Eating until you feel uncomfortable may be your way of telling that you're full, but the chances are you're probably eating beyond the point than you need to.
Bloating, which is caused by a number of things from too much protein (the body takes longer to break it down) to eating fruit too quickly after a meal (it sits in the stomach fermenting), from overeating to combining the wrong types of food.
Here we list 10 ways you can cut down on the bloat:
1) Chew, chew, chew
Our hectic lifestyles often mean that we don’t spend enough time eating our meals; swallowing our food quickly on the run or at our desk. This common pattern results in an increase of people suffering from indigestion and bloating. By chewing your food more rigorously, you’ll be able to digest it easier to avoid aches and pains.
2) Take a probiotic
Probiotics are known to help restore a healthy gut and have been reported to improve digestive health in many people, reducing symptoms such as bloating and flatulence. It is important that the digestive system works effectively so that the body is able to digest and absorb the food we eat in order to gain adequate fuel (nutrients) to function optimally.
Try Bio-Kult, a unique multi-strain probiotic with 14 strains of beneficial bacteria, specially formulated to help maintain a healthy digestive system.
3) Check your food
The most common foods to which intolerance develops are milk and milk products, and gluten (which is present in wheat, rye and oats). Avoidance of each of these, one at a time, is fairly easy and only necessary for a few days each to discover whether this is a problem.
4) Indulge in some TLC
Aromatherapy oils can be very effective in countering water retention. Add 10 drops of fennel to a warm bath to reap the rewards.
5) Up the fibre
Fibre is keen to ensuring a regular and maintained digestive system, and is available in cereals and green vegetables. If you need to up your dose try Lepicol, a powerful 3-in-1 formula made of gentle fibres, probiotic cultures and natural prebiotics to ensure regular toilet trips.
6) Beware of sugar substitutes
They may be lower in calories, but artificial sweeteners (especially sorbitol, found in many sugar-free sweets and gums) are not easily digested and creates the waste product ¬hydrogen gas, which causes flatulence, stomach aches and bloating.”
7) Don’t drink with your meals
Health experts advise that you leave a 20 minute gap before and after eating before drinking fluids. Liquid can dilute the stomach acid needing to break down food which can lead to poorly digested food fermenting and causing bloating.
8) Watch your salt intake
We’ve all heard the anti-sugar debate recently but what about salt? Salt adds extra sodium to body fluids which makes it harder for the mechanism that pushes water out of your cells so that the cells swell up with water, making the stomach feel and look food. Adults only need about 1 level teaspoon of salt a day so watch your intake!
9) Eat little and often
Consuming large volumes of food at one time will inevitably make your stomach look bigger! Large meals also tend to be heavy in carbohydrates and fat, which will exacerbate any uncomfortable bloating. Instead spread low-volume meals and snacks throughout the day (three meals and 1–2 snacks will do the trick), and aim to eat every 4–5 hours.
10) Get some natural help
There’s no harm in looking for some natural alternatives to help you digest your food better and beat the bloat. D’Mix from Conscious Foods is a blend of eight herbs and seeds specifically formulated to help the digestive process.
To kick start your digestive system and prevent and reduce bloating and other symptoms, take half a teaspoon of D’Mix three times a day after food. Chew at least 20-30 times to break down the herbs and seeds to release their active ingredients and mobilise the digestive juices and enzymes.