Friday, 3 August 2012

Health and Fitness Tip #2 How I Avoid a Bloated Tummy

For as long as I remember my Mum has complained of bloating and being uncomfortable after eating certain food.  As children and young teenager's my sisters and I didn't really get what she meant, but now we definitely all do!  I know a handful of women who don't seem to have this problem but I think unfortunately most of us do!  Not only is it annoying to suddenly blow up and have a round stomach sticking out but it is very very uncomfortable!

Over the years I have learnt which foods to steer clear of and a few tricks which seem to help so thought I would share a few tips on things I have found that help to avoid the dreaded bloated tummy!

1) Its really obvious and well knowN but drinking enough water is key!  Water is essential to us and has so many benefits!  It helps to fill me up so I am not tempted to snack on naughty foods.  Water is also vital for proper digestion, if your body is not properly hydrated you will literally not be able to digest your food and this is what causes heartburn!  The food then sits in your stomach, eww..when it does eventually pass through it will sit for too long in your intestines, not only does this leave you constipated but your body also cannot absorb all the nutrients from the food without enough water!  As an added bonus drinking enough water will help to reduce the look of wrinkles!  There are so many more benefits to drinking water but I can't list them all!

2) I have also cut out all white, processed foods and stick to the brown versions.  I am talking foods such as pasta, rice, cous cous, and bread.  The reason that this helps to reduce or avoid a bloated tummy is that there is simply more fibre in the brown versions which again help digestion and keeping things regular!  Other benefits are that the brown versions retain more of their nutrients, which always good!  This next bit is not science, this is just me, but I have found that brown rice and pasta has more of a bite to it than their white counterparts and therefore feel more filling to me, so since making the swap I have managed to reduce my portion size by about 20%

3) I included bread in the previous tip however I tend to avoid eating any kind of bread whenever possible.  Bread is one of my worst enemies when it comes to my stomach so I only eat wholemeal or oatmeal bread as a very special treat.  Whilst I love the taste the discomfort afterwards is just not worth the 5 minutes of pleasure!

4) Reducing carbohydrates.  Again a really widely known fact but it is so true! If you cut down on carbs then you will soon see the results of a flatter looking tummy!  Potatoes are particularly bad for making me look rounder!  I believe there are different kinds of carbs so do you research and find out which ones affect you the most

5) Reduce your fizzy drink intake.  Obviously fizzy drinks are going to make you bloated, so have these as a rare special treat if you must! Personally I never drink fizzy drinks because they hold no real nutritional value and I don't enjoy the taste but I do know that a lot of people can't live without them!

6) If we are having a meal that would compliment a salad then I always cut down my portion size and have a side salad instead.  This reduces the calories, boosts my veg intake for the day and helps to keep my tummy flat!

I am sure there are lots more but for today those are my top tips! What do you do to help beat a bloated tummy? x

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