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bloating

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Social media stars are what it's all about lately. 

Gone are the days of bowing down to the celebs – now, we have 'real' people to tell us how it is. Tell us what beauty trick to use, what clothes to wear and what weight-loss methods work best.

However, we know ourselves, that everything on the Internet is not always what it seems.

We envy the 'perfection' that some people carry, yet recently, more and more social influencers and bloggers are owning up to what's really going on behind the filter.

Fashion, beauty and lifestyle blogger Tiffany Brien regularly posts jaw-dropping snaps of holidays and her bangin' bod, but she recently came clean.

The self-confessed peanut butter lover shared a split picture of her body on her Facebook page; one side showing her toned, tanned tummy, and on the other side, her bloated and sore stomach.

"These two photos are 12 hours apart," she writes, after opening the FB status with, "reality check."

"We are not all what we seem on social media. I thought I would share a bad day with you to show you nobody is 'perfect' and it is ok to have an off day where your body just decides to not play ball."

She continues to say that the substantial change is down to a "delightful cocktail of lack of sleep, hormones and food intolerances. A mixture for a whole lotta bloat."

However, what she writes next is something I think we can all relate to – mainly because it makes us feel so down – "It seems to happen at incredibly inconvenient times."

YES. Whether it be date night, girls night, our best friend's wedding or on holiday, the bloat always manages to surface when we least expect.. and least want it.

"I suddenly feel uncomfortable and now really unattractive with a big bloated belly," she pens before writing what lessons have sprouted from it.

"I have learnt a lot over the last few years through my own research into my own problems once I noticed my body playing up when I did certain things and ate certain foods.

"It was really frustrating because I couldn't work out what was triggering it.

"This photo is a bad day, a day I cannot tell you exactly what I ate that made me blow up. I have gone over everything I ate and I was relatively clean so it could be something I think is 'healthy' that my body now thinks naaa no likely.

"Sometimes your body becomes intolerable to something you've always eaten, you just have to work it out."

The fashion, fitness, beauty and lifestyle bloggers we all look up to now are stepping away from the impeccable lifestyle – because it's not real. It's ideal on social media, but when you're running on little sleep, crazy-ass hormones and a whole lotta stress, that sought-after lifestyle just doesn't work out, and Tiffany is saying that it's OK to not be that way.

"I am in no way perfect. In fact I am miles away from being a role model when it comes to looking after myself fully in this sense.

"We all have our areas of weakness. I know what I am doing wrong and I know how to fix it but it is actually implementing it into your lifestyle that's the tough bit." Here, here!

"Yes it gets me down when this happens. No there's nothing I can immediately do about it. But I can aid it and eventually overcome it.

"It'll be ok, you're not alone. Promise."

To read Tiffany's full Facebook post, check it out here.

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There are a lot of common food and nutrition myths that frequently make the headlines – and many of us believe them. 

In some cases the facts are just wrong and for others, they may not be as straight forward as you once thought. 

Healthista spoke to nutritionist Rob Hobson to separate the science from the hype and figure out what is fact and what is fiction:

1. High cholesterol foods (like eggs) can raise blood pressure

Previous advice to cut down on your egg intake has since been changed as we now know foods naturally high in cholesterol have very little impact on our blood levels. 

Eggs are super nutritious and have been shown to aid in weight-loss. However, those with diabetes should limit high cholesterol food intake to three times a week. 

 

2. All carbs make you fat

Yes and no. Nutritionally, there is nothing fattening about complex carbs with a low GI, such as oats or wholegrain pasta, which contain four calories per handful. 

When eaten in sensible portion sizes, these foods are a good source of nutrients such as fibre and vitamin B. However, what you choose to eat with these carbohydrates will only add to your calorie count and an excess of any food will lead to weight gain.

 

3. Saturated fat is bad for you

Fats are probably the most complicated of nutrients. All health advice points towards cutting down our saturated fat intake to help maintain healthy cholesterol levels.

However, new research suggests that saturated fat may not be as strongly linked to heart disease as previously thought. 

