Got a big party or night out coming up? Follow our top tips to prevent bloating and get a flatter stomach so you can feel your best in that dress......
EAT REGULAR MEALS THROUGHOUT THE DAY
You might think that your stomach will flatten if you skip a meal. But you would be wrong! Irregular eating can cause a build up of gas, causing bloating. Regular mealtimes keep the gut moving, and increases good digestion.
KEEP EATING FIBRE RICH FOODS
At a time when mince pies and chocolate are everywhere and vegetables seem to be long forgotten, keep your fibre content high. This will ensure regular bowel habits that will keep everything moving and prevent trapped wind from constipation.
AVOID HIGH FAT PROCESSED FOOD
Our bodies find it more difficult to digest high fat processed foods like take-away curry, pizza, chocolate and cake, which in turn can cause stomach pain and upset stomach, resulting in bloating. Keep meals balanced with a healthy portion of vegetables or salad with every meal.
DONT CHEW GUM
Most chewing gum contains sweetners, which is often poorly absorbed by the stomach therefore leading to a higher chance of bloating. But also, chewing creates a signal to your stomach that it's about to receive food, triggering a release of enzymes and stomach acids that, unless you actually eat, can cause stomach gas and bloating.
GO FOR A WALK
Moderate aerobic exercise, even a brisk walk, can be very effective at preventing bloating by lowering stress levels which can cause symptoms similar to IBS. Exercise helps to speed up the passage of gas through the digestive tract and so aim to walk for at least 15 minutes, several times daily, to give your digestive system time to respond.
DRINK PEPPERMINT TEA
You might fancy a quick coffee to perk you up, but this is not a good idea. Caffeine stimulates the nervous system around the bowel, adding to bloating and so if you are prone to bloating this can aggravate it. Instead look out for peppermint tea which researchers have found can reduce stomach distention and help to prevent bloating symptoms.
MAKE TIME TO RELAX
Easier said than done at this time of year. However, for some people, stress plays a big part in gastrointestinal discomfort. Stress triggers hormone changes in the body that are part of the fight or flight response, and these aggravate the nervous system. If your gut is hyper-sensitive, this can cause stomach bloating and pain. Take time to relax, especially just before you eat your food. And be sure to eat without distraction from work, phone calls, and other daily tasks that can lead to poor digestion and bloating.