Everyone wants a flat, toned belly. But for a lot of us there is the issue of bloating to contend with. It really could come out of (seemingly) nowhere but there are triggers - some that apply to everyone and others that are specific to you. I know that if I eat wheat (in the US) I bloat immediately, so I avoid it completely. Thankfully, I’m not missing much because most of the wheat products we have here have 0 (zero!) nutritional benefits and actually do more harm than good to the body. But back to the bloat - for one of my clients it is the combination of wheat, tomato sauce and cheese, pizza. That one is a bummer.. I love pizza!! And so does he. Let’s start with what causes the dreaded bloat.
Foods that Cause Bloating (Reduce/Eliminate these)
Fatty or Fried Foods - I know they’re delicious but they are also wreaking havoc on your insides. A rich, fatty, heavy meal causes bloat because fats are the last to be digested. Fats, of any kind, take your body longer to digest. Protein and carbohydrates digest faster.
Wheat-based/Gluten Foods - most people have some type of gluten sensitivity or intolerance nowadays. Even if you can digest gluten, the type of wheat that is currently grown is shorter than the wheat grown in the 1950s and also has a high glycemic index. It is worse than sugar. So the bloating it creates is one of the lesser reasons you should steer clear of this food. If you’re curious on this subject read “Wheat Belly” by Dr. William Davis.
Dairy Products - if you’re lactose intolerant you know what eating dairy does to you but a lot of people have a milder form of lactose intolerance. This is why it is important to pay attention to how our bodies feel when we eat. If you’re the way I used to be, you’re so busy running around accomplishing that you don’t pay attention to your meals much less how you feel within a couple hours of eating. But your awareness is the key to your good health.
Processed (Junk) Foods - junk foods are high in fat and high in sugar which double your chances of experiencing bloating and other intestinal issues like cramping and gas. When your body starts digesting the sugar it works to fuel the bacteria in your gut and that leads to gassiness. The sugar also is one of the first things to be digested and go to the intestines, where they can cause cramping. Add that to the list of reasons to avoid processed foods!
What to eat to be Bloat-free??
Aim for 60-80% veggies! Most of your plate should be fresh or lightly cooked vegetables. In addition to the nutrients, vitamins, minerals and micronutrients in veggies, the fiber in them is what will flush out the old waste and toxins from your body leaving you with a flat (and happy) tummy. Cruciferous veggies like broccoli, brussels sprouts and cabbage are harder for the body to digest so these should be lightly cooked to avoid the bloat.
Eat high quality proteins and grains! Organic eggs, fish, nuts and seed, brown rice, quinoa, beans and legumes are essential for maintaining a healthy body and a flat tummy. Your protein portion should be the size of 1 of your palms if you’re a woman and the size of 2 of your palms if you’re a man. If you engage in regular, strenuous exercise your protein needs will be higher. One thing to keep in mind is that plant-derived proteins are easier for your body to use than animal-derived proteins.
Eat Fruit by itself - fruits that are high in sugar can create bloating in the body, so it is best to eat these by themselves, as a snack in between meals, or before your meal.
Food Combining - each type of food requires its own set of enzymes for digestion and has its own particular time within which it will be digested. For optimal nutrient absorption it is good to keep this in mind. Starches, like brown rice or quinoa, take around 3-4 hours to digest, and should be combined with fresh or steamed veggies. The same for protein, since they take longer to digest (around 5 hours), it is best to help them along by eating them with fresh or lightly cooked vegetables. Strategically combining your foods will help improve digestion, improve nutrient assimilation and leave you with a flatter, healthier tummy.
Eliminate (or reduce) cow’s milk, gluten, sugar and processed foods - for the reasons stated above...these foods cause more harm than good.
These 5 tips are a great place to start you off on your journey to a flat belly and good health. I’ve had great success, personally, by keeping to these guidelines, and have coached my clients through significant changes by combining these guidelines with their respective customized plans. Just keep in mind that good health is a journey not a destination. Be kind to yourself as you embark on these changes and be patient! Rome wasn’t built in a day.
If you found this post helpful, feel free to share it with your friends and share your progress too! & if you’re up for it - schedule a Self-discovery Session with me at https://www.timetrade.com/book/B6X4N