A common occurrence heard in my practice is a patient asking “Why does my stomach always look and feel bloated!?”. But this is not just a women’s issue – as men often experience it too. So as a fresh bathing suit season is now upon us, it is the perfect time to let you in on a few simple secrets to flatten your tummy and say goodbye to belly bloat.
Pesky Ab Fat : Fat in the abdominal area can obviously cause us to feel bloated. The old adage “calories in – calories out” is true – the most basic cause of abdominal fat, quite often, is simply taking in too many calories. All extra calories consumed will eventually be stored as fat somewhere, which may or may not include the belly area depending on your body type. But abdominal fat, in particular, can also be an indication of hormonal imbalance. High amounts of the stress hormone, cortisol, can fuel more fat to be deposited around the abdomen – even in people who are otherwise thin. One of my favourite solutions when stress is the suspected cause, is the herbal blend Relora. It lowers cortisol and raises the anti-stress and anti-aging hormone DHEA. I have seen favourable changes on blood tests in some cases in just a few weeks with my Relora + Vitamin B Complex Formula. I recommend two pills before bed and one in the morning.
Insulin is the other hormone that contributes to this problem spot. It is released in high amounts when we eat the bad types of carbohydrates (high glycemic) such as potatoes, juice, pop, candies and muffins rather than the healthier (low glycemic) choices like berries, green vegetables, slow cooked oatmeal and beans. Insulin is also released in excess when we fail to eat healthy fats like those in avocadoes, olive oil and fish together with lean protein and carbohydrates at each meal and snack. You should consume three protein servings daily, the size and width of your palm, to maintain your metabolism and insulin balance. I have observed great clinical results when using supplements like conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), Omega-3 Fish oils, vitamin D and alpha lipoic acid. These products work for fat loss by helping to lower excess insulin.
Bad Digestion Blues: Abdominal bloating is sometimes related more to the function of the digestive system than to storage of fat. You might think of this as the underlying cause of your big belly if your stomach is flat upon waking but looks as though you are four months pregnant at the end of the day!
Here are some of the causes of bloating due to digestive woes:
- Food allergies – To determine if food allergies are causing your bloating, I recommend following my two week detox . It is free of the most common allergenic and inflammatory foods that can trigger bloating. The most valuable part of your detox may be the end, when you will reintroduce the foods you have been avoiding one at a time. If something triggers the bloating – you’ve found your culprit food. Blood testing for IgG food allergies is another simple way to identify allergies and I will frequently complete this as part of a patient’s assessment.
- Low levels of stomach acid – Low stomach acid may be the cause of your bloating if you feel full after eating or if you experience heartburn, indigestion, constipation or see undigested food in your stools. If you are searching for a simple way to determine your stomach levels – take a peek at your fingernails. If you have vertical (lengthwise) ridges, it’s a characteristic sign of low stomach acid. You can also request the instructions for the stomach acid challenge from the book extras page on www.drnatashaturner.com.
- Lack of digestive enzymes – A supplement of digestive enzymes taken at meal times can often provide relief as they assist with the proper breakdown and absorption of the nutrients in your foods.
- Deficiency of beneficial bacteria – Probiotic supplements reduce bloating, optimize digestion, improve immunity and are also fantastic for healthy-looking skin. Look for Bio K. It is heavily supported by research and readily available in many grocery and health food stores.
- Yeast overgrowth, parasites, or in need of a digestive detox – You may benefit from completing a candida or parasite cleanse if you find sugar, vinegars, wine, beer, certain fruits, or carbohydrates trigger your abdominal bloating. I formulated Clear Detox – Digestive Health specifically to support gentle cleansing of the digestive tract. The recommended dosage is one pack at bedtime and it should be taken with a probiotic supplement for optimal results.
Good luck and I hope this information will help to guide you towards finding a lasting solution to your bloated tummy woes.