you work yourself out harder and longer. Caffeine also stimulates your digestive tract so that eases the bloating. Love your coffee, love your tea! Just be sure to take it all in moderation.

I don't know if there have been any studies made on this but I personally believe it based on my own experience. When you get enough sleep, your body has enough time to process everything in your stomach from the day before and sets your body into its natural state. And guess what? I always wake up with a flat tummy. When I scrimp on my sleep though, I mostly wake up with last night's bloat still intact.

These little tips will definitely save you from all your bloating woes. Gotta try it to believe it! ;)

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