Have you been dealing with a bloated belly? It’s an issue most women over 50 deal with all the time, and to be honest, I dealt with even in my teens. I wanted to go over some significant causes of belly bloat and give you my five top tips on how to reduce it.
Having a bloated belly is uncomfortable and sometimes even painful. Most of the time, it has nothing to do with weight or even exercise. It could be caused by what you are eating.
- White salt, heat-treated oil, and dairy will give you gut issues. Eating any of these could be a significant cause of belly bloat.
White salt -
White iodized salt is actually a refined product. To make the salt look white and to make it pourable, it has gone through a “chemical process,” and that process has rendered it not only devoid of nutrients but actually harmful. What’s even worse, refined iodine is added to it.
White salt creates bloat, and there is no question about it. Iodized salt is unfortunately in almost every packaged food product you buy. Look for it on the ingredient list to be sure if you are in any doubt.
Some great alternatives are gray Celtic Sea salt, pink Himalayan salt or black salt. All of these natural salts have all the nutrients intact. And, as a bonus, they have a richer, deeper flavor. These salts are not as metallic tasting and are really great.
Denatured oil means any oil that has gone through a chemical process like heat or refinement. It does mean things like fried food or any processed food. The oil in these products is definitely denatured. It also means most of the oils that are on the grocery shelves like corn or vegetable oils. In addition, the bottled salad dressings usually have denatured oils.
Some really great alternatives to heat-treated oils are things like organic extra virgin olive oil. That means that it is cold-pressed and not heat-treated. Olive oil is a delicate oil that actually denatures when you heat it. So, contrary to popular belief (and don’t shoot me for this one), olive oil is best eaten raw. So, on a salad or drizzled over veggies, olive oil is perfect.
For cooking, I always suggest organic unrefined coconut oil. It has a higher smoking point, meaning it doesn’t start “denaturing” until the heat gets high. Extra virgin coconut oil is also cold-pressed and not heat-treated.
Dairy gives you bloat! It is one of my biggest no-nos and one of the main reasons why most women (and men) have belly bloat. There are so many alternatives to dairy out there that switching might not be a hard as you think.
There are many natural brands and options out there. From almond to hemp to coconut, they all have different levels of sweetness and flavors. If you have never tried them, try refrigerating first. They are great on top of cereals.
Be careful if you are having protein powders. Look at the ingredients. If it is whey, it is dairy. Do not ever use a whey protein powder. Read why here.
If you're looking for dairy in your morning Yerba or coffee, you want to go with something like a coconut or almond “creamer.” The creamers are heavier and will act more like a creamer. The regular substitutes might be a bit too thin.
If you want to stay away from belly bloat, be sure to eliminate dairy for good.
#2 This is a simple and easy one to fix, and you might be surprised to hear what it is. You might have a bloated belly from dehydration.
Are you drinking enough water? If not, your bloat might be relieved by drinking more water throughout the day. If you are having trouble doing that, just know it doesn’t mean you need to “chug” 8 glasses of water a day. It could mean sipping on a little bit of water every hour.
I had a teacher that would say, “The solution to pollution is dilution.” What that means is that if you are dehydrated, the body will hold onto fluids to “dilute” the toxins you are eating. That also means that the more toxic the foods you eat are, the more fluid your body will hold onto.
Some liquids are dehydrating. Items like sodas, power drinks, or sports drinks have chemicals in them that can dehydrate you. So, if bloatedness is an issue, eliminate those drinks, and if you can’t do that all at once, at least drink more water in between. Sometimes flavored water is a good choice. There are plenty of natural ones on the market now. Also, yerba with citrus is another excellent choice if you want to make something instead of buying a bottled one.
#3 Tight Clothes
Did you know this? Tight things around the waist can actually be CAUSING the bloat. Tightness and restriction around the gut do have the potential to bulge the belly with gas. if you work in an office and you're wearing restrictive suits and things like that, it might be as simple as loosening up your pants a bit.
Sometimes you can tell if that is an issue by just taking 24 hours and wearing something really loose around your abdomen. Make sure it isn't restrictive in any way.
#4 Refined grains in the form of crackers, cookies, cakes, cereal, and bread all have the potential to give you a really bloated belly.
There is a way to test this. It is quite unscientific and rudimentary, but it might just work for you as it worked for me.
Trying this is super easy, and it works like this. You take three days and don't have any crackers, cakes, cookies, cereals, bread, or anything like that within those three days. I'm not saying you don't have any starch at all. It is all about the kind of starch you eat. Within those days, too feel fuller, try sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, squash, or rice. These are better options. You'll be able to tell within three days if these refined grains are your issue.
During the testing time, you can increase the effect by doing things that will soothe the gut and help lessen the bloat. Ginger Tea or “Clean” yerba blend are great for doing that. The combination of yerba and ginger is quite powerful.
To stay on track, you might want to read this.
# 5 Constipation! Yes, let’s go there!
Are you constipated? Do you know what constipation is? I remember when I would ask clients if they were constipated, most would say “no.” But upon further investigation, when I would ask them if they pooped every day they would say, “no.” That is constipation, my friends! If you are not pooping each day, that is called constipation.
Another way to tell if you are constipated or not is “what” you poop. If your poops are hard, or if they take a long time to come out, that could be constipation. You might need to add some more water to your daily routine or yerba mate. Some also are helped with adding in more fiber. If you are eating only refined foods, you will most definitely become constipated.
So there you have it in my friends my top five ways on how to reduce belly bloat. Let me know when you try one of these tips and how it went! I would love to hear your feedback.