Bloating, water weight, and that swollen, shitty heavy feeling is bad for our self esteem, our capacity to be active, and managing our daily nutrition and diet. It visits some of us once a month, and loads of us way more frequently than that. In fact, it's something that almost all my patients complain of at some point. Modern diets, harmful bacterial overgrowths in the gut, environmental pollutants, STRESS (be it emotional or physical), and poor food choices can be key players.
Water is key to all our body functions and makes up 60%+ of our body weight, so in some ways its kinda odd that water retention (aka edema) is such a hassle to sort out. It is usually harmless (although anything that can be such a fun stopper is in my eyes pretty harmful...), but can also occur due to liver, heart and kidney conditions that require medical attention, so the below tips are for otherwise healthy people who wish to flush that excess H20 and lighten up.
First thing- Sleep! Refreshing, deep, proper REM sleep both requires sufficient water, and helps regulate hydration in the body via it's role in parasympathetic nervous activity. So getting your 8 hours and keeping fluids up during the day is important - sleep hygiene and water homeostasis require each other!
Also, exercise & stress management! Which tend to go hand in hand too. Keeping your body active is good for overall physiology and stress management. Stress hormones like cortisol can have a domino effect on other hormones, including antidiuretic hormone which affects water homeostasis. So get up, out and active, put your worries aside, and your body will be better equipped to let go of bloat.
Minerals! Avoiding salt altogether is old (and NQR) advice, but avoiding poor quality table salt is not a bad idea. Keeping your electrolytes up by including rock and (naturally) high mineral salts in your diet (think pink salt or a nice black salt from a health food store), coconut water, and a balanced diet loaded with fresh veg promotes healthy water passage between cells.
Drinking more water! Ironically, ensuring hydration of all your body cells can reduce bloating and uncalled for water retention. When you are dehydrated your body can try to compensate in all the wrong areas and hold on to water. Drinking dandelion tea is a doubly beneficial way to get more water in and reduce bloating. If you're not sure about your hydration levels- check you pee! You want clear to pale clear yellow ;)
And not surprisingly, cutting carbs helps! The body stores excess carbs that aren't used for energy as glycogen, and these stores of glycogen tend to act like magnets for water. This is one of the mechanisms by which people lose weight pretty quick when taking carbs and sugars out of their diet.
Of course we are all biochemically a little different and have other things going on in and around us which might be contributing to pain-in-the-abdomen-and-life bloat. Microbiome diversity issues, foods fermenting in the gut, and other complications can require a more specialised approach. A tailored nutrition plan which considers your unique health picture can help you get back on track, and give you once-and-for-all techniques to banish that swollen belly.
Book an online (or face-to-face, if in Bali) consult today to find out how you can banish bloat and reveal those abs that are just dying to get out.