 

4. Eating after 7pm will make you gain weight

OK, first of all, your body doesn't just decide to turn food you eat after 7pm into fat. And secondly, although your metabolism may by slower when you sleep, it still continues to digest food in your gut. 

The amount of fat you have is determined by the amount of calories you consume during the day and how active you are. 

 

5. A raw food diet is better for you

Raw foods are highly nutritious and a great addition to your diet but some reasons given about the benefit of a raw food diet don't quite add up. 

The are several antioxidants made more available in cooked food such as lycopene (found in red veggies) and beta-carotene (found in orange and dark green veg). 

However, raw food is a great source of enzymes, and we can't function without them. 

 

6. You need dairy in your diet for calcium

Most people know the importance of including calcium-rich foods in their diet for healthy bones, but you don't soley have to rely on dairy products. 

While milk and cheese provide a readily available source of calcium, other foods rich in this mineral include dark green vegetables, almonds, tofu and ground spices.

 

7. Eating small portions regularly will help you lose weight

While it’s true that your metabolism increases slightly as you eat, it's not enough to cause any significant weight loss. The only way to actively boost your metabolism is with regular exercise and healthy eating.

 

8. Bread causes bloating

Putting gluten-sensitivity and coeliac disease aside, some people are sensitive to wheat, which may cause bloating. However, sensitivity is not that common and wheat allergy is rare.

So if you're bloated it may be due to another reason such as IBS, skipping meals, a lack of good bacteria in the gut and foods rich in fermentable carbohydrates (like onions).

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You should probably pay attention to his one because this is the kind of advice that people pay hundreds of euro to hear.

Over the course of the weekend, the summer, your holidays of just a Wednesday we can easily fall off of our healthy eating bandwagons and raid the biscuit tins. Our efforts to make up for these little slip ups can apparently not be any good for us at all.

So, instead of putting yourself on a no-carb, no-sugar, no-fun emergency detox, have a look at what holistic nutritionist Eve Kessner does when she decides a detox is on the cards.

All of the water!

"Drink lots of water," Evesays. Besides balancing out the dehydrating effects of any imbibing you did over the weekend, Kessner credits water with helping the body "flush out any toxins it's holding on to." Start the morning with hot water with a lemon, which among other things has been shown to aid in weight loss.

Get some sleep:

"This one is tough [when you have a busy schedule], but super important for your body's recovery," explains the SoulCycle instructor. Skipping sleep can lead to stress, weight gain, and an overall decline in good health. 

Try and fit in some exercise:

She suggests a fast-paced cardio session since it will boost the body's metabolism, so you can definitely burn off some of those weekend indulgences. If you went completely overboard on Sunday and the thought of a high-intensity workout makes you feel a tad unsettled, try a walk in the fresh air instead.

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We all know the struggle of trying to do up our jeans after a day of overeating or comfort eating. As the day goes on you become increasingly bloated and you don’t know which foods have caused it, well, we’re here to help.

Here are a few common foods that cause bloating which you may want to cut down on in future if you’re looking to beat the bloat and show off your new pair of high waisted skinnies.

1. Fried foods
The stomach takes longer to break down and digest foods which are high in fat. This results in bloating due to a build-up of gas.

2. Artificial sweeteners
Similarly to fried foods, artificial sweeteners cause a build-up of gas which leads to bloating. This is due to the fact that the stomach cannot digest the artificial sweeteners. These can be found in foods such as sweets and energy bars.

3. Dairy products
You may be lactose-intolerant if you often feel bloated after eating dairy products. Lactose-intolerant means that your body is unable to digest lactose. When it is not digested it is passed to the colon where gas will be produced while trying to finish breaking it down. This causes the dreaded bloat.

4. Salty foods
High sodium foods can result in water retention in the body which causes bloating. The salt is hidden in many of the foods that we eat on a daily basis e.g. processed food, so always read the label. Just because you are not pouring salt on your food, doesn’t mean that you are avoiding it.

5. Some vegetables
It sounds crazy, but some vegetables can actually cause bloating because of the gases that they produce. These include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and onions so look for other vegetables which do not produce as much gas.

