Father Christmas was not quite the look we were going for, yet here we are – a common cry amongst us all. Not to play favourites here, nor discriminate against our male clientele, but allow us to preface, how in the fuck do men avoid abdominal bloating? Yes, some sport that beloved beer gut vibe, but we’re talking the, ‘I just ate a salad that was showered in chickpeas and now I am the size of a house’ type feeling.
Let us talk nerdy to you.
Abdominal bloating is commonly linked to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) which is accompanied by a plethora of unfriendly symptoms i.e. bloating, flatulence (gas), abdominal cramping, diarrhea, and constipation – what a time, and never timely. Some may experience some or all of the above unpleasantries. This is due to gastrointestinal upset which can be attributed to an unfortunate diet, poor gut health, stress, food intolerances, or allergies.
Research suggests that IBS is more common in women than men as a result of our genetic build, sex hormones, and women experiencing higher levels of stress, fatigue, and depression, all of which are contributing factors to IBS. We know, how sexist, but we just give so many more fucks than them.
Ladies, it must also be mentioned that bloating can also be endorsed by our menstrual cycle. Different stages of the month can impact our bodies and this can differ from woman to woman but can be most prevalent during ovulation, the week before Flo makes her debut, and/or day 1 and 2 of your cycle. In a nutshell, pretty much three weeks out of the month. Oh, the perks of being a female. This, however, is not ‘normal’ per say but a common symptom amongst a lot of women.
How to de-bloat.
Pasta La Vista
The word around town is that high GI carbs are the main trigger for all of our bloating woes. Those we all know and love, mostly recognised by our beloved Italian diet i.e. pasta and bread. We’re salivating already. In some cases, yes, this is true but let’s throw a spanner in the works and go back in time. Didn’t you notice that when we were sailing around the Aeolian islands, cue zero stress and replace it with pure joy, hopping from island to island, consuming all of the above, as well as showering ourselves in Aperol spritz, we weren’t as bloated nor gaining that extra cheer?
If you didn’t climb aboard and participate in our dreams, then allow us to elaborate. In Italy, the Italians use fresh homemade ingredients that are free from crap, such as, additives and salt (excess salt causes your physique to retain water, largely around the abdominal region. An important note to keep in mind the next time you are pouring salt on your spread). This is exchanged for the highest quality of flour, being durum wheat and also that famous labour of love – the most important ingredient. Processed foods that come in packet form, this includes gluten, dairy, and sugar (all the faves) can cause inflammation resulting in abdominal distention. With that being said, it is dependent on the person in question. As a society we know intellectually what is good and bad for us, however, people fail to listen to their body’s cues.
We can’t lie to you so it must also be mentioned that portion control or lack thereof is also to blame. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. Overindulging in Nonna’s pasta can and will produce a food baby.
Sculling copious amounts of water whilst eating your meal is just a no-go. You heard it here first. We want you hydrated but not whilst you are eating. We suggest downing the aqua before your first mouthful and then waiting at least half an hour post-meal. Consuming large quantities of water alongside and immediately after your meal can impair digestion resulting in heartburn and bloating. On the upside, research suggests that pre-meal water consumption will suppress hunger and enhance satiety, thereby less kg’s for us.
Puffed Up Like a Blow Fish
On that note, another popular one amongst us all is fluid retention. Fluid retention is caused by an excess consumption of salt, as previously mentioned, as well as stress, hormonal imbalances, lack of sleep, and dehydration. When our vessel is in a fight or flight state, it will hold onto the fluid circulating within the body, along with other nutrients to find some sort of equilibrium until that little fit of rage you have just conjured subsides. Exercise or a filthy amount of alcohol can also lead to fluid retention (one extreme to the next). When your body is dehydrated, it will hold onto as much water as possible which in turn leads to puffiness in the face and throughout the body. So, whether you have just completed a gruesome workout or drunk yourself under the table, tilt that head back and pour some much-needed water down the hatch. The rig depends on it.
Stop inhaling your food, you are not a horse
There will always be another meal so hold your horses. Research suggests that women can actually lose weight by chewing at a slower pace, this is due to a decrease in energy intake and satiety. Easier said than done when you are in a ravenous state, however, chomping your food ever so slowly will lead to a very chuffed digestive system and you are less likely to overindulge in dessert.