During the summer my appetite goes right out the window. I don’t know if it’s the heat or the humidity of what, but I sure don’t eat as much. I don’t mind that at all, what’s puzzling is that up until recently when I did eat something my stomach would bloat. I don’t know how much of the bloating was physical or how much of it was mental. All I know is that when I ate or drank something I started feeling like a balloon shortly after.
Ultimately my bloating was far less serious than I thought. Once I took a closer look at my diet and some elements of my work-outs I realized corrections were in order. Read and heed and see if any of the following apply to you:
According to steadyhealth.com, swallowing too much air can also give you a bloated tummy and surprisingly, there are several habits that can result in this. Simple things such as talking while eating, using a straw or sports bottle, chewing gum, eating when you’re on the move, drinking from a water fountain and eating when you’re upset are all common culprits so try and eliminate as many of these things as possible.
Carbonated beverages including sparkling water have a detrimental effect on your stomach as well. It’s also worthwhile avoiding too many ‘diet’, ‘sugar-free’ or ‘low-carb’ products that contain sorbitol, mannitol or maltitol. According to Mercola.com, these sweeteners– which are used in place of sugar — have a laxative effect which can leave you feeling uncomfortable and full of wind.
Some people blame bloating on intolerance to a certain food such as wheat or dairy products. However, food intolerances are notoriously difficult to diagnose as the symptoms can be so wide ranging, including everything from bloating, fluid retention, headaches and tiredness to constipation and diarrhea. If you really think you might have an intolerance I suggest you keep a food and symptoms diary to see if there’s any pattern and then see your GP for a proper diagnosis.
And last but not least, my mother-in-law suggests drinking chamomile or peppermint tea. Drinks like these are apparently good for the digestive system and can help to ease that bloated feeling.
The worst thing to do say experts is starve yourself. Bloating may make you feel heavy, but chances are you haven’t actually put weight on. The bloating feeling may be the result of problems digesting food, where the undigested foods are reaching your gut where fermentation takes place causing the bloating.
Irritable bowel syndrome is also often associated with bloating. Generally a healthy diet will help you lose weight and keep the symptoms of IBS at bay. But again, if you think this is a problem, you should see your doctor. In fact, although keeping an eye on all of the above can reduce bloating, a bloated stomach CAN be the result of something more serious. Never hesitate to consult a doctor if you have questions.
Doing abdominal exercises incorrectly can cause distention in your stomach as well. According to Mercola.com, when you perform your abdominal exercises, focus on the exact area that is being worked. Also, practice proper breathing technique – always exhale on the exertion. As for the exercises, all abdomen exercises will do. For example, the crunch is a simple exercise to perform. In fact, many health experts recommend crunches above all others because it takes the strain off the lower back:
– Lie on you back
– Place your feet on the floor as close to your bottom as possible and place your knees together
– Rest your hands across you chest and relax the neck
– Slowly raise your shoulders off the floor by contracting only the abdominal muscles
– Don’t come up too high – your lower back should always remain on the floor
– Hold that position for a count of 1 and breath out forcefully
– Slowly relax the stomach muscles and allow your shoulders to return to the floor
– Repeat 10 – 12 times, 3 or 4 series with 1 minute pause
Another good one is Lying Leg Raises:
– Lie on your back with your hands, palms down under your buttocks
– Raise your legs about 12 inches off the floor and hold them there
– Make sure the base of your spine is pressed against the floor
– Now trying to use just your lower abs, tilt your pelvis and raise your legs a further 6 inches
– Hold for a few seconds then return to your original position
As you can see, a combination of proper diet and proper exercise can leave your stomach much flatter and much less bloated!