With the festive season now upon us, more events are popping up, and I know first-hand how horrible it feels when it’s the day of – and you suddenly feel 9 months pregnant in your beautiful outfit. Or, maybe you purposely choose extremely loose-fitting dresses, or pants with buttons to adjust because of your bloating? I was there for years and it wasn’t fun. It doesn’t have to be like this.
Hi, I’m Bec Miller, a clinical nutritionist, weight loss, and gut health specialist, and a massive foodie! I would love to share with you my top tips to prevent the dreaded bloating this holiday season to ensure you feel confident day in and day out.
Kiss The Dreaded Bloating Goodbye
Start with your mind!
It’s connected to your gut…Heard about the gut-brain connection? It’s not a joke. Anxiety is linked to bloating and digestive complaints and vice versa. The gastrointestinal tract is extremely sensitive to emotions, anger, and anxiety – all of these feelings (and others) can trigger symptoms in the gut. This is especially true in people who experience gastrointestinal upsets with no obvious physical reason. Or, are you someone that tends to be fairly consistent with your diet and don’t often get symptoms, but then randomly seem to flare up on the day of your events? Perhaps you get a little excited, nervous, and antsy? This could be a sign that your emotions are getting the better of you. So, on these days, be sure to up your “de-stressing” practices such as:
Exercise in the morning
Meditation before you start getting ready
Supplementing with magnesium if you’re not already
Trying out supplementing with adaptogens and/or CBD oil
It all helps, and it’s far more common than most realize!
Avoid any food sensitivities or intolerances that could contribute to your bloating
If you’re aware of your food sensitivities or intolerances – be extra strict about avoiding them in the 3-4 days leading up. For me, it’s gluten, eggs, dairy, and all grains. Since I discovered my food sensitives 7 years ago, it’s honestly been life-changing and I hardly ever bloat. If you know yours too, be strict! It’s so worth it.
Don’t know yours? In my 5-6 years of practice, gluten and dairy have been the most common food sensitives for women with bloating concerns – so you could start there and see if that helps. If you need inspiration and all of the guesswork taken out here, all of the recipes and meal plans on my website are a great start!
Some women also have FODMAP intolerances – so if this is you, avoid it! These foods are:
wheat, barley, and rye-based bread
Avoid these specific healthy foods (they’re gas-forming and known to cause bloating)
In the 24 hours leading up to the event – avoid these specific healthy foods that you may consume regularly! These vegetables, legumes, and grains below are extremely healthy, and there’s nothing wrong with them – they’re just very gas forming as they contain a compound called raffinose – which is hard to break down and can often cause a lot of gas! So, it’s best to avoid them to be safe. They are:
Beans (ie lima, black, cannellini, kidney)
Peas (ie chickpeas)
Wheat and other whole grains such as wheat, barley, and rye.
Avoid sugar alcohols and fizzy drinks.
The easiest and safest way to avoid sugar alcohols and added nasties that may cause gas is just to aim to consume foods that DON’T come in a package in the first place! But, sugar alcohols are found in most sugar-free lollies, gum, and drinks. It’s also super important to steer clear of the fizzy/carbonated drinks because… gas in the drinks –> gas in your gut!
So, we’ve gone through what to avoid and watch out for, but what should you opt for to be extra safe that bloating won’t hit?
I would go for homemade meals that are made with:
Vegetables that are lower in gas-forming fiber such as spinach, kale, lettuce, capsicum, cucumber, cooked carrot, zucchini, bok choy, green string beans, tomatoes, and fennel
Proteins such as eggs, tofu, chicken, tuna, beef, and fish (but make sure they’re plain – remember, marinades can have sneaky ingredients that may cause bloating)
Hard cheeses (unless very sensitive to dairy)
Avocado and olive oil
Fresh fruits (but stick to 1 cup) such as berries, rockmelon, pineapple, and kiwi fruit. Apples and pears often cause gas in women.
I hope this helps you. And, if you’re serious about getting to the bottom of your bloating concerns, please check out my meal plan eBooks which are helping thousands of women around the world who have “tried it all” slim down and lose the bloat – without the hunger and guesswork!