All Woman

I'm not feeling the bloat

Keeping FIT

Monday, September 10, 2012    

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Dear Donovan,

I am seeking your advice about controlling bloating. The bloating usually takes place a week before my menstrual cycle and continues a week after. Usually, it is very drastic and results in three inches more on my stomach, taking it from 29 inches to 32 inches.

Additionally, I am five feet five inches and weigh 142 pounds. My weight goes to my stomach, creating a pouch.

I have tried reverse crunches and I'm also on my AB Pro machine three times per week. Is there a better approach? If so, could you kindly advise me? I would like to maintain a 26-inch stomach.

My usual routine is: Breakfast: Toast bread with egg or a tuna sandwich with orange juice twice per week and the other days, ground provision with callaloo, chicken etc. Lunch: Rice and peas with chicken every day. Dinner: Toast bread with Milo or milk.

Suzzanne

Dear Suzzanne,

It would appear that there is a growing problem with large tummies in Jamaican men and women. It is my suspicion that it is both a lifestyle and a genetic problem. It is a known fact that some persons/family members tend to put on weight in certain places. In your case, it is in your abdominal region and this is not good.

The circumference of the stomach is a good predictor of many of our lifestyle disorders, for example diabetes. So you need to have a look at your family history and you need to change your eating habits or at least control the portion size of some of the foods you are eating.

Clearly, you are not eating for a washboard stomach since there are too many carbohydrates in your diet and your food combination is wrong. It is better to eat your protein with your vegetables or your carbohydrates with your vegetables. If the food combination is wrong and there are too many carbohydrates in the diet, this could cause constipation and result in the amount of food being taken in being more than food being eliminated.

This is one of the reasons for the stomach getting larger.

Firstly, I recommend that you start nine-nights of a detox programme. Detox herbal teas can be purchased from health food stores be and used for this programme. This can help to clear the bowels and usually results in the stomach going down and generally getting softer. But if you don't make some changes in your eating habits, the stomach will come right back.

You will also need to start incorporating more fruits and raw vegetables into your diet. Try this diet for one week along with your detox programme:

Breakfast

Two to three fruits

or

Yoghurt plus water

or

Steamed callaloo, two fingers of green bananas and one slice pumpkin.

Lunch

Protein with raw and steamed vegetables

or

12-ounces soup plus raw vegetables

or

Callaloo with salt fish plus one piece of yam, one piece of pumpkin and raw vegetables.

or

12-ounces of a meal replacement shake.

Dinner

Same options as lunch.

In addition, try to drink at least six to eight glasses of water daily and you could also have fruits or coconut water for your snacks.

After doing the detox programme, the stomach will be down but still not sexy, so you will have to tone the stomach muscles. But since you have already been working on your stomach, just put in a bit more effort and determination and you will succeed. The overall aim should be to create a healthy lifestyle.

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