A midsection paunch might be cute for a pregnant woman or an infant, but there are very few – if any – other times in life when it would be considered desirable. For those who are on a never ending battle to beat the belly bulge, there might be one thing overlooked. Often it is not just fat that is causing the problem sitting above the waistline of your pants. Bloating is a major issue that many, many Americans face and it can make a person look and feel heavier than he or she really is. For those who always seem to feel thinnest early in the day, but hate to look in the mirror come late afternoon, it could very well be that bloating is the primary issue.
There are several ways that you can help your body stay in better balance, thereby reducing the chances of a bloated stomach. Here are a few things that you might try in your effort to do so.
First and foremost, avoid constipation. This is the leading cause of bloating and it can make for a very uncomfortable period of time until it corrects itself or you receive treatment. Though a very common disorder, constipation can be avoided with the addition of more fiber to the diet. Most Americans do not consume enough fiber, which comes in many forms. Rather than reaching for white breads or rices, instead choose whole grain varieties, which contain high levels of natural fiber. The same is true for pasta. Fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, and seeds all come power packed with fiber as well.
Another great thing that you can do for yourself to defend against this problem and to better your overall well being is to slow down during meals. So often, in this country, meals are not regarded highly. People squeeze them in between other, more pressing matters. This causes them to eat too quickly, swallow air, and, often, eat too much. All of this equates to an uncomfortable midsection afterward. If you are having trouble with bloating, then it might be time to set the table, turn off the television, cell phone, and computer, and enjoy the time spent savoring your food.
Other people find that this problem had become a constant companion. When this is the case, it might be time to consider the amount of bubbly liquid consumed each day. Soda is a major contributor to bloating and when a person decides to opt away from it, the condition often improves significantly. Remember, bubbles in the bottle equal bubbles in the belly.
Similarly, another common habit former is also a big player in belly bulge. Chewing gum, which is enjoyable and can actually help for those trying to cut food cravings and lose weight, is, unfortunately, also a cause of bloating. This is due to the fact that chewing often forces the body to swallow air. When this happens, bubbles form and the stomach is put under pressure. Therefore it expands. So, if you are a frequent chewer and also suffering from bloating, then it might be time to give up one to get rid of the other. It could also be the fake sweetener in the gum that is causing issues. Often the sugar-free sweeteners are actually derived from sugar alcohol and too much of this can cause upset stomach in many people. These are found in gum, beverages, and most products labeled ‘Sugar Free’.
As a final note, you don’t have to sabotage your diet in order to rid yourself of gas and bloating. Many people are quick to cut out beans and leafy greens, which are known offenders, but these ingredients shouldn’t be ruled out completely. They are very beneficial to health in other ways. So rather than saying goodbye, simply start introducing them more slowly. In other words, if you don’t eat beans frequently and then you sit down to a meal of three bean stew, you will likely have trouble. However, if you eat a very small amount of beans each day for a period of time, your body will adjust to them and they will no longer cause the upset.
When all else fails, reach for stomach soothers, such as peppermint and ginger. These will quell the problem for the short term until you can figure out how to eliminate it.