Bloated? Just think about your food, breathe and chew to a pulp
Anyone who is trying to lose weight will know just how frustrating it is to shed a few pounds, only not to look like you’re any lighter because you’re suffering from extreme bloating. Now a nutritionist has revealed just how to avoid this common problem and get rid of any stomach discomfort in the process.
Health coach Robyn Youkilis has penned the book Go With Your Gut, in which she suggests her three-step process could be the key to getting rid of any bloating issues.
This method involves being more mindful about what you’re eating, breathing and, the most vital of all, chewing each mouthful properly – up to 150 times.
“The good news is that my advice is easy and affordable to follow and you don't have to forgo your favourite restaurant or avoid bread forever,” Robyn told MailOnline. “Instead, I have put the focus firmly on good digestive habits to heal the body from the inside out - leaving you looking slimmer and feeling healthier.”
It might sound obvious, but thinking about what you eat before you put it in your mouth is one of the keys to losing weight. With busy and technology-packed lives, many of us fall victim to grabbing some food on the go, shovelling it in and then still feeling hungry because we haven’t given our bodies time to adjust.
Speed of eating can contribute to indigestion which, in turn, causes stomach pain and bloating. This, combined with a lack of thought over just what you’re putting in your body, means the risk of suffering from an unhappy gut increases dramatically every time you eat.
“Make a point of eating as many of your meals as you can with minimal distractions,” Robyn advised. “Enforce a meal-time screen ban - music is OK, and stress-free company is to be encouraged, but make every effort to focus on your food and the complete experience of eating: texture, taste, smell and how the food makes you feel.”
Mindfulness has become a buzz word over recent months, with the benefits of breathing and being more aware of your behaviour and surroundings being shown on numerous levels. Breathing should also be an important part of mealtime, Robyn says, as “we have the power to change how our body reacts to food.”
“Through a few simple breathing exercises, we can make life so much easier for our gut,” she added.
“Simply taking a few moments to breathe deeply and fully at different points in the day can be enough to have significant reverberations for your health and digestion.”
The third, and most important, part of Robyn’s three-step process is that of chewing food properly and thoroughly.
“If whole or poorly-chewed bits of food enter the digestive tract, they can set off a disastrous chain of events, putting the body in crisis management mode,” Robyn explained. “It's an unnecessary stress.”
To avoid this, make sure you chew every bite properly or, as Robyn suggests, until it’s a “liquid mush”.
“So, before you swallow each mouthful, ask yourself: 'Is this mush? Could I chew a few more times?' If you find yourself speeding through a meal, take two deep breaths - then get back into methodically chewing again,” she said.