Flat Belly Lesson 7: How to De-Bloat Your Belly

So far this series has focused on what fitness courses usually focus on- losing fat and building muscle.  As it should be- that’s 80% of what it takes to have a flat belly.  But what about the other 20%?  That would mostly be de-bloating and losing water weight.  Today I’m going to talk about de-bloating. 

Bloating is a buildup of gas and digestive byproducts in your intestines.  It’s caused by bad reactions to certain foods, anti-nutrients and other ingested chemicals which irritate the lining of your intestines.  In some cases, these chemicals are incompletely absorbed by your intestines, causing partially-digested proteins and carbohydrates to get into your bloodstream and/or remain in your intestinal tract, further irritating your digestive system.  A few of these anti-nutrients can also impair absorbtion of other vital nutrients like vitamins, minerals and protein. 

So which foods do you need to avoid?  Here’s a short list.

Wheat.  By far the largest culprit.  However, sourdough bread and sprouted breads are still edible, as the processes used to make them neutralize the anti-nutrients in wheat.  For pasta, you can eat chickpea pasta in place of wheat pasta.

Barley.  Has the same anti-nutrients as wheat.  Just one of many reasons to give up beer.

Legumes.  This includes beans, lentils and peanuts.  However, you can remove most of the anti-nutrients from beans and lentils by soaking and rinsing them before consumption.

Soybeans- have many of the same anti-nutrients as wheat, barley and other beans.  Eat these only rarely. 

Excessive caffeine.  Caffeine intakes over one or two hundred milligrams a day will start to irritate the intestinal lining, as well as leading to tolerance. 

Alcohol.  Alcohol damages the intestinal villi, impairing the absorption of all nutrients.   

Certain fruits.  Mangoes, apples, pears, peaches, plums, watermelons, and nectarines should all be eaten in moderation, but don’t need to be avoided. 

Certain vegetables.  Asparagus, artichokes, onions, beetroot, leeks, garlic, celery, and sugar snap peas should be eaten in moderation, but don’t need to be avoided.

Lactose.  If you have issues with lactose, consume milk with added lactase, or avoid milk.  Other dairy products besides milk don’t have large amounts of lactose, and are still safe. 

Too much food overall. Overeating, regardless of what you eat, can overload the digestive system and cause bloating. 

Again, wheat is by far the biggest culprit for most people.  You can probably reduce bloating a lot by just cutting out wheat products other than sprouted and sourdough breads. 

That’s it for today’s lesson.  Tomorrow I’ll tell you how to lose water weight.