Battling Bloat

Ever find yourself feeling bloated after meals, a holiday, a weekend bender or even out of the blue? Bloating is annoying in more ways than one. Not only is it uncomfortable, but it can get in the way of your strides to achieving a healthy lifestyle. Check out the below for tips on reducing bloat and water retention to reduce discomfort and keep your hard earned gains on the surface.

  1. Reduce Carbohydrate Intake
  2. Keep it Clean and Green
  3. Get Spicy
  4. Make it Hot

Reduce Carbohydrate Intake

First, try reducing your carbohydrate intake. When you overeat carbohydrates your body also tends to retain water. A quick breakdown. When your eat carbohydrates your body stores it as glycogen, which can be used as energy but could also be stored as fat. Each gram of glycogen will bind itself to two-four grams of water. Not only will you experience bloat from carbs, but from water as well!  When you lower your carbohydrate intake, your body will start utilizing the glycogen that’s stored in your liver and muscles. By doing so your body will also deplete the water retention. If you’re feeling bloated after meals try lowering your carbs by about 30% for a week or two and see how you do*.

Keep it Clean and Green

One word: Celery. Load the F up. It’s a natural digestive aid and diuretic. Other top picks for veggies that will help reduce fluid retention include cucumber, summer squashes, parsley, or kale. When it comes to eating vegetables try avoid eating them raw – raw veggies can add to bloating! Steam or cook your veggies to break down the fiber structure. By doing so, veggies can be easier to digest. If your stomach isn’t too sensitive, keep it simple by adding raw kale, spinach or wheatgrass to your protein shake or smoothie. For steamed veggies add a splash of fresh lemon juice to take flavors to the next level.

Get Spicy

Listen up. Turmeric is a very powerful anti-inflammatory. Turmeric combats indigestion, bloating and gas. From the looks of Instagram, turmeric is the new apple cider vinegar. From what I’ve seen (scrolled) the most ‘gram worthy way to consume is via golden milk. Mix together 1 teaspoon of turmeric, 1 tablespoon of honey and 1 cup of milk. I have yet to try this but it’s at the top of my culinary bucket list and seems like the perfect nightcap before bedtime.

Make it Hot

Obviously, you’ve got to prioritize your workouts to get yourself back to your regularly scheduled programming. While I advocate a well rounded program of strength training, high intensity interval training and mobility awareness, I find that steady state cardio has it’s proper time and place. Sometimes when I just want to work up a good sweat (especially when I’m not feeling 100% due to bloating or fatigue) a 3-mile run or 30-minute walk on an 8% incline is the perfect way to break a torrential downpour of a sweat. Another sure fire way to shed some water weight via sweat? Hot yoga, sculpt….or a eucalyptus steam room…

The Wrap Up

The most common causes of bloating include overeating, shoveling your face too quickly (eating too fast), or straight up eating too much shit and having poor digestion. Try these tips to ease your struggle with any discomfort.

*Not all carbs are created equal, so calm the F down! I’m talking about refined carbs and grains in moderation. Healthy carbs, such as those in sweet potatoes, veggies and fruits, provide you with energy you need to workout and live your life.

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