Did you overdo it and now you’re feeling uncomfortable from bloat?
Use these easy steps to get relief, feel better, and lose the excess weight fast.
What Causes Bloat, Anyways?
Most people experience bloat around the holidays, particularly after the big feasts and parties.
It seems to happen as soon as you push back from the table, and won’t let up for a few days, if not longer.
Of course eating a large meal in one sitting will make you feel overstuffed. But as the word bloat suggests, there’s gas in your digestive system that’s expanding your tummy, too.
Some of that initial bloat you’re feeling is caused by air taken in as you wolfed down your meal.
Then as food is emptied from your stomach into your intestines, it just. sits. there.
Like a brick.
Stalled out in your intestines, the food starts to ferment (rot). This causes even more bloating as gases are produced and water is drawn to your gut, making you feel even heavier.
As your belly expands, you get constipated… and yes, gassy. *whew*
Is Water Retention Bloat?
It’s a common mistake to call water retention ‘bloat.’ These are actually two separate conditions– but they do go hand in hand.
While bloat will have you rocking a ‘food baby’ in the mirror, water retention makes your fingers, ankles, calves, and even your face swell up.
It seems counter-intuitive, but the main cause of water retention is dehydration. Your body responds to it by holding onto every single bit of water it can.
Sugars, refined carbs, alcohol, travel, and even stress can dehydrate you.
So that holiday meal? Your stressful family gathering? Or how about that awkward work party– that you coped with a few glasses of wine?
Yup, those will have every cell in your body crying out for water.
And that’s when things get really bad
All that rotten food bloating in your gut along with the extra fluid in your tissues adds up. The scale numbers get freaky and you see (and feel) disturbing changes in how your clothes fit.
And, with your system out of whack, you’ll experience cravings with a vengeance.
Ironically, you’ll crave the very foods that created this situation. It’s a double whammy that can lead to a weight gain of 10 or 20 pounds before you can get things back under control.
But before you give up, here’s some fool-proof advice that will get your waistline back within a few days.
Step 1: Get Rid of These Gut Busters
With cravings running the show, will power alone can’t be relied upon.
If you have any of the food and drinks that created this unpleasant condition in your home or environment, you need to remove them immediately.
Tear a page out of Henry Ford’s playbook ‘You can have any color so long as it’s black.’ Only give yourself healthy choices.
Toss the left overs and take home boxes, and clear your kitchen of anything that you know created the bloat and water retention in the first place.
Things to avoid if you feel bloated
If you don’t know where to start, here’s a list of foods you should avoid or decrease consumption of for at least the next few days:
- Sugar – fuels unhealthy gut bacteria and promotes dehydration
- Flours – fuels unhealthy gut bacteria
- Wheat – gluten promotes gas
- Oat bran – promotes gas
- Grains – whole or refined can slow digestion
- Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts – contain raffinose that promotes gas
- Starchy vegetables – slows digestion
- Beans – indigestible sugars raffinose, stachyose, verbascose promote gas
- Milk – promotes gas for many people
- Lactose – promotes gas
- Fructose – promotes gas
- Fruits – contain fructose
- Artificial sweeteners – indigestible components promote gas
- Sugar alcohols – promotes gas
- Gum – the chewing action and artificial sweeteners promote gas
- Carbonated beverages – carbonation promotes gas
- Alcohol – causes dehydration
Step 2: Flush Your System
Now that you’ve cleaned up your kitchen, you should know where your biggest water bottle is.
Go get it.
Start flushing your system with pure water.
This is a powerful step because it does three things at once:
- Water will get the food in your intestine moving again.
- It sends the signal to your body that it can start to release fluid from your extremities.
- Drinking water kills cravings.
Not fast enough? Try this…
Do a 24 to 48 hour clear liquid fast. Consume nothing but clear, non-caloric liquids and you will see and feel results within 24 hours.
Fasting clears excess sugars from your blood stream and primes your metabolism to break down the food in your gut much more efficiently.
As you fast, you’ll notice something interesting– that you are eliminating more water than you are taking in. That’s confirmation that as your body gets re-hydrated, it can start releasing all that water you were retaining deep in your tissues.
Step 3: What to Eat and Drink to Get Rid of Bloat
To get back on track, you’ll want to eat and drink foods that specifically reduce bloat and water retention.
These will help you get rid of bloat and water retention
- Protein; eggs, meats, fish – gives you energy without bloat
- Leafy greens – stimulates intestines with gentle fiber and provides electrolytes to help with hydration
- Water-rich non-starchy vegetables – hydrates, nourishes, and stimulates intestines
- Healthy fats – reduce constipation, gives you energy without bloat
- Broth – hydrates, provides electrolytes, and nourishes
- Green tea – anti-inflammatory for your system
- Ginger – naturally stimulates digestion
- Pure water; at least 2-4 liters a day – flushes excess fluid and food from intestines
- Electrolytes – rebalances your system so you don’t retain water, reduces cravings
Step 4: How to Move It, Move It!
For most of us, our first instinct when feeling bloated is to hit the couch and settle in with Netflix until the feeling passes.
That will only prolong the pain and discomfort.
You need to get moving as soon as you finish that bloat-inducing meal. You’ll feel 100x better than your couch potato strategy.
3 ways exercise kills bloat
- Exercise stimulates your intestines so they can start contracting properly again– and you can move that brick of food out of your system.
- As your exercising muscles contract, they literally squeeze out all the extra fluid that has settled in your extremities.
- Movement also gets your lymph circulating so toxins can be removed and excreted, normalizing your body faster.
You don’t need to over-do it. In fact, you should keep your exercise modest. Over-exercising releases cortisol which also triggers bloat.
A simple 20-30 minute walk after your meal, and once a day thereafter will help.
How Personal Trainer Food Can Help
If you are struggling with choosing the right foods that will keep you from experiencing bloat and water retention, Personal Trainer Food can help.
With perfectly-portioned breakfasts, meat entrees, and non-starchy vegetables that are ready in minutes you can get back to your skinny jeans without the guess work.
Just heat and eat foods from our delicious menu for much less than you think!
Our Best Menu Items to Get Rid of Bloat
Here’s a list of the best foods on our menu to combat bloat…
Breakfast Entrees – based on eggs and breakfast meats, rich in natural protein you’ll start your day right with any one of our breakfast selections.
Meat Entrees – real meats in all sorts of savory flavors that will keep your taste-buds satisfied, all of them can be eaten to help reduce bloat.
Vegetables – our vegetable blends are low-carb and high-fiber; perfect options to reduce gas and help you lose weight naturally.
These blends are particularly good at reducing bloat:
- Capri Blend
- Key West Blend
- Riviera Blend
- Venice Blend
- Scandinavian Blend
- Green Beans
- Italian Green Beans
- Yellow Squash
If you have questions about this article, we’d be happy to help! Drop a comment below and we’ll follow up with you.
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About the Writer: 100 pounds ago, Jan knew what it is like to be obese, unhappy, and stuck. She has spent the last 15 years as a fitness writer, trainer, yoga teacher, and Weight Loss Coach. Today, she’s proud to be a part of the Personal Trainer Food team so she can continue her goal to help others live their fullest lives possible. Email Jan@PersonalTrainerFood.com if you have any questions!