Belly fat and bloating have long been a big reason to get healthy. I simply could not, can not stand when my belly is so bloated that I look 6 months pregnant.
I started noticing my belly bloat in college, looking back it was often after a heavy pasta meal loaded with cheese and a few beers. Gluten was and is not my friend.
But ever since I got my first period, I have always had a belly pouch and bloat. I remember looking at the other girls in ballet classes, who were all the same size as me, as far as the rest of my body and I wondered why I had a belly.
Figuring out why I gained weight in my belly and what makes me bloated has been a long process and honestly I am still learning. But this is what I have learned so far.
Belly fat and bloating is complicated scenario and in general it mostly comes from genetics, overeating, eating foods which do not agree with you thus producing excess gas, and constipation. Other causes include menstruation, food allergy/food intolerance and irritable bowel syndrome.
But for me it has been more than that. I think about 50% of my belly fat/bloating comes from emotional armoring.
The belly is where a lot of people put all the mental and emotional stuff that they find difficult to deal with; emotions such as anger, or frustration, jealousy, uncertainty, disappointments, hurts and traumas.
The belly sometimes holds deep childhood scars of rejection or abandonment or abuse; negative thoughts fueled by feelings of lack of self-worth and anxieties about survival and success.
And there is a lot of antidoctal evidence that people in helping/healing professions usually are plump and have excess belly fat as a way to protect themselves from picking up other peoples junk and issues when they work on/with them.
Another example is the suppression of anger because we are told that it is not socially acceptable to show it openly. We may initially feel an angry emotion rushing upwards from the abdomen to the shoulder in order to hit out or to the throat to shout. When we suppress these impulses the emotional energy of the anger becomes stuck in the shoulder or in the throat and tenses the muscles tension there.
Body-Mind by Ken Dychtwald.
The centre of emotions as they relate to ourselves.
Enlarged in upper half : rugged, outgoing, masculine – develop more tender feelings.
Enlarged in lower half : blocked energy flow to pelvis and legs, especially if abdominal wall is hard – let go.
Moderately enlarged : if belly is soft and back not very hollow -good contact with body vitality, possibly emotionally too soft.
Overall enlarged but obese : usually poor contact with vital energies Overall flat, contracted : too much mental control, no ‘gut feelings’, strong emotional blocks (fear, anxiety) – develop tender emotions, have faith, let go.
*Bloating is often a sign of food intolerances. Dairy and wheat being the main culprits but it can be anything really. People have food intolerances because they don’t have enough enzymes to break down the food and then some pieces of it end up going through the lining of the digestive wall and into the blood stream, and your autoimmune system reacts to that in a myraid of ways.
*Sodas, sweets and chewing gum contain huge quantities of artificial sweeteners (not to mention food dye an other crazy bad for you things), especially sorbitol and xylitol which many people find difficult to digest, resulting in bloating, gas and diarrhea. Rather have real sugar than substitutes.
*Eat potassium rich foods can help, that is unless you have a food intolerance to a potassium rich food. Bananas, cantaloupe, mangoes, spinach, tomatoes, nuts, asparagus, avocadoes and fresh chopped parsley regulate the fluid balance in your body and stop bloating.
Menstruation. First off, as you get closer and closer to your period, your uterus begins to swell and enlarge. Your body basically acts just like you are pregnant but when it finally gets the message you are not pregnant, hormones change and lining is released. Then your uterus slowly starts shrinking back down to size. So even if you no other digestion things going on, you could look 12 weeks pregnant right before your period, simply because of your full and heavy uterus.
Add turmeric, coriander, caraway and cumin when cooking.
Naturists claim teas made of ginger, savory from the mint family, lime from a linden tree, peppermint, rosemary, and caraway are effective for bloating relief.
They may be right because ginger tea helps with stomach upsets and peppermint oil in tea or warm water after a big meal aids digestion.
Walking for 15 to 20 minutes a day moves food through your digestive tract, thereby reducing bloating and combating constipation. Other benefits include less severe menstrual cramps, eliminating toxins by perspiring, and shedding body fat.
Massaging your abdomen helps evacuate gas and reduces bloating. Start by pressing your fingers near your right hip, slide up towards the ribs, move across and down in a circular motion.
Supplements and home remedies
Taking a digestive enzyme with each meal provides relief, especially when bloating results from a problem with your digestive tract, such as diverticulosis. Obtain digestive enzymes with the active ingredients lipase, protease and amylase, from any health store. Restaurant owners should actually hand out digestive enzymes instead of after-dinner mints to all patrons who selected anything other than raw foods from their menus.
Probiotics are ‘good bacteria’ which help keep you regular and bloat-free. Your intestinal tract has loads of bacteria, some beneficial, some harmful, which play an important role in the functioning of your digestive and immune systems.
Probiotics encourage the growth and replenishment of healthy microflora. They crowd out the bad bacteria which cause disease, yeasts and parasites in your intestines, they help digest and absorb your food, eliminate wastes and toxins by restoring normal and regular bowel function, and maintain a healthy intestinal function.
Ideally 85% of your bacteria should be friendly with 15% unfriendly. Probiotic supplements can be found in capsule, powder or liquid form, or in foods such as kefir and yogurt.
If you do not consume enough fruit and vegetables, take nutritional supplements that contain dietary fibers especially during the holidays or when celebrating to better handle the foods that cause you to swell up.
Apple cider vinegar helps ease digestive symptoms and gets rid of bloating and gas pain.
Lactobacillus supplements also help maintain intestinal health