I think it’s safe to say that we’ve all experienced that awful feeling after a day when we’ve overindulged: your belly is distended and feels like it’s been pumped overfull with air, your clothes feel too tight, it’s uncomfortable to move around, and all you want to do is cover up with some baggy sweats. It’s a horrible feeling and, when it happens, it can’t be over soon enough. The good news is that there are ways to expedite that process.
Drink plenty of water. That will help your body flush everything out.
2. Get moving
Walking, yoga, or other gentle exercise can help get things moving for you, especially if you are experiencing constipation or gas.
3. Get back on the healthy eating wagon as soon as you can
When we feel awful, we tend to want to curl up and comfort ourselves however we can and sometimes that means continuing those same eating habits that got us where we are. Put an end to the cycle by avoiding simple carbohydrates and sugar as well as excess sodium. This means no soda, juice, or other carbonated or sugary beverages, avoid alcohol, avoid sweets and salty snacks, and try not to add much salt to your food. This will help cut down on gas and water retention.
4. Have a cup of tea
Peppermint and chamomile tea both may help alleviate symptoms of gas and bloat. Enjoy a cup or two of these to help you get more comfortable.
5. Avoid healthy foods that can cause bloat
If you’re already feeling bloated, you may want to avoid certain healthy foods that may worsen your situation…at least until it’s cleared up. These include cruciferous veggies such as broccoli and brussels sprouts as well as dairy and beans.
6. Avoid sugar-free foods
In the wake of the backlash against artificial chemical sweeteners, many sugar-free foods now contain sugar alcohols instead. These ingredients, while not linked to the same health concerns as chemical sweeteners or sugar, have been known to cause gastric upset for many. Skipping out of these ingredients will help you avoid uncomfortable gas and bloating.
What to do if you are dealing with chronic bloat
1. Journal it
Begin to keep track of the foods you’re eating and how you’re feeling before and after. This can help you determine if you’re sensitive to certain foods so you can avoid them later.
2. Work with a nutrition professional for an elimination diet
A nutrition professional can help you remove common problem foods from your diet to test your reactions to them.
3. Work with your physician to diagnose any underlying medical causes
Chronic bloating can be caused by a number of conditions, including IBS, Crohn’s, and Celiac. Only your physician can diagnose these conditions so, if bloating and gas are commonplace issues for you, I suggest speaking to your physician about it.