Monday, March 25, 2013

Banish the Bloat: Surprising Reasons Why Your Jeans Won’t Zip

Nothing is worse than being three beers away from the Good Year Blimp.  Or a large fry from an unnamed fast food chain.  What really is behind foods that keep us sporting abs or reaching for a parka?

1. Slow down.  Fast eaters (myself included) suck down a lot more air than those that leisurely pick at their meals.  Other culprits include: chewing gum, smoking, carbonated beverages, and large meals.
2. Don’t be a pill.  Steroids, birth control are some offenders when it comes to bloating.  If you are on a new prescription and realize that you’re feeling bloated, talk to your doctor about switching to something else.  Never stop a medication cold turkey.  Let them know if you’ve changed your diet as well.
3. Potassium-rich foods: avocados, celery, vegetables, fresh unprocessed foods are key to beating puffiness from extra salt in processed foods.
4. Get on the wagon.  Skip that extra beer, cocktail, or lovely glass of wine at happy hour or dinner.  Alcohol keeps the body from digesting foods properly.   If you must imbibe, make like the Russians and stick to vodka.  It has little fructose and little sugar.
5. Be a little more sensitive and try an elimination diet.   Some people have intolerances to the lactose in dairy products, gluten in bread, cereals, and grains, or just don’t digest the fructose or fruit sugar in fruit.  EA Stewart, RD-Nutritionist was quoted in the March 2013 issue of Allure magazine as stating, “you’re trying to eat healthily, but it ultimately backfires by causing these symptoms” when it comes to fructose.  She will put her clients on a diet that is free from fructose, lactose, and omit certain fruits/vegetables and even wheat.  I’ve never heard of many RDs on the gluten sensitivity but am starting to take greater notice and interest from colleagues who find success from elimination diets.
6. Try cutting the following things: sugar free foods, high fat and fried foods, and ditch extra bread and/or carbs.  Sugar-free foods have sugar alcohols that don’t digest well, fat is hard for the intestines to break down, and think about the last time you ate at the Olive Garden?  Did you need the 2 bread sticks with the super-size order of pasta, with the extra croutons on the salad?  A big, carb-laden meal like that sends all the fluids to the stomach and gut to break down…and makes it hard to zip up after!