Bloating is often mistaken for stomach fat and it occurs when the normal flow of gas (produced in the colon after we eat or drink), is disrupted in some way, getting trapped, resulting in distention and discomfort. The good news is that there are lots of simple tweaks that can counteract common bloat-inducers.
Here’s how to avoid loosening that belt buckle.
Bloating may occur due to a number of reasons including:
- Over eating
- Food sensitivities e.g. intolerance or sensitivity to gluten and/or lactose
- An imbalance between the good and bacteria in your gut
- Hormonal imbalance
- Swallowing air, eating too fast, chewing gum
5 foods that cause bloating
1. Gassy foods
Some vegetables produce more gas than others do, such as cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, brussels sprouts and cabbage). Why? They contain sulfur and a carbohydrate called raffinose, both of which are hard for the body to break down. This doesn’t mean you ditch your greens entirely, just limit the amount you eat at one time if it seems to affect you, to minimise its impact.
2. Junk foods
Fatty foods, particularly the saturated kind found in pastries, fried foods and processed meats take much longer to digest than carbohydrates or protein. This extra time allows gas to build up, causing bloating.
3. Carbonated drinks
The bubbles contain carbon dioxide, which once ingested, forms pockets of gas within the gut producing wind and belching.
Read how Larina (pictured above) lost 5.4st. by ditching fizzy drinks and fast food here!
4. Artificial sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners cannot be broken down in the stomach, therefore tend to linger in the gut creating a breeding ground for the fermentation of bacteria, leading to production of gas. Common culprits include aspartame, saccharin and sorbitol.
Salt causes your body to retain fluid, contributing to that puffy appearance and extra water weight. The majority of salt is hidden in processed foods, namely condiments, sauces and salad dressings. As always, read the labels.
7 flat belly foods
Fibre-rich oats stay in your stomach for hours which helps to control hunger. Steer clear of instant oats or sugary flavoured varieties. Choose natural rolled oats and sweeten it with yogurt, fruit and cinnamon.
This porridge with coffee syrup from the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge is a great way to start the day!
Almonds are chock full of filling protein and healthy fats which help to curb the appetite and reduce cravings. Try getting your fix with these Almond and Date Protein Balls.
3. Whole grains
Most whole grains are low GI meaning they digest more slowly over time keeping blood sugar levels more stable – this prevents overeating and weight gain. Think rye, spelt, barley, quinoa, oats and brown rice.
Try the Cashew Fried Rice from the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge which uses brown rice for a nourishing dinner in a flash.
Not only are eggs rich in protein, they contain vitamin B12 which helps break down fat cells more effectively. Poached or boiled eggs are a perfect choice for a healthy breakfast.
Check out this recipe for Baked Eggs On Spiced Lentils
5. Beans and legumes
These are packed with appetite-suppressing fibre and protein which keep hunger at bay. Swap a meat-heavy dish for beans or legumes in casseroles, burritos, and pasta dishes a couple of times per week to increase the bulk without the added calories.
Try these family-friendly Brazilian black beans with greens and rice for a simple breakfast, lunch or dinner!
6. Olive oil
One of the keys to reducing fat around your midsection is to focus on eating monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) – a healthy fat which help to keep cholesterol levels under control and satisfy hunger cravings. MUFAs are also found in avocado oil.
7. Oily fish
Apart from being a great source of protein, oily fish such as trout, salmon and tuna contain large amounts of omega-3 essential fatty acids. These fatty acids are less likely to store as body fat help the body process and flush out fats. Aim to eat fish three times a week.
This Soba Noodles with Salmon recipe is a delicious dinner to impress everyone with, but is actually super simple!
A note on food intolerance
Having a food intolerance means you will experience an adverse reaction to certain food components. There are many different types of food that people can be intolerant to but the most common include milk, wheat, and gluten.
If you think you have a food intolerance, then it’s important to get a proper diagnosis from a qualified medical practitioner. Don’t cut food groups out of your diet without medical advice, because you could miss out on important nutrients.
More on the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge
Our 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge is a family-friendly, breastfeeding-safe program designed FOR MUMS to help them improve their health and lose the baby weight.
Every week you are given a different meal plan to follow and each month we add NEW recipes to our Challenge Recipe Hub. That way, you’ll never get bored and stay on weight loss track while digging into healthy, yummy recipes. Some mums also choose to add in Healthy Mummy Smoothies to their meal plans, but it’s totally up to you.
Learn more about our 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge HERE.