Beat The Bloat: Expert Flat Tum Tips

Hate your bulging tum? Maybe it’s not weight loss you need – maybe you simply need to beat the bloat.

Millions of women unnecessarily suffer from tight waistbands because of bloating and poor digestion.

There are some effective and really simple things you can do to beat the bloat and get your digestive system in tip-top shape, so you’ll look trimmer. Dietician Nigel Denby explains all…

1 Hold the sprouts, the garlic and the beans

The aim is to cut out “fermentable” fruit and veggies that can cause bloating. Still aim for five a day, but go for choices that are easier to digest…

Mediterranean veg such as aubergines, courgettes, tomatoes and peppers are fine – but hold the onions and garlic. Spinach, carrots and potatoes are all great, but steer clear of broccoli, sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and leeks.

With fruit, stick to melons, berries (not blackberries), soft fruits (not peaches), and bananas. For a comprehensive list of foods to avoid, go to ibsdiets.org/fodmap-diet

It’s also worth avoiding pulses like beans and lentils for a while, too – they contain a type of carbohydrate that many struggle to digest.

Wheat can also be a problem for some, so go for spelt bread or a gluten-free option such as Woolworths Gluten Free Bread for a while to see if it helps. Try grains like oats, quinoa, polenta and rice. Buckwheat is fine too, as it’s a fruit seed, and doesn’t contain gluten.

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2 Try a supplement

If your gut bacteria is out of sync and you have gas build-up, try a probiotic like Fithealth Super Acidophilus, from R124,95 for 30 capsules, Dis-Chem.

A charcoal supplement such as NutriLife Activated Charcoal, R52,99 for 60 capsules, Wellness Warehouse, can also help lessen it.

3 Rehydrate to regulate

You need to drink plenty of fluid to beat the bloats. This will help the fibre in your food do its job. Aim for around six to eight glasses of water or diluted fruit juice, tea, coffee or low-fat milk daily.

Try to steer clear of fizzy drinks… and you’ll probably notice that your bloating and constipation improve. Cider, beer and fizzy drink mixers are the biggest culprits due to the gas they contain.

Some people find that wine can cause bloating and reddening of the face, too.

Experts don’t know exactly why this happens, but suffice to say that if it bothers you, keep off the Cab Sav for a while.

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4 Love your tummy

Talking while you eat, drinking through a straw or from a sports bottle, chewing gum, and eating on the run all force air to enter the digestive tract.

Once it’s in there, it can get trapped, causing your tummy to expand and bloat, so try to slow down, and don’t talk with your mouth full! Gentle night-time tummy massage can help relax your gut and promote natural, nocturnal digestion.

Lightly massage your tummy in a circular, clockwise direction for five minutes before you go to sleep.

5 Ditch the fizzy drinks

If you drink two or more cans of fizzy drinks a day, try swapping to tap water flavoured with a little fruit juice, or chamomile and peppermint teas, which are soothing for a bloated tummy.

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DISCLAIMER: Before starting any diet, you should speak to your doctor. You must not rely on the information on this website/newsletter as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.

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