7 Steps to Beat Bloat Every Day

Learn the simple diet tricks to practice every day to prevent waking up feeling bloated and uncomfortable from Vincent Pedre, MD.

7 Steps to Beat Bloat Every Day

You wake up feeling full, puffy, and distended wondering what you ate last night for dinner. You’ve done elimination diets, but you still don’t understand what you should be eating to feel well. If you want to fit into your skinny jeans or that tight-fitting dress by tomorrow, you’ve got to start by feeding your gut flora the right types of food. Why? New science is showing the major role your gut bacteria play in how you feel around the waist, and you can actually alter your gut bacteria in as little as one day by the way you eat. For a long-lasting change, follow this plan for 28 days from Vincent Pedre, MD, internist, certified functional medicine practitioner, and author of Happy Gut: The Cleansing Program to Help You Lose Weight, Gain Energy, and Eliminate Pain.

Eat a Midmorning Prebiotic Snack With Soluble Fiber

Prebiotics are nondigestible carbohydrates that serve as food for your healthy probiotic bacteria. They help influence the makeup of your microbiome, and in turn help regulate appetite. Prebiotics are also found within foods that have soluble fibers. These are fibers that absorb water and form a gelatinous substance in your gut. This helps you feel full and avoid the bloat, but make sure to keep servings small at first and drink plenty of water when increasing your intake of soluble fibers. In this case, too much of a good thing can also make you feel bloated and gassy.

The best way to get prebiotics is through food. The top two foods with the highest concentration of prebiotics are ones you may not commonly find—Jerusalem artichoke and dandelion greens. However, prebiotics are also found in everyday foods like apples, bananas, onions, garlic, asparagus, and nuts. A great midmorning snack is a twist on the cookie that I call “apple cookies.” Get the recipe here.

Q: I end up overeating because it makes me feel better and I never really get full. I'd like to lose weight but this makes it hard. Any suggestions?

A: Being persistently hungry can cause big trouble. So can overeating for comfort/pleasure. These two behaviors, say researchers from Baylor University's Children's Nutrition Research Center, are controlled deep within your brain by serotonin-producing neurons, but operate separately from each other — one in the hypothalamus, the other in the midbrain. They both can, however, end up fueling poor nutritional choices and obesity.

Eating for Hunger

When hunger is your motive for eating, the question is: "Does your body know when you've had enough?" Well, if you are overweight, obese or have diabetes you may develop leptin resistance and your "I am full" hormone, leptin, can't do its job. The hormone's signal to your hypothalamus is dampened, and you keep eating.

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