I’ve talked a lot on this blog about bloating being due to excess gas caused by fermentation of undigested food. That is often the case, true.
But as you might know all too well, the causes of bloating can be various and complex.
One major cause of bloating I haven’t touched on is water retention. This is where your body retains too much water, giving you a bloated feeling and appearance. Same basic symptoms – feeling of being full, appearance of being overweight – but from a completely different cause.
Do you suffer from water retention? Is it likely to be the cause of your bloated belly?
Often women suffer from water retention more than men. Women can retain excess fluid due to changing hormone levels, especially during menstruation. As you know, I have no experience personally, but I can assure you my partner knows all about it!
Other times your bloated belly could be a result of a range of different health conditions, or possibly due to taking certain medications.
Further still, you might be retaining water due to simple lifestyle choices, which are thankfully easy to fix.
Want to lose the excess water and feel less bloated? Here are 5 top tips:
1. Drink lots of water
Huh? Did I just suggest adding even more water to the equation? Yep, you heard right!
It’s obvious if you think about it. Your body only has your best interests at heart. It’s tempting to think you should put less water in if you already have oodles of the stuff bloating you up anyway.
But your body starts to panic if it doesn’t get enough water and so keeps store of the precious little it can get. Try to deprive your body of too much water and it goes into survival mode, conserving as much water as possible.
The result: water retention and stomach bloating.
If you want to stop your body retaining water, give it all the water it needs. Drink lots and lots of it throughout the day. Keep yourself hydrated, and there’ll be no reason for your body to try to keep hold of too much of it.
And in any case, drinking lots of fresh water also helps flush your body of toxins which in themselves can cause bloating and digestive problems.
2. Get more exercise
Exercising more is always a good thing. However in the case of banishing excess water it’s especially beneficial.
Exerting yourself leads to sweating, which is the body’s way of getting rid of excess stored water. This brings your overall body water weight down and has the added advantage of generally making you look more toned and healthy.
Less bloat, flatter stomach? Start exercising!
3. Cut down on your salt intake
Even if you don’t put much extra salt on your food, you’d be surprised at just how much salt you probably eat every day. Hidden away in packaged foods, tins and cereals, this salt is most likely a major contributor to your bloating problems.
It’s particularly the sodium content in the salt that is retaining water.
What to do? Look for low sodium salt alternatives. Buy the more expensive sea salt, rather than standard table salt (it’s more expensive but it contains less sodium and you need less of it to get the same salty taste). Gradually cut down on the amount of salt you add to food.
Most importantly, keep a watchful eye on the amount of salt in packaged foods that you buy.
4. Eat more vegetables
Eating lots of veggies will naturally reduce your water weight. Sounds good! Some vegetables are particularly diuretic (meaning they naturally get rid of water) so seek out leafy greens, tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers and onions.
5. Seek out foods that have a diuretic action
Some foods naturally contain high levels of potassium, which has the superb effect of balancing your internal levels of sodium which gets rid of water.
Bananas are high in potassium and easily available. Also try eating melons, oranges, lemons and coconuts too.
6. Try dandelion root
A natural herb, dandelion root has been known by the bodybuilding community for years as a very effective diuretic.
It safely strips the body of excess water without nasty side effects. It is known to dramatically reduce the feeling and appearance of bloating and is well worth a look.
I hope that helps
If water retention is the cause of your bloated belly, there are some very simple steps you can take to rectify the situation. Drink loads of water, cut down on your salt, get some exercise and eat wisely.
Do you suffer from bloating from water retention? Have you any other tips to share with my readers? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
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Tired of feeling bloated? Desperate for a solution?
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