My “Fight like a Girl” squad have an in joke, “pregnant or bloated”? Which was our hilarious way to comparing our bellies reactions to meals, after which we would like 4 months present. Sometimes due to various food sensitivities and perhaps occasional over eating. Well it was hilarious till one of us actually got pregnant.
So what causes bloating and perhaps a sense of not being able to slim down even though you are training and eating right?
1. Salt... Sodium is an essential nutrient that helps your body regulate blood pressure. Especially for people who exercise and sweat a lot. So it shouldn't be feared or 100% avoided. After a big salty meal, that may be more sodium that your body needs, it freaks out a little and in an attempt to maintain a sodium/water concentration, it retains fluid to keep the levels just right. So avoiding over doing the salt will help reduce these up and downs of fluid.
2. Dehydration ... Water keeps your mind sharp and enables your muscles to have full flexibility and strength. A 2% loss in hydration can lead to a 10% drop in exercise performance, a vital component for anyone who exercises. Water is also vital for weight loss for many of the reasons listed above and many more. So here is a good rule of thumb for fluid intake, take your weight in KG's and multiply it by 30. So for an 84kg individual it would be 2530ml, that's around 2.5 litres. If you exercise, then this requirement will increase to approximately 500ml extra for every hour of exercise completed.
3. Stress, lack of sleep and rest periods. I think everyone learned in grade school that our body repairs at night, then somehow as adults, we decide we can stay up late, handle 100 things at once, train 7 days per week then wonder why we get injured and can't perform properly. Sleep is well documented factor in over weight loss as well as bloating. You see we are essentially still cave men. Our body cant tell the difference between different types of stress, emotional, mental and physical ( exercise ). Cave men had 1 maybe 2 stresses in life 1. Food, where am I getting calories from next? 2. Am i going to get eaten by something myself? Fight or flight? So the body responds with stress hormones by storing both fat and fluid, cause im going to need if for what ever this crisis going on is. So what can you do? Aim for 7-9 hours sleep each night. Meditate. At least 1 rest day each week. Every 9-12 weeks take 4-5 days off. After a rest period, you will come back stronger, You wont lose fitness in that time. You may even feel leaner too.
Next time ill chat about food related reasons.
Practicing taking time out to rest, is a skill too. Keep at it.