Many are conscious of their figure during the summer months, and rather than focusing on extreme diets and exercise, nutrition experts from Barbend have shared the simple changes that you can make in your diet, and how Pilates can improve gut health, and reduce bloating and flatten the stomach.
The NHS explains: “Bloating is where your tummy feels full and uncomfortable.
“The most common reason for bloating is having a lot of gas in your gut.
“This can be caused by some food and drinks, such as some vegetables and fizzy drinks, or by swallowing air when you eat.”
One question that is associated with bloating, is whether eating too quickly can be a cause.
The nutrition experts said: “Yes, speed-eating and swallowing air whilst gulping down food can lead to bloating, especially if a very large meal is eaten.
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“Swallowed air is usually expelled in burps before it reaches your intestines where it could cause bloating, but if you notice that you’re belching a lot after your meals and feeling bloated and gassy a few hours later, you might feel better if you slow down your eating behaviours.
“A great way to reduce bloating is to eat smaller meals, eat slowly, and drink plenty of water instead of carbonated drinks.”
There are also some foods which can contribute to bloating.
“FODMAPs (fermentable oligosaccharides, di-saccharides, mono-saccharides and polyols) are certain types of carbohydrates – the sugars, starches, and fibre in foods,” Barbend explained.
“FODMAPs can ferment inside your gut, and draw water into your digestive tract causing bloating.
“Not everyone is sensitive to FODMAPs, but if you experience constant bloating, it may be a good idea to limit the amount you eat.”
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Tweaking your diet is one way to reduce bloating, another is taking up Pilates.
Barbend said: “Pilates has become very popular over recent decades, through its ability to improve strength and fitness for all ages and body types.
“Simple stretching and basic Pilates movements can help relieve the built-up water and gas that causes bloat.
“Pilates is also a great way to strengthen core muscles and will help to flatten out your stomach.”
The expert suggests trying a couple of moves: The Hundred, Swimming, and Roll Over.
A spokesperson for Barbend concluded: “Even though you may not be able to avoid the dreaded bloat entirely, your stomach might benefit from changing your eating habits, food choices and introducing Pilates into your life.
“It’s also important to know when bloating might be a sign of a food intolerance and a reason to see your doctor.”