Bloating is something we usually associate with the winter months, when we hunker down, carb up and do very little exercise.
But the summer is full of the pitfalls and causes of bloating, which is not only uncomfortable but can be painful too.
Here’s what expert nutritionist Dr Alice Bradshaw says you can do to sort it out:
1. One simple change? Cut down on foods that are known to cause bloating, such as beans, onions, broccoli, cabbage, sprouts and cauliflower – especially in the week’s leading up to a holiday or special occasion.
2. Up your intake of ginger, peppermint tea and probiotic yoghurts, which are all famed for their anti-bloat properties.
3. Make sure your metabolism is working as well as it possibly can be. Don’t skip breakfast and up your exercise regime to really get your metabolism going. Thermogenesis has also long been recognised as a key factor for regulating metabolism and supporting optimal body composition.
4. Constipation is another cause of tummy bloating which is often caused by dehydration. Holiday sunbathing is thirsty work, and so keep your tummy flat by making sure you drink plenty of water.
5. In the days leading up to their periods, many women can find that they become bloated. Raised levels of progesterone can slow down your gut meaning that food passes more slowly through the body, leading to bloating and constipation. Exercise can improve this and so up your movement levels if your holiday falls around the time of your period.
6. If bloating is an ongoing problem for you, Dr Alice suggests keeping a food diary.
“Some foods trigger bloating for certain people and keeping a food diary can help you quickly identify your triggers, so that you can choose when to avoid them to suit you.”
7. It’s no surprise that fizzy drinks can make us bloated. Replace those carbon bubbles with the ultimate hydrator - plain old water.
8. Frequent painful bloating can be a symptom that you have Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).