If you want your tummy to be a little flatter faster firstly you need to look at things that may well be causing the bloating or abdominal distention. Culprit number one may well be that whilst you are avoiding sugar with good reason you might be ingesting too much of a natural sweetener called xylitol.
Although natural xylitol can cause stomach discomfort if consumed in excess – both bad news if you’re wanting to avoid a bloated tummy. It is often found in chewing gum and natural drinks but too much of it may leave you feeling gassy and distended. The sweetener sorbitol should also be avoided as it may lead to sorbitol-induced abdominal symptoms. Other sweeteners may also cause bloating too including maltitol and fructose.
Processed and sugary foods often come hand in hand with additives, artificial colours, bulking agents, preservatives and artificial sweeteners which can lead to gut dysbiosis, bloating and weight gain. I advocate healthy eating but sometimes you can get too much of a good thing.
Fruits, vegetables and pulses are packed full of dietary fibre which is incredibly important for our digestive health as they promote regular bowel movements and deliver an array of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants …… but if you consume these foods in excess then you may well suffer from the dreaded bloat.
Other healthy foods that you might like to give a miss if you are looking for a flatter stomach the next day are things like onions, asparagus, broccoli, Brussel sprouts and cabbage as they may well cause excess gas and flatulence.
A diet low in fermentable carbs known as a ‘low FODMAP diet’ is recommended for the management of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or other types of bloating discomfort
The term FODMAP stands for ‘fermentable oligo-, di-, mono-saccharides and polyols’ which are known to trigger digestive symptoms like bloating, gas and stomach pain.
Food such as onions, lentils, rye, cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, beans and dried fruits are all high in FODMAPS.
There is also the issue of food intolerances so you may need to watch out for dairy products that contain lactose, wheat, gluten, alcohol, caffeine, artificial sweeteners, monosodium glutamate (MSG) or histamine which is found in mushrooms, pickled and cured foods. All could be responsible for a bulging mid section. Keeping a food dairy can help you to identify the foods that cause your bloating to worsen.
The good news is that there are a few simple things that will help you to get your stomach flatter faster. Aloe vera juice is good to soothe and calm the stomach so you could take it each night before bed. It can also help if you are constipated – more good news because if you are not regular your tummy will not be at its flattest.
Taking digestive enzymes and probiotics with meals may also help. They promote healthy digestive function which in turn, helps with the optimal breakdown of food. They will help with your microbiome health, and a healthy microbiome leads to better digestion, less flatulence and decreased bloating.
Dandelion tea can help to reduce fluid retention – it is also a liver cleanser and may help to reduce the symptoms of heartburn or digestive discomfort. Green tea is another option as it has bitter qualities that can help to promote healthy digestion. It is also a good fat burner over time.
Also slow things down whilst you’re eating – if you eat too quickly, excess air can be swallowed leading to abdominal distension. Don’t talk whilst chewing either as the same problem can occur. Eat in a slow and relaxed way – sit down and eat away from your desk, TV or any other type of device. Mindful eating will help with digestive function as you are concentrating on the food itself and not a screen.
I also recommend trying an elimination diet – this involves removing the foods from your diet that you suspect your body cannot tolerate. These foods are then later reintroduced.
This process allows you to identify which foods make your bloating worse.
This article was written by Rick Hay The Superfoodist – Dip Nutrition, Dip Botanical Medicine, Dip Iridology, Dip Teaching. Rick is an anti ageing and fitness nutritionist with many years clinical experience in nutrition, naturopathy, botanical medicine and iridology. His specialisms include obesity treatment, weight management, anti-ageing nutraceuticals, beauty from within supplements and natural sports medicine options.