Dealing with a bloated tummy after meals can feel incredibly uncomfortable. Whether you're eating too quickly or swallowing copious amounts of air, there can be many causes behind your belly bloat. But did you know that you can debloat and flatten your belly overnight? You've come to the right place, because Eat This, Not That! spoke with Jacquie Smith, a certified integrative nutrition health coach and a fitness instructor specializing in barre, yoga, and pre/postnatal workouts, who breaks down the ultimate bedtime routine to alleviate bloating and flatten your belly.
"I've personally been using it nightly as a pre/postnatal trainer and mama to a newborn to improve my digestion which has been majorly affected by a rollercoaster of postpartum hormones and running on very sleep," Smith explains. "These tools promote relaxation and circulation in the body, which gets things moving in your digestive tract!"
If you're ready to win the battle of the bloat, keep reading to learn all about Smith's #1 bedtime routine to debloat and flatten your belly overnight. And when you're finished, be sure to check out the 10 Best Superfood Snacks to Strip Away Belly Fat.
Magnesium is an essential nutrient that plays a crucial role in many functions, such as stress management, keeping your bowels relaxed, and soothing sore muscles, Smith explains. "However, many of us are actually depleted of magnesium due to the amount of stress in our daily lives leaving us anxious, tense, and constipated," Smith adds.
By adding magnesium to your nighttime routine, you will reap the benefits of a more restful night's sleep. You'll feel more relaxed, which will help your body completely digest anything you eat for dinner or snack. "As a result, you can expect a bloat-free stomach and a full bowel movement in the AM," Smith says.
Smith suggests checking out Natural Vitality's CALM Magnesium Supplement to get started. Add one teaspoon to a 12-ounce glass of water, and enjoy before bedtime.
"This is one of my all-time favorite yoga poses as it increases circulation (crucial for digestion), improves pelvic alignment (allowing your digestive organs to be in the correct place), and promotes overall relaxation in the body (including the core)," Smith tells us.
You'll begin the cat-cow by assuming a tabletop position. Breathe in, and move into "cow pose" as you arch your back and relax your stomach toward the ground. Then, breathe out, and move into "cat pose" as you press both palms into the ground, pull your abs inward, and arch your back toward the ceiling. "The movement in your spine and the breathwork incorporated in this pose will encourage your intestines to let go of any tension and gas trapped in there, setting you up for a flat tummy the next day," Smith adds. She recommends doing eight to 10 reps of breath.
Next up in your new favorite bedtime routine, try "legs up the wall" to debloat and flatten your belly overnight. "This gentle inversion not only boosts circulation and full body relaxation, but also uses gravity to pull your digestive and pelvic organs back into place," Smith explains. "It also will get you so prepared for bed. I love doing this on my bed with a pillow under my hips and my hips up against my headboard and wall. However, you can do this against any wall!" Do this exercise for at least five minutes.
Last but not least, deep belly breathing can make all the difference in the world when it comes to soothing discomfort from bloating. This kind of "360 breathing" will promote total-body relaxation, especially in your pelvic floor and digestive system.
"I prefer to do this breathwork for the first few minutes of legs up the wall to kill two birds with one stone, but you can also do it in a seated position," Smith explains. "Place your hands around your rib cage—fingers in the front and thumbs in the back. Take a deep breath in, and feel your ribcage expand under your fingers and your pelvic floor relax. Then, exhale out the mouth, like you're sipping through a straw, and pull your abdominals and pelvic floor in and up. This breathing will essentially massage the digestive tract allowing your body to fully relax and remove waste the next day."