Let’s talk about something that affects too many people and that the general public knows too little about. Let’s talk about bloating and what we need to do to eliminate that son of a gun.

I’ve got a little anecdote that might sound familiar:

You walk out of the shower and look into the mirror. You have a routine, first you look straight ahead and check yourself out and then you turn to the side. Maybe you do a little pose or poke around. You’re looking for beauty but you’re also distracted by “flaws”. Maybe your ass looks great this morning and your skin is glowing. Maybe you’ve got a nice tan or your arms are lookin’ sexy-toned. But you’re bloated. Ugh. And now that’s all you can think about and it sucks and you really wanted to wear that tight fitting dress but now you feel like you can’t and your belly just feels blocked and heavy and uncomfortably full. We’ve all been there. Well, I’ve been there. I’m here to share some anti-bloating magic with you because no one likes carrying around an uncomfortable ballooned belly, am I right?

Here are 4 ways you can eliminate bloating. YAY!

1. Start Time Restricted Eating

Time Restricted Eating means keeping your food-intake window between 9 – 12 hours. This means if you have your coffee at 8:00 a.m., you shouldn’t eat or drink anything except water (This includes herbal tea and oral supplements/medications.) past 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. According to Dr. Rhonda Patrick and Dr. Satchin Panda, this is important because it improves circadian health. A healthy circadian rhythm contributes to metabolic function and the over-all improved health of the body.

Peripheral oscillators, external oscillators that regulate the circadian rhythm, are heavily affected by nutrients from our meals and the timing in which they are consumed. Our systems are able to work more efficiently with a strict, healthy feeding window because they have time to rest rather that having to be “on” for most of each day.

2. Stay away from inflammatory foods.

Health starts in the gut! (BTW, Time Restricted Eating lowers systemic inflammation!)

The (roughly) 39 trillion microbes living in your gut totally run the show when it comes to health in general, but even more so when it comes to bloating. You’ll notice that basically all the tips I’ve listed here have to do with the gut and how our dietary patterns and choices influence the micro biome universe within your physical body that, in turn, influences you. Totally makes sense, right? Nutrition is so so so significant that it’s almost unfair being constantly surrounded by delicious poison ( A.K.A. cookies and ice cream).

I’ll cut to the chase and tell you which foods typically cause inflammation in the gut:

Sugar. Refined sugars are evil! They deceive you with their sweet taste and a dopamine rush and then they attack. Or rather, your immune systems attacks the sugar. You can’t digest all that glucose fast enough so boom your immune system sets off an alarm and all of a sudden there’s a whole lot of inflammation goin’ on. The refined sugar then weakens your immune system so it becomes more difficult for your body to fight off any bad guys. So, just don’t eat it. Okay?

Dairy. I wish I didn’t even have to explain this one because why are we still consuming cows’ breast milk…? Dairy is a common allergen. Humans just naturally have a difficult time digesting it, and where there is irritation, there is inflammation. Dairy is known to cause bloating and other digestive issues because although we can tolerate it, we just weren’t designed to consume it.

Processed Foods. Heavily processed foods including any meat that isn’t wild or pasture raised, foods containing artificial or synthetic ingredients and refined foods such and flour and sugar are big no-nos. Because these foods have been so far removed from their original highly-bioavailable state, your body has trouble recognizing them. This, of course, leads to more inflammation.

Practice mindful eating and notice how foods make you feel and try to make decisions based on how they will affect you tomorrow or next week or next month. Will that cheeseburger have been worth it or would you have rather gone for the whole-food, plant-based buddha bowl? Decreasing intake of inflammatory foods can be challenging because emotions play such a big role in taste and cravings but trust me, tastes change and patience will take you where you want to go.

3. Are you constipated?

Elimination is directly linked to bloating (duh). I’ve been seeing a colon hydrotherapist who’s taught me a lot about what your stool is telling you and she says skinnier stool and candida (yeast) overgrowth (among other things) is indicative of inflammation and inflammation can cause constipation and both of these babies cause bloating. There is so much that goes on in the world of digestion and elimination so I’d lose you if I went into too much detail but I’ll tell you this: when you’re unable to eliminate regularly, all of that waste just hangs out in your colon and it’s the perfect breeding ground for inflammation-causing bacteria. Inflammation triggers gas and as long as your not able to move everything out, the gas will just build. Since you’re not able to eliminate solid waste, it’s probably creating a block in your colon and now you can’t release that gas either. See what I mean? So, be sure to eat lots of fibrous, bioavailable foods and give your colon all the love!

4. Try colon hydrotherapy.

Ah, yes. The one where you stick a tube up your butt.

Listen, this is intimidating but it works. I have a video up on Youtube about my first experience with colonics and it took me a year but I’ve just started getting colonics and at-home enemas again and I’m liking them! It’s like spring cleaning for your colon, I swear. There’s a lot going on beneath the surface (i’m punny) and (1) this is a great, safe way to release waste and toxins and to re-hydrate and (2) you actually get a visual of what you have going on within. As a plus, (3) you feel amazing afterwards! (Omg, I didn’t even realize how passionate I was about this.) At worst, I experienced gas and minor discomfort after my first session. Totally common. At best, my body was humming! It was awesome. I did a 3-day water cleanse and I would do a different enema every evening. If and when I would start to feel sluggish or uncomfortable, I did an enema and I felt so clean and glowy and calm afterwards.

Woah, so much information. Hopefully you have a strong attention span.

The gut can seem extremely complex because it is intricate but it’s also very simple. Eat clean, whole, plant-based foods and treat your digestive system as well as you can. They make your gut happy and if your gut is happy, the rest of you will be happy (and bloating doesn’t make anyone happy)! But, like, it’s okay to be sad too.

Originally posted on Jennifer Fiallos Blog – http://jenniferfiallos.com/bloating/