Is it weight gain or a temporary retention?

Sometimes the weight you appear to be gaining may be nothing more than simple bloating.


If you’ve ever awoke in the morning and appear to have put on four or five pounds overnight then take heart.  Real weight gain takes longer than that and doesn’t appear as puffiness in your stomach, fingers or feet.  Excess gas or fluids can accumulate in your system mostly because of gastrointestinal problems or normal hormonal fluctuations.  Fluid retention often occurs in the areas of our bodies that have the most fat cells and instead of circulating evenly throughout the body this fluid collects between the fat cells.


Some simple ways to reduce the uncomfortableness of bloating may be what’s needed.  Milk sensitivites can manifest as bloating due to a lack of the enzyme necessary to digest it.  This enzyme, known as lactate, allows for the breakdown of lactose, the sugar found in milk.  If lactose goes through undigested then it reacts with the bacteria in the large intestine to produce gas.  There are  many great milk alternatives out there, such as a product known as Rice Dream.


Don’t be fooled by that new ad campaign.  They’re just fighting for market share and 75 per cent of the world’s population lives without milk.


Bloating can also be caused by constipation.  Adding more fibre to your diet and increasing your water intake at the same time will increase the bowel’s transit time.  Add fibre slowly and be aware that too much can exacerbate that bloated feeling.  Some fibre rich foods that can cause gas include beans and cabbage.


Watch your salt intake.  A high sodium diet puts extra sodium into the blood stream and chemically, sodium attacks water molecules, trapping more fluid in the cells.  The average Canadian gets twice as much sodium in their diets as they need.  This increased fluid retention also creates hypertension leading to cardiovascular disease.


If you are shying away from drinking the six to eight glasses of water per day, you should think again.  Water can act as a natural diuretic that helps to flush the kidneys and blood of excessive waste materials.  Dehydration, even subtle dehydration, can cause the body to shift into a defensive mode causing you to retain more fluids.

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