Five Tips to Prevent & Reduce Bloating
Bloating is a very common occurrence, whether we lead a healthy lifestyle, have a balanced relationship with food or neither. I experience the most bloating and gaseous discomfort when I move very little, especially when I’ve been sitting at my desk for too long.
These tips are not just going to be of help to those who are desk-bound, but to anyone who may experience the discomfort of a bloated stomach.
1. Don’t eat too close to bed time
Some of us have heard our parents say this time and time again, and it’s true! Going to sleep and being in a laid down position while you’re still digesting prevents proper digestion. Having scheduled meals will mitigate late night hunger and intermittent fasting is a great way to discipline yourself so that you have an eating time window.
2. Don’t sit for too long
Sitting causes a lot of compression on your stomach, especially when you may be still digesting. Move around and go for a short walk after you eat. Even some interactive health devices notify you to stand up after every 30 minutes.
3. Avoid consuming foods you have an allergy or low tolerance to
This is quite obvious as your body typically reacts to foods like this in a fairly immediate and harsh way. It’s so important to reflect on what you eat and how it affects you, physically and mentally, whether it causes bloating or any other symptoms.
4. Cat/cow stretches
I’ve found that stretching at my desk and doing some slow-paced belly dancing helps get rid of any gastrointestinal pain or discomfort. My favourite is moving in a cat/cow position, which I’ve demonstrated in the photos below. Move your upper body by arching and jinxing your back. It helps to engage your core as you do this for about three repetitions.
5. Seek out the advice of a medical professional
This should most definitely be the first thing you do when your bloating continues for more than a day or you feel abnormal pain. It’s always important to rule out any serious conditions. I’ve learned a little recently about IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and how a low FODMAP (fermentable oligo-, di-, mono-saccharides and polyols (1)) diet is key to treating an IBS diagnosis. Sticking to a low FODMAP diet is beneficial for anyone and everyone as these types of carbs trigger digestive discomfort such as bloating, has and stomach pains.
I hope my few tips will help you have a healthier gut and a flatter stomach!
All photos were taken by Jason Meng Photography.