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  • Jill Maher

5 Quick Ways to Debloat for Bikini Season!

For more information and help achieving your health and nutrition goals, contact me today! I work in-person, by phone, or by skype/facetime with my clients.

It's officially bikini season! For some of you, there's a sense of dread that comes with throwing that swimsuit on, but you should never let poor body image stand in your way of having fun! However, I COMPLETELY understand...I have been there!

The best part of my job is helping my clients feel better about themselves! This is achieved through a customized nutrition plan and weekly coaching sessions.

But, if you are looking to just quickly debloat for an event, I have some tricks that help reduce bloat caused by water retention and/or gas:

1. Drink plenty of water.

As counterintuitive as it is may sound, drinking plenty of water actually reduces the amount of water your body holds onto - versus when you are dehydrated and your body retains water. Also, all of that water you consume is flushing out the junk from your system (e.g. sugar and salt from processed foods). Swap water for other types of beverages that can contribute to bloating, like soda and juices.

How much water is enough? The most accurate way to tell is by the color of your urine. If it's pretty clear, you are good-to-go. If it's the color of apple juice, get chuggin'!

2. Avoid processed foods with added salt and sugar.

Most processed foods contain salt, sugar, and other additives to preserve them and to enhance flavor. These additives will make you bloat out like a balloon! Salt and sugar cause your body to retain water. Your body keeps a tight sodium to water ratio, and when you consume too much salt, your body holds onto extra water.

When you consume sugar or any carbohydrate, your pancreas produces insulin to process the sugar. Eating a lot of refined or simple sugars, like candy and processed grains, causes insulin levels to spike. Insulin causes sodium retention, which we just learned leads to water retention and bloating.

Understanding your macro nutrient (carbohydrate, protein, and fat) requirement also helps to keep insulin levels in check! I can assist you with this and create a customized meal plan that will keep your insulin levels steady.

Instead of processed foods, reach for lean protein, green leafy veggies, and limited quantities of low-sugar fruits and grains/starches. As for grains and starches, I generally eat sweet potatoes, squash, quinoa, and beans.

Incorporating fiber-rich foods into your diet helps to reduce bloating, but watch out for too much too soon! That can have the opposite effect. Also, beans and cruciferous veggies, like cauliflower, broccoli, and brussel sprouts make some people gassy because they contain complex sugars that are sometimes difficult to digest.

3. Avoid foods that commonly cause food sensitivities.

Some people are particularly sensitive to certain foods, especially dairy and gluten. If you think you may have an intolerance to a particular food, try eliminating it for a couple of weeks, and then reintroducing it back into your diet. See how you feel.

If you are trying to reduce bloat quickly, avoid the foods that are commonly linked to developing an intolerance, including: wheat/gluten, dairy, soy, corn, and eggs. If you happen to be sensitive to these, they will contribute to bloat and digestive issues.

4. Break a sweat!

I love exercise for a zillion reasons, but one is that it eliminates excess water and sodium and helps to move things through your intestines...those of you who have ever done a long-run know what I'm talking about...yikes! :)

Exercise also burns those carbohydrates or sugars stored in your muscle as glycogen. This helps to eliminate water, as well! Remember to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water during your workout to prevent dehydration.

5. Skip the booze.

I know, I know...I feel like I'm always bashing alcohol! It's true, though...alcohol leads to bloating for a number of reasons.

First off, it causes dehydration. Also, the type of alcoholic drink you choose can also affect bloating. Beer tends to make people gassy because of the grain/carb content and carbonation. Drinks made with sugary mixers, like margaritas and other sweet cocktails spike your insulin levels and lead to bloating and weight gain, as well. Also, when we drink alcohol, we tend to crave foods that aren't so great, including high-calorie fatty and sugary junk food. Sweet and salty Chex mix used to be my post-drinking poison :)!!

Finally, when you consume alcohol, it is your liver's number one priority to eliminate it from your body...over everything else, including fat metabolism. If not for the bloat, avoid alcohol for your poor liver!

For more information and help achieving your health and nutrition goals, contact me today! I work in-person, by phone, or by skype/facetime with my clients.

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