The summer season is full of backyard BBQs, family vacations, and rooftop happy hours. This invasion to our regular routine can lead us to consuming not only more food, but food that we don’t usually eat. It also leads to us consuming more alcohol. All of this leaves our bodies feeling groggy, sluggish, and bloated.
At least once a week during the summer, I have a client come in and complain about the “icky” feeling of his or her body. They follow this up with a story about an extra slice of wedding cake or too much wine and a “What was I thinking?”. These derailments of our regular healthy routines happen to the best of us. Without a little splurge here and there, life would just not be any fun. The good news is, you can jump back on track, and the sooner you do it, the better.
Bloat can be caused by a variety of things – overeating, consuming hard to digest or unusual foods, dehydration – just to name a few. It can be as big of a discomfort as it is a blow to the ego. Overeating usually leads to bloat of the stomach, leading to a visual distention or swelling of the abdomen while consuming irritating foods will produce gas in the intestine leading to the inevitable release of those gasses (that’s a nice way to talk about farting). Both types of bloating can increase levels of inflammation in the body, potentially causing pain in the low back, and of course, it can be embarrassing.
The first thing you can do to beat the bloat, is to start changing your habits ASAP. Try these 4 things below to get your body back on track and back to it’s lovely, non-swelled self.
- Drink Water – Tons and tons (not literally) of water. Water can help “flush the system” helping you decrease the water retention in your body. Water and hydration is the main thing you can do for not just bloating, but for helping limit inflammation in general.
- Eat Mindfully – This means eat slowly and in portion sizes that are appropriate for you. It takes about 20 minutes for your body to realize it’s full so will want to stop before you fill “stuffed”. Eat till you are satisfied, not full. The fullness will shop up a few minutes later.
- Eat your Fruits and Veggies – Yes, some of the things that cause bloat are fruits and veggies, but they also help “cleanse” the body. So if you know you are sensitive to a certain vegetable (usually it is the hardy ones such as cabbage or broccoli), stay away from them. However, leafy greens are little “fat grabbers”. Most of the greens are fat soluble, so they utilize fat in our body to digest which leaves your digestive system feeling clean and clear.
- Move – Walk, jump, run, lift weights, laugh hard, it really doesn’t matter, just get your heart pumping and your systems moving. Wake up your digestive and lymph systems so they can start processing that excess bloat and pump it right out of you.
Summer has lots of activities and events that take us a little off course of our usual healthy eating. Jumping into the 4 tips above can help limit the amount of time you hang on to extra water, extra weight, and that uncomfortable bloat.
*Note – Bloating and belly fat are 2 different things, avoid reading articles that claim they are the same. They are definitely not the same, however, following the tips above can help with both.