Bloating is a widespread epidemic that many women suffer from on a daily basis. Not only is it annoying, but it usually means our body isn't processing or digesting food properly. I work out at least four days a week and have a relatively healthy diet, but despite my efforts, I still felt perpetually bloated and uncomfortable. Feeling frustrated and hopeless, I asked my trainer what else I could do to get rid of this annoying feeling. I made three small tweaks to my daily diet and lost five pounds in one week, eliminating the endless bloat I felt. Here's how I did it.
I Drank Lots of Water
When my trainer told me to drink a gallon of water a day, I thought he was crazy. I told him there was no way my body could even manage that amount of water. I thought for sure downing a gallon of water would only make me feel more bloated. Despite my griping, he told me to give it a try, so I did. To be honest, I did feel a little more bloated for the first day or two, but per his instructions, I was patient. After a week, to my surprise, it actually worked. Don't get me wrong, though, I had to pee a lot.
Drinking a gallon of water a day allowed me to flush out all the excess salt and sugar in my system that was already making me bloated. After the first week, I didn't have to continue my gallon a day challenge, but I do still aim to drink about 128 ounces of water a day. Not only does water help regulate your system, but it also manages hunger.
I Added Fiber to My Diet
My next task was to add fiber into my diet, ideally into every meal. So I added ground flax seeds to my morning oatmeal and various veggies throughout the day like celery. I work a desk job, so I munch on celery a lot when I'm hungry between meals. These fiber-enriched foods are also low in calories, making me feel fuller for longer.
Fiber helped my bloating because I wasn't overeating, so I was eliminating extra calories, also contributing to weight loss. It also helps with constipation, which can cause gas and bloating. The weird thing is that your body can't actually digest fiber, so when you eat it, your body is working harder and you're actually burning more calories than the calories in the food itself.
I Cut Back on Sugar
This task was probably the hardest one on my list. I love to put copious amounts of cream and sugar in my coffee to start off my day. I also work in an office setting so someone usually has a sugary treat that I can't pass up. This was part of my problem, though, so getting rid of those "treats" was necessary. Don't get me wrong, I didn't go crazy and eliminate every source of sugar in my diet – just refined sugar. A lot of foods naturally have some sugar in them, and that's OK, but my days of drinking sugar-infused coffee and soda were over. Hello, black coffee.
Cutting back on my sugar intake would make sure I didn't undo the damage that I worked so hard to correct. I didn't want any more unnecessary sugar sitting in my system making me feel bloated. Honestly, the more I cut sugar out, the less I craved it. Soon enough, if I had sugary coffee, it was actually too much for me. I preferred black.
Bloating is different for everyone, and what worked for me may not work for you. It takes practice and patience to figure out how your body responds to certain foods. I get it, sometimes you just want to throw your hands up in the air and give up – don't, though. Just keep going until you find what's right.