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Feeling Bloated

The quickest way to ditch the pooch is to improve your gut.

Being in my late 50’s I have been down that road of belly pooch, the uncomfortable feeling of my pants fitting tight in the waist. Uggh. The shift in body weight or the feeling of my skin not being as tight as I would like it could be. We all at times fall behind on our goals and habits, so how do you get those habits back on track? There are many ideas and books that have great information about how to do this. The best thing is to start small, have a trigger that will help you to be reminded of that new habit you want to create as mentioned in Atomic Habits. Try your best to allocate a time that you are going to do this new habit on a daily basis and mentally tell yourself that you are going to do this everyday (if that is the intention of your new habit). In regards to the belly pooch, you can start with something simple, like having warm water with lemon every morning after you rise and before you do any type of morning exercise or stretching. By doing this you are stimulating your digestive track for elimination. FYI: know your limits on fluid intake before heading out for your walk, if that is part of your morning routine :-). After you have established consistency with that new habit, move on to the next habit of finishing 40 oz -60oz of water before 2pm each day. This will allow your body to flush your system and keep things moving. You can later progress to drinking a minimum of half your body weight in water, caffeinated drinks or shakes are not included. Then you move onto a bigger habit of getting rid of things that can cause bloating such as sugar substitutes like sorbitol, xylitol, and mannitol found in sugar-free products which can be difficult to digest, leading to bloating. Be sure to read your labels on items that are sugar free, I also want to mention that sugar substitutes can also increase your desire to have sugar because many times they are actually more sweet than regular cane sugar. Be mindful of that : “do I really need it sweet”. I have been using natural fruit drinks in my tea to make them taste sweet, or a slice of pineapple. If you do need a sweetener try monk fruit sweetener, maple syrup or agave where you will use less and not get the bloated feeling.

There are many other things that can cause bloating issues and they can begin with your digestive system. Consuming large portions of food in one sitting can put a strain on your digestive system and lead to bloating. This is where having small meals in your day can benefit your digestive tract. Buildup of gas in your digestive system, often caused by swallowing air, certain foods, or bacterial fermentation, can result in bloating. Slowing your eating and being mindful of chewing with your mouth closed may help.

There are some people who are sensitive or have issues with certain foods, such as lactose or gluten such as powdered butter and powdered milk can even cause an issue. Even a small amount may cause bloating and other digestive discomfort. Remember to read labels thoroughly since things can be hidden in the ingredients. You also may want to limit the amount of fizzy drinks, because they can introduce air into your digestive system, leading to bloating. Fun fact they should also be avoided when flying for a long period of time: “Avoid carbonated beverages in flight. The bubbles in your club soda are carbon dioxide gas. This too may expand in the digestive tract during flight, causing more discomfort and distension than usual. Stick to flat drinks if in-flight bloating is an issue for you.” (By Tamara Duker Freuman, MS, RD, CDN Jan. 17, 2019.

A final note, hormonal changes can also affect your gut/pooch, so it is important to get your estrogen and progesterone levels checked with your doctor annually to be sure that you're in the right range. Along with hormones a few other tests I recommend are gut health and food sensitivity tests. This will help weed out any allergies to food or microbiome concerns.

I hope you found this article helpful, if your interested in finding out more about how you can fix your gut health, see the links below for my website and DM .

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