Some days you feel great. You feel, fit, full of energy and ready to take over the world. But there are fat days, when you feel puffy and heavy, feeling like you’re bursting at your seams, sluggish, unable to feel good about yourself. Well, don’t feel bad about it. Here are a few ways you can regain your confidence, and get your body back. After all, it is your body, and you’re in control.
Why do we look so swollen on some days? Apart from hormone swings due to PMS, there are other factors such as staying in one position for too long, heavy meal high in sodium and carbs, too much fiber intake with too little water, and sometimes, lactose intolerance or food allergies. The possibilities are endless. But here are some tips to help you feel better.
Cut the Sodium
You’ve probably heard this many times before, sodium causes water retention and puffiness. This is scientific because sodium holds on to the water in your body, making you retain more liquids inside. So all these extra water are stored around cells in your body. So to avoid looking like a puffer fish, reduce your sodium intake especially, during dinner which is just before your bedtime. Most importantly, stop eating late suppers, they don’t just promote bloating they’re bad for your digestive system, your liver and circulation in general.
The perks of exercising, apart from making you all toned and firm, it makes you sweat and get your circulation going. See, our body has it’s own natural way against extra liquids and bloating, it’s called the lymphatic system. Lymphatic system has no pump of it’s own, the only way for it to drain efficiently is to sync with the heartbeat and muscle movements. So by exercising more, you’re improving your drainage and circulation. PLUS, you’re sweating away the extra liquids. What’s more, exercising releases endorphins which will give a temporary feeling of euphoria and a sense of well being. Go for a walk or run up the stairs a few more times. For added fun, try hoola hoop or skipping rope while watching the tv or your favorite CD. Yoga is a great activity too.
Drink more water
You might be thinking, I’m already sooo bloated, and you’re asking me to drink more water? You’re most probably bloated because of a hangover, pms or high sodium diet. So, by drinking more water, you’re giving your body a chance to flush out all the excess sodium and by products of alcohol from the system, since excess water is converted into urine. So drink up on your green tea or just plain water. Remember, soda, sugar free soda and coffee will just worsen your problem. Nothing beats good old sky juice.
Carbs that we consume like potatoes, rice, bread, pasta, crackers are actually just mixtures of different starches and water. Starches on the other hand are a mixture of sugars. When there’s sugar and residual fibers from the carbs in our intestines, bacteria will happily thrive and proceed to ferment it, producing gasses, putting pressure on our intestines making us feeling bloated. Moreover, we usually eat carbs with lots of heavily seasoned gravy and sauces which indirectly increases the sodium that we consume, hence, contributing further to the issue of water retention. A great way to curb is to distribute your carb intake throughout the day instead of consuming a large serving in one sitting.
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruit and vegetables are great for you. However, some fruits and vegetable can cause bloating due to their high fiber content. If you are able to pinpoint types of vegetables and fruits that cause you trouble, like cabbage, broccoli, kale etc, try consuming them in smaller portions. Also, you can try removing the skins off fruits such as apples although the skins themselves contain chock full of nutrients. Remember always to drink lots of water after a high fiber diet because a high amount of fiber will tend to absorb a lot of water and cause constipation instead, worsening the bloating problem.
Hot Shower and a Massage
Hot showers stimulate our circu
lation, makes your heart pump faster and even amps up your metabolism. When metabolism increases, you tend to sweat, and excess water gets excreted. Apart from that, hot showers are relaxing and will generally make you feel better about yourself. Massages on the other hand are like manually stimulating your lymphatic drainage system. All the kneading and rolling motion increases the rate of lymphatic drainage, encouraging excess liquid in your body to be eliminated. So next time when you wake up feeling horrible in the morning, take a hot shower and grab the loofah, massaging your skin in circles, starting from the outer part of your limbs, working your way towards your heart.
Fermented food and Vinegar
Fermented food like yogurt, kimchi (korean pickled vegetables), bulgur contain rich amounts of Lactobacillus acidophilus bacteria which produces lactic acid, giving the sour tang to the foods mentioned previously. These bacteria help to maintain a healthy digestive system, making your intestines more efficient at passing along food, reducing risks for constipation, reducing bloat. And since these bacteria thrive on Lactose, they are friendly for people suffering from lactose intolerance.
The Asian community has been using ginger root to relieve bloating, indigestion, wind, chills and even hair loss. Ginger is proven to calm upset stomachs. Just take a few slices of ginger and boil in 2 cups of water for 10-15 minutes. Wait for the mixture to cool down slightly, and stir in some honey to serve. It’s best to drink it when warm. Or, chew on a few slices followed by warm water. For those who can’t obtain ginger easily, try getting prepackaged ginger tea sachets from the grocery stores or Asian Markets.
Do you feel bloated or slightly gassy and nauseous after drinking milk? Do you feel the same way after eating bread or pasta or certain vegetables? If you’ve answered yes to the questions above, you might want to be checked for food allergies, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and lactose intolerance. A large part of our population live with undiagnosed food allergies, thinking it’s normal to feel awful after comsuming certain food. By knowing what causes discomfort, you’re able to decrease the chances of nasty encounters, bloating and have a much more efficient digestive system.
Feeling great and looking great isn’t that hard as long as you take the initiative to maintain your well being. Even the most beautiful person don’t wake up everyday feeling great. So try out these few tips when you’re feeling less than glamorous and fit. Wishing you healthiness and beauty everyday.