Like it or not, bloating is a fact of life for many of us.
After a heavy meal, alcohol or a quick dinner, our bodies can look and feel entirely different to how they did just moments before – and the worst part is, you might not even realise why.
Recently, Brisbane-based dietitian, Leanne Ward, took a look at the issue on her blog – as she shared her simple tips to fuelling your digestion and beating the bloat for good.
Recently, Brisbane-based dietitian, Leanne Ward (pictured), took a look at the issue of bloating – and how what you eat can have an instant effect on how you look
Leanne (pictured) shared with FEMAIL her simple tips for beating the bloat and fuelling your digestion
The first thing you should think about if you want to beat bloating is clearing up your diet in a general sense – getting rid of alcohol, too many carbonated drinks and junk food
What is bloating?
* Abdominal bloating occurs when the gastrointestinal (GI) tract is filled with air or gas.
* Most people describe bloating as feeling full, tight, or swollen in the abdomen.
* Bloating is often accompanied by pain, excessive gas, frequent burping or abdominal rumbling.
* Bloating may be caused by excess air – but it can also come about because of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, heartburn, food intolerance or weight gain.
The first thing you should think about if you want to beat bloating is clearing up your diet in a general sense:
‘I find in 50 per cent of my patients, just removing things like excessive caffeine, alcohol, sugary drinks and fatty takeaways can make the world of difference to most people’s symptoms,’ Leanne explained in a blog post.
‘If your diet is high in processed foods and low in salad and vegetables, this could be a good place to start.’
She also recommends eating solid, regular meals, rather than ‘constantly grazing’ through the day.
When you eat, Leanne said it’s useful to chew things slowly and properly, as if you gulp too quickly, you’re more likely to take in air and therefore get bloated.
Leanne said that while you should limit fruit to two pieces each day, it’s a good idea to eat five servings of vegetables (pictured)
One tip not so many people might be familiar with is drinking from a glass, rather than through a straw:
How to reduce bloating
1. Never sip through a straw.
2. Sip on peppermint tea.
3. Eat regular, full meals rather than grazing constantly.
4. Cut fruit to just two pieces each day.
5. Eat five servings of vegetables.
6. Limit resistant starch from cold pasta, potatoes, chickpeas etc.
7. Eat slowly and chew properly.
8. Clean up your diet generally.
9. Try live probiotic yoghurts, supplements or fermented drinks.
10. Try rolled oats, chia seeds or golden linseeds in your breakfast.
‘Using a straw can draw in more air and create more gas – it also causes you to drink faster,’ Leanne wrote.
She also said it’s a good idea to limit your portions of fruit to two a day, as the simple sugars can be ‘poorly digested’.
Meanwhile, eat the correct amount of five servings of vegetables each day, reduce your intake of resistant starches like cooled pasta and potato, chickpeas and ripe bananas, and cut down on carbonated drinks.
‘Try rolled oats, chia seeds and golden linseeds in your breakfast – these may also help with symptoms of wind and bloating,’ she said – adding that peppermint tea is a great de-bloater.
You could also reduce your portion sizes, increase your exercise and try live ‘probiotic’ yoghurts, supplements or fermented milk drinks.
‘Using a straw can draw in more air and create more gas – it also causes you to drink faster,’ Leanne (pictured) said
Recently speaking with FEMAIL, Leanne busted the biggest fitness and diet myths so many think are true.
According to Leanne, who works as a clinical dietitian and sports dietitian in Brisbane, the health industry can often be confusing for men and women:
‘Healthy doesn’t mean calorie counting, excessively exercising or weighing yourself daily,’ she told FEMAIL.
‘Healthy looks different on everyone, so my goal is to teach people – especially women – to love their bodies, to nourish them and to move them regularly.’
‘Try rolled oats, chia seeds and golden linseeds in your breakfast – these may also help with symptoms of wind and bloating,’ Leanne said (pictured: a good de-bloating breakfast)
Recently speaking with FEMAIL, Leanne (pictured) busted the biggest fitness and diet myths so many think are true
The 28-year-old added that she believes when you’re eating ‘wholesome, nutritious foods, your body will tell you when you’ve had enough’.
Leanne shares this message on her Instagram profile, but also illustrates ideas around balance with what you eat – or the fact that one takeaway meal will not make you fat.
For Leanne, who works full-time as a dietitian and has a Bachelor of Health Science degree, alongside a Masters of Dietetics and Certificate in Public Health, the biggest nutrition myth around is that one diet or style of eating works for everyone:
‘Don’t be fooled into thinking that what worked for your friend or neighbour or work colleague might work for you too,’ she explained.
‘At work, people often ask me how much I weigh or how many calories I eat, but it’s completely irrelevant.
‘I’m 1.83 metres tall, so what I eat is going to be very different to someone who is 1.53 metres. We are all individuals and if one way of eating or one macro split worked for everyone, then we wouldn’t have an obesity crisis.’
The 28-year-old (pictured) recommends you sip on peppermint tea – which acts as a great de-bloater
She also recommends making time for your health and fitness:
‘We all live such busy fast-paced lives that we never find the time to do anything.
‘Most of us get to the end of every day completely exhausted, order takeaway and pass out on the couch.
‘I encourage women to think of health and fitness like an investment in their health – an investment in their future. If you’re sick, you’ll make time to schedule an appointment with the doctor. Think of health and fitness this way too.
‘Schedule your workout into your diary like an important work meeting you wouldn’t miss and schedule some time on Sunday to meal prep as it’ll save you so much time during the week and minimise the need to eat out.’
To read more from Leanne Ward, you can visit her blog here – or follow her on Instagram here.