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Beat the Bloat This Holiday Season

By Donna Stark

The holidays are fast approaching. Delicious meals and festive gatherings are starting to be planned and good food seems to be on everyone's mind right now. I'm sure I am not the only one who can picture their favorite foods piled high on a plate in front of them. I am also sure that I am not the only one who can picture the tight pants, the popped buttons, and the dreaded bloated belly either. Ugh! It certainly would be nice to enjoy a meal without that happening, wouldn't it? So why does it even have to show up? Is it really just from eating too much food?

Why Your Belly Bloats

We've all had it happen ... that too-full feeling and the exponential growth of our bellies after our holiday meals. But contrary to popular belief, a bloated belly doesn't always come from eating a big meal. Sure, eating too much can cause it to happen, but it's not the only reason. Sometimes, it's not necessarily the quantity of food that you eat, but what you eat. Here are some examples that might help you understand why you may feel it's necessary to wear loose-fitting clothes for your holiday gatherings.

  • Too much salt - Even though our body needs salt, most of us actually consume too much of it. Salt retains water and can cause serious health problems like high blood pressure, so it's important to watch your intake of it. Check food labels for sodium levels and remember that just because something doesn't taste overly salty, it doesn't mean that it's not there.
  • Too many carbs - Carbs aren't necessarily all bad, but like salt, too many of the bad ones can make you retain water. And the faster they get into your blood, the more likely that is. Want to know which ones to avoid? Well, you should try to skip the simple carbs at your meal, such as white bread, cookies, and pie, and reach for the complex carbs instead, such as whole grains, fruit, and vegetables.
  • Too much soda - Those carbonated bubbles in soda and other beverages sure are a lot of fun, but the truth of the matter is that they are filled with gas. And do you know where all of that gas goes? Yep, that's right ... straight to your digestive system. And even though you may be able to burp some of it away, a lot of it stays behind.

Managing the Bloat

It's not too difficult to manage random instances of a bloated belly with better food choices, but if you can determine that a holiday meal is not the culprit, and it continues to become an issue, you should see your doctor for an evaluation. Otherwise, go ahead and grab those skinny jeans; with the knowledge you have this year, there won't be any popping of buttons!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in La Verne, Calif.

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