 

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We all know the feeling – that clingy dress that looked HAWT in the shop all of a sudden makes you feel like a hippo when you put it on before heading out. You know you haven't gained any weight – so what's the problem?

Stomach bloating and gas are common issues for many Irish women. Not only do they make your stomach appear larger, but they can cause pain and discomfort too.

Luckily though, there are a few simple ways to reduce bloating – and even to avoid it altogether.

1. Cut back on sugar substitutes and high-salt foods
Artificial sweeteners like aspartame found in sweets, sugar-free soft drinks and other processed foods are not naturally digestible and can trigger bloating instantly. High-sodium foods such as canned soups, frozen dinners and bottled salad dressings are other triggers – they can be much higher in salt than you realise, causing water retention. Avoid these to keep that tummy flat.

2. Eat slowly
Inhaling a sandwich during a 5-minute dash back to the office is not going to aid your digestive system. When we chew and swallow fast, we inhale a lot of gas-producing air. Eat slowly, with your mouth closed (your mammy would be proud), and sip your drink rather than gulping it down or using a straw.

3. Get out and about
Going for a stroll after dinner, even just a brisk 10-minute one, can help gassy air pass through the digestive tract more quickly, stopping bloating before it has even begun. On days when you're feeling sluggish and out of sorts, one of the worst things you can do is to skip your workout – if you don't fancy that Abs Blast class, go for a cycle, a jog or a walk instead.

4. Keep breathing
Digestive problems are a natural response to anxiety and nervousness, as our stress hormones speed up every bodily process. Gas, diarrhoea and bloating are all more likely in times of high stress. Keep breathing and go for a walk to ease those nerves.

5. Manage your dairy intake
More than 10% of adults are believed to be lactose intolerant, so it's more likely than you might think. However even if you do have an intolerance to dairy, your body can still handle it in small amounts without feeling bloated or tired. If you suspect your dairy intake may be causing digestive problems, try to break up your intake throughout the day – rather than having a milky coffee with your morning yoghurt or a bar of chocolate with your lunchtime cheese toastie, spread things out across the day.

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There’s nothing worse than trying to slip into your Saturday night dress when a bloated tummy has you feeling far from sexy. Sometimes stomach bloating can be caused by having just eaten a big meal, but often the reason might be a little harder to figure out – water retention, bad digestion or dehydration.

Here are our tips for getting rid of pesky bloating…

1. Avoid the couch straight after dinner
If you often feel gassy or too full after a meal, avoid throwing yourself on the coach as soon as you’ve finished eating. A brisk walk, even for 15 minutes, helps the food to move through your system more easily.

2. Drink lots of water – but not all at once!
Water is key for ensuring your food is well digested, but too much at once can leave your stomach feeling uncomfortably full, especially before exercise. Try to drink a full glass of water around 1 -2 hours before your workout, so that your body has time to hydrate.

3. Go bananas
One banana per day contains enough potassium to significantly reduce bloating. Slice one up on your morning cereal, or eat one as a snack later in the day. Easy!

4. Keep carbs for lunchtime
Eating excess carbohydrates in the evening is a sure fire way to leave you feeling sluggish. If you have a night out or event planned and don’t want a bloated stomach, avoid starchy foods after lunchtime.

5. Make room for probiotics
Probiotics are “good bacteria” that can improve digestive health. Look for yoghurts or yoghurt drinks containing these friendly bacteria for a tasty way to help bloating.

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There is nothing worse than enjoying a delicious meal only to suffer from bloating after it. Not good, especially on a first date!

Here are 4 ways to beat it, without sacrificing the good stuff:

Chew your food
The best and easiest way to avoid bloating is to spend time chewing your food. Avoid eating on the go – sit down and relax with your lunch.

Avoid drinking with meals
Your stomach’s acid breaks down your food so that it can be digested. However, fluids can actually dilute it meaning it can’t do its job properly.

Avoid a large meal
Stick with small and often meals. Obviously the more food you have in your stomach, the bigger your stomach will be!

Eat plenty of fibre
Fibre is important for aiding digestion, it also prevents constipation which can lead to a bloated stomach.

Simples!

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