Gut problems, hormonal imbalance (Premenstrual syndrome, peri-menopause, menopause, and postmenopause), sedentary lifestyle, stress, poor diet, and other health issues can cause bloating or abdominal distension (accumulation of gas and fluid in the abdominal area). Mild to serious cases can be managed by practicing healthy these effective lifestyle habits.
Ensure proper hydration
Proper hydration should always be a part of your lifestyle checklist. Having the right amount and quality of fluid in your body can improve your energy level and overall health. Dehydration can interfere with your daily functioning – you can get headaches, feel weak, find it hard to mentally focus on tasks, and can also lead to bloating due to constipation and hormonal imbalance. If your urine is light and clear, that means you are well-hydrated. You need to drink more water if your urine is dark.
Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day to make sure that the cells and organs in your body are working correctly. You need more water if you move more (and sweat more), if the weather is hot if you are adding more fiber to your diet, and if you drink coffee and alcohol. You can use a water bottle during the day and aim to finish at least 2 liters (8 glasses) of water by the end of the day.
To optimize your workout performance, drink a glass of water (8 ounces or 250 ml) 20 to 30 minutes before, 7 to 10 ounces every 10 to 20 minutes during (would depend on the weather and intensity of your workout), and another glass within 30 minutes after your workout. You can regulate your heart rate, and avoid palpitations during an intense workout such as running or cycling by practicing proper hydration.
Manage your sodium intake
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that people consume less than 2000 mg or 5 grams (less than a tsp) of salt per day to avoid these diseases. High intake of sodium can cause hypertension (high blood pressure) that contributes to stroke and heart failure. If you have high blood pressure, limit sodium intake to less than 1500 mg per day.
You can instantly bloat and gain a pound or two from eating Chinese foods and instant noodles with seasonings as a result of water retention. Weight gain from salt is temporary and can be managed by sweating out the excess fluid the next day and resuming healthy eating, However, too high-sodium and high-fat or high-calorie foods such as sausage, chips, and deep-fried salty foods can increase your body fat weight.
Here’s how you can control your daily sodium intake:
Check the sodium content of foods per serving by reading the nutrition labels. Choose food products with less than 350 mg of sodium per serving.
Avoid putting using too many condiments and sauces in your food such as soy sauce (1 tsp = 300 mg sodium), fish sauce, barbecue sauce, ketchup, and teriyaki sauce. Limit to 1 tsp or less per meal to add flavor to your dishes. You can also buy low-sodium alternatives in the supermarket or choose more natural ingredients such as cumin, curry, turmeric, oregano, thyme, basil, and coriander.
When you eat out, just have a third of the soup serving if you will eat Ramen, Laksa, and Tom Yum noodle soups. Try to create your soups or broths at home using natural ingredients using chicken or beef with celery, carrot, and onion.
As much as possible from high-fat and high sodium fast foods such as deep-fried breaded chicken (you can remove the skin), pizza (fully loaded with cheese, pepperoni, and bacon), and sandwiches loaded with cold cuts.
Refrain from buying canned foods such as corned beef, meatloaf, and sausage, and processed foods such as bacon, hotdog, and ham.
Limit salty and fatty salad dressings to less than 2 tbsp per meal.
Observe how your body reacts to certain foods, then manage your eating according to your condition
Your body needs the right amount of water and fiber to ensure proper digestion. Consume healthy carbohydrates on a daily basis so you can get the right amount of fiber (20-25 grams for women and up to 38 grams for men) that your body needs to ensure proper digestion. Lack of fiber can lead to gut problems such as constipation, bloating, heart problems, and a low immune system. But having too much fiber without proper hydration can also lead to constipation (that leads to bloating) and diarrhea. That’s why you really need to recognize how your body reacts to excessive consumption of high-fiber foods such as beans, fruits, and vegetables so you can balance your eating.
Bloating can easily occur even if you regularly consume healthy foods. This happens if you have allergies or food intolerances. If you are lactose intolerant, you can experience abdominal bloating due to the increase of water and gas in your digestive system after consuming dairy products such as yogurt, cheese, and milk. Avoid foods containing gluten (the protein found in grains such as wheat and rye) such as bread, pasta, and cereals if you have celiac disease (gluten sensitivity). You can get gluten-free grains in healthy food stores and supermarkets. Other digestive health issues such as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) that cause abdominal bloating should be addressed by digestive health specialists for complete health management.
Aside from practicing proper hydration, active living, and eating healthy foods such as fruits, wholesome grains, and vegetables at the right time, you also need to increase the good bacteria in your body to manage to bloat and improve your gut health on a long-term basis by taking probiotic foods (yogurt, pickles, kimchi) and drinks (kombucha and kefir).
Manage your stress
Stress can disrupt your balance, and affect your hormones and energy level, which can result in weight gain and abdominal bloating because cortisol, the stress hormone can attract more fat cells in the abdominal area.
Manage or prevent stress and daily hassles. Discover what can effectively work well for you -try to get a good quality sleep (7 to 8 hours) meditate, have fun, move more and be with the most positive people that you know.
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