Episode 141: Secrets of a Health Coach... How to Beat the Belly Bloat!
This is it folks... the day you've all been waiting for... the day that I, Kat Spangler, share how to get. slim. quick.
Now if you know me at all, you know this is a very big divergence from my usual mission.
I am NOT a 'quick fix' weight loss coach. Crash dieting to drop a few fast pounds is unsustainable, often unhealthy, and usually causes more weight gain than weight loss in the long run.
BUT... there is one tiny exception to this rule:
Quickly reducing bloating.
When you implement practices to reduce bloating and water weight, you can look 5-10 pounds lighter without slowing your metabolism, jacking up your hormones, or putting yourself through the tortures of dieting.
Truth: when I'm getting ready for a photoshoot, wedding, or beach vacation, my focus isn't actually on fat loss, it's on reducing bloating!
So I'm letting you in on the tricks of the trade, sharing what I do and what I avoid when I want to look lean, fast.
What causes bloating?
- Gluten - It can cause inflammation in your digestive tract, and many people don't digest gluten-containing foods well which causes the food to stay in your digestive tract longer, which leads to fermentation, which leads to gas (this is the mechanism behind a lot of gas-producing foods we'll discuss).
- Dairy - Majority of the world's population is unable to process dairy well which can lead to fermentation in the gut. And the lactose found in dairy, when fermented, can cause methane gas to build up which slows down the time it takes food to travel through the gut causing constipation. In turn, constipation causes a build up of poop, making it harder for gas to pass through.
- Processed carbs and sugar - Water binds to carbs in a ratio of 3 to 1, meaning when you eat these types of foods your body retains water. Plus many people have a hard time digesting certain carbs (like the kind found in wheat, beans, dairy, and even some fruit) , which leads to fermentation in your digestive tract which causes gas.
- Alcohol - It can inflame the stomach and intestines, it dehydrates you, and it is often paired with sugary mixers that lead to water retention.
- Salt - It makes the body retain water and dehydrates you which makes you retain even more water!
- Food sensitivities - Gas and bloating are both symptoms of food sensitivities because when you're sensitive to a food it's harder for your body to process it, which means it sits in your GI tract longer, can ferment, and also can cause inflammation in the gut.
- Chewing gum - This is simply a matter of swallowing air.
- Eating too much, too fast - Not only are you swallowing air when you do this but you're literally dealing with a giant lump of food that is expanding your stomach.
- Drinking carbonated beverages - Again, air in the stomach.
- Stress - There are 2 states of being: fight/flight or rest/digest. When you're in fight or flight, blood is diverted away from the digestive tract and toward muscles leading to lower motility.
- PMS - Estrogen causes water retention, there is an increased volume of the uterus right before menstruating, and estrogen and progesterone can interactive with your digestive system, slowing or speeding your motility.
- Medical conditions like SIBO, H Pylori, and IBS.
How to beat the bloat
- Drink water (at least half your body weight in ounces of water) and eat hydrating foods like cucumber, melon, celery, kiwi, berries, papaya, pineapple, asparagus, and potassium rich foods like bananas and avocado.
- Reduce salt intake (be especially mindful of processed foods and restaurant meals which are often packed with sodium).
- Eliminate or limit food sensitivities and other problem foods and drinks.
- Drink herbal teas like peppermint, chamomile, turmeric, ginger, fennel which all aid in digestion and hydration.
- Peppermint oil and magnesium help intestinal muscles relax and allow gas and poop to pass through more easily.
- Eat more fiber. It fills you up so you're less likely to overeat. It cleans out your digestive tract like a scrubby brush. And it feeds beneficial bacteria in your gut, promoting a healthy gut microbiome.
- Eat slowly and mindfully.
- Reduce stress.
- Exercise. It prevents water retention and stimulates peristalsis in the digestive tract helping move things along.
- Test for gut issues if you can't seem to beat the bloat!
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