If your body cannot adequately break down your food, guess what happens? Large, unbroken and undigested food particles hit your small intestines and create gas and bloating.

They then move further through the digestive tract and meet up with your gut flora… the bacteria that live in your GI tract and the do what bacteria do: fermentation of large molecules and guess what fermentation? Gas.

If your enzyme production is insufficient, you can’t break down or absorb protein, fat or carbohydrates properly which leads to digestive issues.

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– Do you feel sluggish and bloated?
– Does your hair and skin look dull and lifeless?
– Is your waistband a little too tight for comfort?

There are four areas to look at when beating the bloat

1. The food you are eating

Wheat products (pasta, bread, beer, biscuits, etc), milk, sugar and artificial sweeteners, gums/thickeners, whey protein powders and protein bars

2. Your body’s ability to digest the food you are eating

The body needs to break down the macronutrients of protein, fat and carbohydrate into smaller building-blocks of amino acids, fatty acids and starches/sugars through the use of stomach acid, digestive enzymes and bile. The body uses these to break down your food into teensy-weensy particles so they can be absorbed into your body.

If your stomach acid, digestive enzymes or bile are low then your body cannot adequately break down your food, and guess what happens to large, unbroken/undigested food particles – they create gas and bloating.

3. Bacterial Overgrowth/Dysbiosis

If your digestive system is in some way compromised and you have some form of bacterial overgrowth such as Candida, or dysbiosis (imbalance of good bacteria and bad bacteria), or SIBO, or an inflammatory bowel disease such as IBD (inflammatory bowel disease), colitis or leaky gut… there will be gas, you are also likely to have low stomach acid, enzymes and bile with any of these issues.

4. Stress

Stress plays a major role in the health of our gut. There has been evidence to suggest that gut flora may respond directly to stress – chronic stress can change the diversity of the gut flora and the quality and health of friendly gut bacteria and can also affect our gut motility, our ability to digest and breakdown our food, if this is compromised it can lead to gas and bloating.

holiday bloating_2Eat with caution

Take it easy on the veggies – some vegetables (and fruits) are quite high in insoluble fibre, and can cause bloating:
– Bell peppers
– Eggplant
– Celery
– Onions, shallots, leeks, scallions, garlic
– Cabbage, bok choy, Brussels sprouts
– Broccoli
– Cauliflower

TLC for your digestive system

– Increase digestive ability using supplemental digestive enzymes
– Take a high quality, multi-species probiotic: repopulate beneficial bacteria, boosts immunity and can alleviate bloating
– Treat any parasites that may be present
– Take steps to manage your stress

It is vital to take great quality supplements that are food based and manufactured to the highest pharmaceutical grade standard, particularly if you suffer from bloating as some supplements can make the bloating worse.

Flaxseeds: flaxseeds have fibre and omega 3 fats that will keep you regular and help to reduce bloating – two tablespoons a day in smoothies or soup

Lemon Water: 1/2 a freshly squeezed lemon in warm water first thing in the morning contains B Vitamins and Vitamin C to help flush the system and reduce bloating

Apple Cider Vinegar: a tablespoon in a glass of water 15 minutes before eating can help to simulate the digestive juices and reduce bloating

Eat Slowly and Chew your food: chewing your food is the first part of the digestive process, if you eat on the run and gobble down large portions you are putting added stress on your digestion which can lead to bloating.

Acupuncture / Massage: both therapies can target the digestive channels, reduce inflammation and boost the absorption from nutrients and reduce gas and bloating.

Cleanse: A natural and organic herbal cleanse can help to remove toxins and re-boot the digestive system.

Follow the easy steps above, you can try them all or try at least one or two and you can be sure to beat the holiday bloat.

Connect with Expert Kerry Madgwick

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