Posted on February 27 2019
So you went a little overboard this weekend — hello chocolate chip pancakes smothered in syrup, pizza with extra cheese, and a little too much wine. Enjoying the delicious foods you don't normally indulge in during the week is a must sometimes, but when your belly isn't used to the richness or the amount, you can end up with a serious case of Monday bloat. It's natural to want to let go on the weekends, but in order to not have to suffer from uncomfortable belly pains and gas.
Jackie explained that "if bloating is more of an ongoing problem, consider seeing a doctor to find out if something else might be going on," such as constipation, IBS, or a food sensitivity to something like dairy, gluten, or sugar. But if your bloating is just from going a bit overboard on the weekend (which is pretty common!), here are the five tips Jackie shared to relieve weekend bloating.
One of the best things you can do is drink plenty of water. Jackie said it can help with bloating and constipation. She advised to stay away from carbonated beverages and to avoid gulping down water all at once, since either can lead to swallowing air and make bloating worse.
Eat Foods That Promote Gut Health
"Include foods that promote gut health like probiotic-rich foods, fiber-rich foods, and fermented foods," Jackie suggested. Examples of foods and beverages that support gut health include yogurt, sauerkraut, miso, kombucha, kimchi, and kefir, as well as whole grains, fresh fruits and veggies, nuts, and seeds. Just be mindful that increasing your intake of fiber with fruits, veggies, and whole grains at large amounts can make bloating worse, so gradually increase your intake and drink tons of water with them.
"It's actually quite easy to find some relief by getting up and getting your body moving," Sarah, certified personal trainer told in a previous interview. Jackie agreed and said that taking a walk after eating can help prevent bloating later. Or come Monday morning, try breaking a sweat with a short jog, jumping rope, hitting the stair climber at the gym, or doing a quick bodyweight ab workout or twisting yoga poses.
Give Yourself Permission to Eat What You Love
Sometimes the best relief from bloating and digestive issues is to prevent it in the first place. What Jackie hears a lot from clients is, "I'm really 'good' during the week, but then when the weekend comes around, I eat bad foods." Her philosophy on nutrition is while including nutritious foods is important to health and how we feel, it shouldn't be the only driver when it comes to deciding what to eat.
If during the week, you only eat "healthy" foods, or restrict (aka choose a salad because we feel like we "should" when what we really want is a more substantial sandwich or bowl of pasta), we're left feeling unsatisfied and likely still thinking about that food that we wanted in the first place. Have you ever skipped a cookie after lunch only to finish a pint of ice cream at home later that night?
Jackie said to relieve weekend bloating related to overdoing it on the weekends, prevent it before it happens by "giving yourself permission to eat foods that you love frequently throughout the week. Make decisions about what to eat based on how the foods make you feel, what you're in the mood for, and nutrition." Jackie said this will help prevent that cycle of restricting during the week, going overboard on the weekends, and then not feeling so hot come Monday.
You shouldn't think of foods as "good" or "bad;" rather, think about how foods make you feel and what is nutritious and satisfying for your body in that moment.
Eat Small Meals
Another way to prevent Monday bloating is to eat small, frequent meals all weekend, and to chew slowly and thoroughly. Eating fast can make you swallow air, and eating past the point of fullness can also contribute to feeling bloated.
Before you eat, try to quickly rate your hunger and fullness. "Check in with yourself during meals and afterwards, too. Being mindful of your body's hunger signals and being in tune with when you've had enough so that you're satisfied but not still hungry or overly full is key," Jackie said. With practice, this get easier, and pretty soon Monday bloat will be a thing of the past.