Fennel served after a meal in IndiaI’m leading a Summer Abs Challenge this week, and while my group is focusing on doing ab exercises every day, I am also sharing with them some other tips and tricks to bring down bloating so you can enjoy a flat stomach. There is nothing worse than that uncomfortable feeling of puffy fullness – but the good news is that with a few tweaks you can turn things around!

1. Gluten and Dairy
Eliminate gluten and dairy for two weeks and you will likely experience a significant improvement in bloating and digestive distress. At the end of two weeks you can try eating gluten and dairy again to see how your system responds. First eat gluten, then wait two days while you test your reaction.  Then eat dairy to test your reaction. Your body will tell you!

2. Constipation
Constipation is a sure-fire recipe for uncomfortable bloating. To avoid: drink lots of water (ie half of your body weight in ounces of water each day), eat your 5 servings of veggies and fruit, and be sure to exercise as movement will help. If that doesn’t do the trick, add a teaspoon of Calm magnesium to warm water at night.

3. Imbalance in the Microbiome
An imbalance in the microbiome (or dysbiosis) means there are too many bad bacteria and not enough good ones. To counter this, you can do a gentle Cleanse. Another option is to take GI Herbal Formula, which is an anti-microbial and anti-parasitic formula to kill the “bad guys” in your gut. In addition, you can take probiotics to add good bacteria to the gut.

4. Eating too Fast
Digestion starts in the mouth, not in the stomach! You do yourself a great favor by chewing your food very well, eating slowly, putting down the fork between bites, and breathing. Slow it down and pre-digest your food. This will place a much lighter burden on your digestion system.

5. Eating Late at Night
We make our digestive system work hard all day, breaking down our food, and it’s good to give our digestion time for healing and repair at night. Eating too much and eating late at night is a burden on your digestion. Ideally, you would give a 12-hour window between dinner the night before and breakfast the next day (ie 7pm to 7am). If I eat a late dinner, I make sure it’s a light dinner. For breakfast I have a shake, which is easily absorbed and digested.

Bonus Causes of Bloating: Carbonated beverages and chewing gum both add excess air to your body which can get trapped and make you feel gassy!

Bonus Remedy: Fennel tea is great! Fennel seeds are always given at the end of a meal in India for that reason.

P.S. If you want to work on your abs, I’m starting a 21 Day workout group on August 3rd – send me a message if you’d like details!