5 Simple Ways to Banish Bloat
Easy things to eat and do to combat any seasonal waist expansion.
All hail the never-ending parade of dinner parties, hor d’oeuvres, and champagne that is the holidays. We’re excited even though we know we need to prepare ourselves for the inevitable bloat (it’s not like we’re not going to indulge; let’s be serious). Whitney and Danielle of Sakara Life are similarly realistic. So we roped them into giving us a few quick tips as to how we can limit any temporary expansion of our waistlines.
1. Eat Your Water
OK, so you had a late-night burger and fries, or treated your post-party morning fuzzy head with a bacon, egg, and cheese on a bagel. Suffice it to say your digestive system might be feeling a little... sluggish. And your tummy is showing the bloat. Keep things moving by amping up the greens on your plate at every meal. Water isn’t just something you drink—it’s also something you eat—and greens are filled with them, along with minerals, fiber, and protein. We’re all about eating our water in the form of hydrating veggies like cucumber, romaine lettuce, radishes, and peppers, so fill your plate accordingly.
2. Probiotics Are Your BFF
When the healthy bacteria in your belly are happy, strong, and vital, so are you... And when they’re not, you can imagine what happens. Bloating and puffiness often indicate that these little guys are struggling, so give them a boost by eating fermented foods or taking a daily supplement (our brand-new Probiotic Chocolate makes taking a supplement feel like having dessert, so there’s really no excuse not to). Kimchi, sauerkraut, and kombucha are some of our favorite fermented foods. We also love apple cider vinegar—not only does it make a mean salad dressing, but you can shoot it straight for a detoxifying hit on an empty stomach or after a big meal! It will help balance out those other shots you’ll be doing later.
3. Sip Tea
We’re not saying you have to forgo that morning cup of coffee, and after a late night of getting sweaty on the dance floor, we don’t blame you if you feel like you can’t live without it. But caffeine is dehydrating, and we already covered how that leads to bloat and puffiness. Herbal tea, on the other hand, is full of powerful botanical ingredients that help you digest and detoxify. Ginger tea is great after a big meal, root teas (like dandelion root and licorice root) have cleansing, de-bloating effects, and our detox tea has both.
4. Chew On This
When you chew gum, you’re unwittingly gulping lots of air, which leads to bloating. So instead of chomping on a stick of gum, take a cue from your favorite Indian restaurant and chew a small handful of fennel seeds (yes, that’s what the little bowl of seeds by the door is all about). Not only do these guys help increase the production of bile (which breaks down food) in your bod, but they are also rich in magnesium, which helps relax and smooth out muscles in the intestinal tract.
5. Stretch It Out
In addition to helping you get your mind right during the hectic holiday season, yoga is a surprisingly great bloat-reducer…which you already know if your yoga teacher has ever referred to Apanasana as “wind-relieving pose.” Laugh all you want, but seriously, try this one before getting dressed to flatten out your belly: Lie down on your back, inhale, then exhale as you hug your knees into your chest. Repeat a few times.