I consider myself someone who has a “sensitive stomach”. I tend to get bloated after eating and at the end of the day my stomach looks larger than it does in the morning. I hate this. And I know if you experience the same tummy troubles, you are probably in the same boat as I am. I want to beat bloat…especially with summer poking its head out from around the corner (swimsuit season)! I think my digestive system gets a little wonky…so I set out a few months ago to fix my troubles and pin point the possible causes.
It definitely takes a little bit of trial and error, but I have found some things that REALLY work for me, and hopefully they will work for you too! This is a whole game plan that I follow daily. It isn’t 100% fool proof, BUT it really helps and most days my stomach is calm, my digestion is normal, and the bloat I experience has gone down significantly! At the end of the night, my stomach is still flat and doesn’t hurt like it used to…which is a major win.
Tips to Aid Digestion and Beat Bloat
Lemon Water First Thing
When you are sleeping, your body is in a state of fasting. So, for 8-12 hours (between dinner and breakfast), your body is digesting, detoxing and finally at rest. When you wake up, it is important to also wake up your digestive system instead of immediately eating food (which can sort of be a shock to the system). I have a full glass of room temperature water with lemon when I wake up (after brushing my teeth) before I have my coffee and breakfast. I like to wait about 15-30 minutes before eating when possible so that my digestive system can wake up slowly and get going before I fill my stomach with breakfast. Starting my morning this way helps get everything going…and starts me out on the right foot at the beginning of the day.
Greek Yogurt for Breakfast
If you read my “what I eat in a day” post, you know that I typically eat Greek yogurt for breakfast every day. It is filled with protein and probiotics- the first keeps me full and satisfied, while the latter helps my digestive system run smoothly. I think that probiotics are key to maintaining a healthy stomach and digestive system, so I try to get them as much as I can! The Greek yogurt also has most of the lactose strained out, so it doesn’t bother my stomach at all. I actually find that everything runs more smoothly and my stomach stays flat and bloat free when I start my day with Greek yogurt. I even go to a local market when on vacation so I can make sure I have Greek Yogurts in my hotel room for breakfast or a quick protein/probiotic snack during the day!
So, now that I have already told you how much I love my yogurt for its probiotic benefits, I want to go more into how to get more probiotics- the more the merrier! I wrote a whole post about it here, so check that out for more information! I take a probiotic in pill form daily- every morning after breakfast. Mine are active and live so I keep them in the fridge and take the bottle out with my breakfast so I make sure I remember to take it! Since starting this routine, by digestive health has been beyond better- way less digestive and bloating issues! I think this little pill helps SO much, with very minimal effort (all about that ease!). So incorporating some extra probiotics into your morning routine can make a world of difference.
Up Your Fiber
I am basically obsessed with getting enough fiber. I mean, I wrote a whole post about it because I wanted to share the knowledge and spread the word. Fiber is essential to a healthy diet, weight loss and weight management alike. I aim to get 35-50 grams of fiber per day (I typically hover between 40-45 grams daily). Eating this much fiber helps to keep me full in between meals so I don’t snack as much. It also absorbs some of the fat and calories that you eat and ushers them out of the body, AND it helps keep your digestive system stoked and moving properly. Basically, fiber keeps your bathroom visits regular, normal and frequent (in the best way possible) so you don’t get backed up or gassy…which in turn keeps your digestive track clean and healthy. Keeping all of that clean and healthy keeps you bloat free…AS LONG AS you are drinking enough water! Water is also key- you have to make sure to drink water at every single meal and aim to drink half your body weight in ounces of water a day. That ensure that the fiber is working for you the best way that it can.
NO Fruit with Meals
Have you heard of food combining? If you haven’t, it’s sort of a complicated thing that can be a little overwhelming at first, BUT when I was doing research my biggest takeaway was this: DO NOT eat fruit with animal proteins, after eating proteins or too late in the day. The reason is that proteins take a long time to break down, so if you eat fruit AFTER eating the protein, the fruit will have to sort of wait in line in your stomach to be broken down. Fruit starts to break down quickly and will actually begin to ferment inside your system, which leads to gas and bloating. So if you want to have fruit, make sure you have it first thing in the morning, or in between meals a couple of hours AFTER eating protein to ensure it can be broken down in a timely manner. As for my morning breakfast of choice (greek yogurt and blackberries), I actually find it to be no problem. I think that the yogurt goes through the system faster than actual meat products, so if you find it to be fine, keep doing it like I do! I basically don’t eat any other fruit through the day unless I have a protein smoothie with plant based protein and some blueberries. If I do have any other fruits, I’ll have an orange or an apple a few hours after lunch and that always seems to be fine, as long as I leave enough time between the protein and the fruit. Just put thought into when you eat fruits- it may save you a lot of bloating and discomfort!
Peppermint Oil Drops in Water
This is a practice I have loved for many, many years and I still love it. It is a very simple way to soothe your stomach, calm it down and also freshen our breath in the process. After a meal, I will often put a few drops of peppermint oil in my water bottle to help with digestion. It also helps to relieve built up gas (sorry, gross….but true) if you are already having some tummy troubles. And a nice little side effect is fresh breath! It’s kind of a win win, plus if you add a lemon and cucumber slice…it’s like you have portable spa water anytime you want!
There are SO many reasons you shouldn’t be eating sugar…but one of the most important is that sugar causes internal inflammation. Inflammation in your digestive tract can put everything out of whack and leave you feeling bloated and uncomfortable. I know we all love sugar, but cutting it back significantly will really help ease tummy troubles as well as a slew of other problems. And of course, I already wrote a whole post about sugar- so check it out here! It was one of my very first posts, an OG, so go back and read because it has a lot of good information and crazy facts to scare you straight!
Load up on Ginger
GINGER is the best! I’m sure you know that ginger is an amazing way to aid digestion, but I am going to drill that fact in even more. I love to cook with ginger- it helps aid the digestion process, duh, and makes everything taste amazing…so give that a try. Additionally, I love to put a slice or two of fresh ginger into my tea in the afternoon or at night after dinner to help my system with the digestion process. It tastes yummy too! You get extra points for drinking that ginger tea with a drop or two of peppermint oil….boom!
Basically, anything I can do to help the whole digestion situation, I will do…because, why not?? If it helps beat bloat, and keep your tummy happy, why wouldn’t you try to do it all?
Have a lovely, bloat free weekend babes!