Non Diet Ways To Tackle Your Bloating
If you’re struggling with that post-festive bloat, and not sure where to begin, start with lifestyle advice first! Cutting out and swapping out foods can be daunting, but adding in a few non-diet habits to your day to day can be easy, often free and a quick and simple way to reduce the bloat!
Read on for some lifestyle and supplement tips that will help to subside your bloated belly and get you back to feeling your best…
Going for a gentle walk can help to stimulate the digestive system and get things moving!
This movement can increase the motility of your intestiens, which can also reduce the time your stool sits inside of you, forming gas. Exercise increases heart and respiratory rates, which increases blood flow to the gut, encouraging your bowel muscles to work harder to move stool through the body. Aim to walk for a minimum of 20 minutes daily.
Foam rolling can help to enhance the body’s circulation, whilst also calming and regulating the nervous system. It works to relieve bloating as it incorporates inversions, twists and self-massage, which can release gas and put pressure on the intestines to help with movement.
For consistent relief try foam rolling a few times per week, even just 5-10 minutes can make a difference. My favourite foam roller is available here
If you can’t quite face getting your sweat on, a gentle yoga stretch may work to soothe your stomach.
Yoga stretches and the body awareness that comes with them can enhance circulation in and around the intestines. Stretches that target the abdominal organs, and twists that help to massage and stimulate the colon, can also help to relieve gas, bloating and constipation.
Abdominal massage may help to release gas and promote improved digestion, and can be especially helpful if you are suffering with constipation, bloating and sluggish digestion. Massaging your stomach can aid to move stool along the colon, which can help to improve digestion function.
One study found that those who had a 15 minute abdominal massage, twice a day for three days, had lower levels of bloating. They also experienced improvements in anxiety, depression and well-being too. (1)
Health experts at the university of Michigan have published a step-by-step guide on abdominal self massage, and it’s much easier than you think:
Massaging the abdomen is safe for the majority of people but just ensure it is done at a gentle pressure. Avoid any form of abdominal massage if you have recently had surgery, have any health concerns or are pregnant. It is also best to avoid eating a heavy meal or any spicy foods 2-3 hours pre massage.
POST MEAL RELAXATION
When it comes to a quick fix, natural diuretics can help. Think dandelion tea or tinctures, and ending meals with peppermint or fresh ginger tea to allow for proper digestion. Use time after meals to relax and focus on breathing and relaxation. And as tempting as it may be to curl up on the sofa after dinner, the food you just ingested which has made its way through the oesophagus and to the entrance of the stomach, could make its way backwards. This can cause a reverse in the natural flow of breaking down your food, which can result in bloating and acid reflux.
It’s also key to wait 2-3 hours before going to bed after eating to ensure your food is thoroughly digested. One study found better outcomes when participants waited at least 3 hours before hitting the hay, and even more benefits by holding out for 4 hours. (2)
HUMMING AND SINGING
Might sound a bit funny (and you might feel a bit funny) but singing and humming are great tools for calming the digestive system. Our vagus nerve, which is one of the main ways we send signals between the brain and the gut, is calmed by vibrations from humming and singing. So if you notice you get bloated or digestive symptoms when you are stressed, pick your favourite song and belt out a few words, or even humming along to a tune can work wonders.
If you are suffering from incomplete or infrequent bowel movements, magnesium might be your new go to! Magnesium, a wonderful mineral, can be really helpful to get things moving without the harsh effects of a laxative. Specifically, magnesium citrate can help to soften bowel movements making them easier to pass.
If you know you have a particularly large meal coming up, a digestive enzyme might be the helping hand you need.
We naturally produce digestive enzymes, which are critical for helping us break down food into its nutritional components in the gastrointestinal tract. When we don’t produce enough digestive enzymes (thanks to stress, ibs, ageing, smoking and more) we may end up having partially undigested food which can sit in the gut for longer than it should and lead to fermentation.
Taking a natural digestive enzyme supplement as you start eating can help when it comes to digesting sugar, fat and protein, which can result in reduced bloating, diarrhoea and stomach pain. I like Digestzymes by Designs for Health available here.
If your bloating seems to be a never-ending vicious cycle that you want to work on, there is no better time to prioritise your gut health than JANUARY…
I have clinic spaces available for my GUT HEALTH package where we delve into all your bloating and digestive discomfort needs. Book a free call with me to talk you through how I work at https://clarissalenherr.com/book-a-discovery-call/