Almost all of us have been there: Waking up in the morning, trying to button up our favorite jeans, and ditching them in favor of comfy sweat pants because our bellies are bloated from overindulging or unexplained water weight gain. Before you go blaming yourself for your tummy troubles, treat yourself to some pampering, inside and out. With just a little bit of effort (and some well-deserved relaxation), you’ll be back in your skinny jeans, maybe even with some room to spare.
Address Stress with a Relaxing Bath
You might not think of stress as something that affects your waistline, but the truth is that stress hormones stir up all kinds of trouble. It leads to skin issues including acne, it causes excess inflammation, it weakens the body’s immune system, and it even affects gut flora.
Not just any bath will help you banish bloating. Reach for Epsom salts and baking soda, which help pull toxins from your body. Add essential oil, such as lavender or clary sage; these are just a couple of examples of natural plant extracts that work wonders on frazzled nerves.
Relaxing Detox Bath Recipe
Start by drawing a hot bath and adding the following ingredients to the water:
2 cups Epsom salt
½ cup plain baking soda
10-20 drops lavender essential oil
Relax for at least 20 minutes. Repeat up to 3 times weekly for best results.
Get Things Moving with Exercise
Exercise does more than work your muscles. When you walk, ride your bicycle, or practice your favorite yoga poses, you also move lymphatic fluid around your body. The lymph system helps clear toxins, and this in turn makes it easier for your body to deal with the kind of overloading that leads to bloating. Exercise also stimulates your intestinal tract, helping to move things along so you feel far less bloated. Just 15 minutes can make a difference.
Cut out Common Gut Irritants
Occasional bloating is often the result of poor dietary choices, excess drinking, or hormone shifts, but frequent or chronic bloating is often rooted in common food allergens. Gluten and dairy products are the two most common, and soy is a third culprit. Omit these products from your diet, perhaps one by one, and see whether it makes a difference. Going vegetarian can help too, since many meats are difficult to digest. This is a long-term strategy that may create a small change initially and lead to even greater improvements as time passes. Be patient with yourself and give your changes a few months to work.
Do a Smoothie Detox
Sometimes the body really needs to be reset. A smoothie detox that focuses on whole, plant-based foods (and plenty of them!) keeps your body nourished while resetting your entire digestive process and putting a stop to bloating. Pick a plan that nourishes and satisfies, not one that leaves you feeling like you’re starving to death. Be sure to add superfoods to your smoothie; you’ll benefit in more ways than one.
Detox teas alleviate bloating quickly, and can help you deal with the associated discomfort. There are several excellent teas available, and you can enjoy them hot or iced, any time of day.