As the weather heats up and bikini season creeps closer, shedding the winter layers can seem a bit daunting. Nutritionist Kathleen Alleaume shares her tips for beating the bloat.
Before you freak out and consider going on a drastic diet to ditch those pesky winter kilos, a lot of the time what's going in is just a bad case of the bloat. A few simple tips like the ones below, can help to improve your digestion and reduce that puffy appearance, just in time for summer.
1. Fine Tune Your Fibre
There are many different sources of fibre, but it can be hard to know what foods are best for you and highest in fibre. Insoluble fibre is extremely important for digestive health, and particularly effective for regularity. Great sources of insoluble fibre can be found in wheat bran, skins of fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, dried beans and wholegrain foods. Starting your day with a high-fibre breakfast such as a bowl of oats or Kellogs All-Bran, is a great way to amp up your fibre intake.
2. Artificial Sweeteners
Beware when using artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, saccharin and sorbitol as these can’t be broken down in the stomach. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, opt for a natural sweetener like stevia which can be easily digested.
3. Slash The Salt
Salt causes your body to retain fluid, contributing to that puffy appearance and extra water weight. Surprisingly the majority of salt is hidden in processed foods, namely condiments, sauces and salad dressings. Be sure to read the labels!
4. Chill Out
Your gut has a 'second brain’ so feeling stressed can cause indigestion, pain or discomfort in the stomach. Find suitable ways to manage stress in your life, such as meditation, regular exercise or yoga.
5. Avoid Carbonated Drinks
…Especially on a dinner date. The tingly bubbles in fizzy drinks contain carbon dioxide, which can form pockets of gas and result in wind and burping.