No one likes to feel bloated. It's just uncomfortable. Especially in the summer when we are generally wearing less clothes, and sweating more. Feeling bloated whether you're poolside or just trying to enjoy your life and feel good is a bummer, and can sometimes take a toll on body image - no matter your size.
I hear SO MANY women talk about bloating issues. It doesn't matter what size you are - most of us have all had experiences with bloating at some point.
Below are some of the sneaky culprits that could be impacting your bloating, and some things that HELP.
+ Eating too quickly. When you gulp down your food you're ingesting extra air. The stomach holds onto this air and it causes bloating, and gas.
+ Straws . I love using a straw, and use one daily with my iced coffee. But relying on them for every beverage will again increase the air in your stomach, and cause stomach bloat.
+ Foods with too much added fiber . Fiber is an essential part of our diets- it helps keep you satiated, and aids in digestion. I love fiber BUT not all fiber is created equally.
The difference between soluble and insoluble fiber is important to keep in mind. They are digested differently in the body.
Insoluble fiber passes through the intestines unchanged, and can help slow the absorption of carbs and sugar.
Some examples of insoluble fiber :
- Wheat and oat bran
- Apples and Pears with skin
- Sweet potatoes
Soluble fiber. This is the kind of fiber that dissolves in water, it attaches to the cholesterol in food and forms a gel that slows the passage of food through the body. Soluble fiber is still very beneficial for the body, but it can cause gas in the body as it breaks down - and lead to bloating.
Some examples of soluble fiber:
- Black beans
- Brussels Sprouts
+ Excess sodium and packaged foods. Processed food that is high in sodium can cause the body to retain water.
+ Carbonated Drinks . The bubbles in seltzer, sparkling water, soda, champagne etc are filled with gas. When the gas reaches your intestines it stays until you pass it. This causes a feeling of "fake fullness" and bloat. I'm super sensitive to this ,and can literally see the change in my stomach after one la croix (or white claw.)
+ Food Sensitivities. Sensitivities are different than food allergies. Certain foods can trigger bloating in one person, and not another. For me they include dairy, cruciferous veggies like broccoli and cauliflower (which I still eat when I'm in the mood!) and anything with fructose. Again they are different for everyone.
+ Stress. The brain and the gut connection is real. When you're experiencing high levels of stress the body will react. Some of the most common ways is via digestion issues, an upset stomach, and bloating. Just another reason to prioritize your mental health and peace.
And listen sometimes these things - ahem sparkling beverages and salty, delicious foods at summer BBQs - are worth the consequences. Last weekend I enjoyed both at a pool party, and decided to just roll with the bloat that comes with those things.
THINGS THAT HELP WITH BLOATING :
+ A quality probiotic. This makes a big difference! I love SAKARA's complete probiotic, and have also found the thrive brand to work well. I take one daily and when I'm traveling I always pack SAKARA to help aid digestion, and manage travel bloat. You can use code XOBeth to save 20% at sakara.com.
+ Movement. Moving your body naturally aids digestion by helping to expel gas. It's also great for circulation which can make you feel less "puffy." A walk, stretching or any formal workout can help. Here's a quick and fun no equipment workout you can sneak in anywhere, and some of my favorite effective core exercises.
+ Water with lemon. Lemon helps the body eliminate excess sodium by increasing urine output. I've been drinking lemon in my water for years - I find the added flavor helps me drink a lot more. And as a bonus it's great for the skin too.
+ Foods that have a high water content and/ or contain potassium. Cucumbers, watermelon, celery, bananas, pineapple, and avocados are some examples. This watermelon salad is perfect for summer get togethers.
+ Slowing down when you're eating! See above.
Experiment with what feels good to you. Again all bodies are different! If you are experiencing extreme, persistent bloating please consult a Dr.