The countdown is over. The day of the modelling casting or shoot has arrived. Obviously you want to be sure you look, and perform, your best… but how do you stop a last-minute case of bloating?
The most important thing to tell you is that bloating is not ‘water weight’ so don’t hold off on drinking fluids out of fear of bloating. You should stay hydrated at all times, not only for your skin, hair and general health but so you have the energy to perform to your best.
So what does cause bloating? We sat down with model, dancer and nutritionist Ewa Golan to get her advice.
Here’s how to avoid bloating before a modelling casting or shoot.
To Chew or Not to Chew?
To chew! But your food, not gum ideally. Your mouth is the first step in the digestive process, and saliva helps break down and process food. The more you chew, the more you’re processing the food you eat – which makes it easier on your tummy and results in less bloating.
When it comes to gum, there are a lot of rumours about it helping you stay fuller longer and stopping you bloat, but they’re not true. Chewing gum isn’t actually good for you at all. They put so many nasties in it, Ewa says, that it’s little surprise it makes you bloat. Also, chewing gum is likely to make you inhale extra air, which increases bloating.
If you have to chew gum, choose gum with Xylitol. Not only will it keep your breath fresh, it reduces risk of decay and , most importantly is sugar and aspartame free. Aspartame is really, really bad for you. Xylitol is a sweetener derived from wood (!) and is a healthy substitute for other sweeteners.
Watch your portions
Don’t eat a massive dinner the day before the modelling casting or shoot or you’ll be more likely to bloat. If you have dinner commitments you can’t cancel, go for a soup or a light salad instead – your tummy will thank you for it the next day!
It’s also best to avoid eating within 2 hours of your bedtime, so your digestive system has time to rest and settle. As a general rule, you should try and eat smaller meals every few hours as large meals can expand your stomach.
Don’t starve yourself though! If you skip food, you’ll have less energy and be less able to perform to your best at the casting. Good health should be your number one goal, and that means giving your body the fuel it needs to perform.
You don’t have to do a full-on workout – and you probably don’t have time to if you’re on a modelling job all day – but exercise will help stop bloating. Physical activity stimulates the muscles in your digestive system, which helps food and air move more smoothly through your body.
Simply go for a 30-minute walk to speed up your metabolism, and you’ll be looking flat and fresh all day!
Ewa says she find yoga really helps her avoid bloating on shoot days, even if it’s only 15 minutes of stretching in the morning before she gets ready. So, get that blood pumping, models.
Ditch the Latte, and the Fizz
This is a key culprit in the bloating stakes. A regular latte has nearly 150 calories, and a Venti semi-skimmed has 250 – and almost all of those drinks are milk.
Considering that most people are at least marginally dairy-intolerant, you’ll be best off avoiding the milk-hit. Go for a flat white instead, and switch out the traditional milk for almond or coconut milk where possible.
You should also avoid carbonated drinks on the day before and day of your modelling casting. Bubbles are a sure-fire way to bloat, plus you’re filling yourself up with empty calories that won’t do much for your energy levels. Also avoid drinking through a straw or gulping drinks too quickly – as with chewing gum, these habits can mean you take in too much air: bloat o’ clock.
Avoid Gassy Foods
There are certain foods that are known to produce more gas in your gut than others. Excess gas is the primary cause of bloating, so it’s important to think about what you’re putting into your body.
Key culprits are:
Beans and lentils
Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, asparagus and cauliflower
Fructose, found in many fruits, wheat and soft drinks
Lactose, the natural sugar in milk
That’s not to say you should avoid these things completely. Your body gets accustomed to your diet, so the most important thing is not to make any major changes on the day of a modelling casting or shoot. If you don’t normally eat a lot of beans, for example, definitely don’t eat these on the day or day before!
The most crucial thing is to listen to your body, as everyone has different sensitivities. Work out what works best for you, and stick to a regular diet and you’ll be much more likely to avoid bloating.
And last but not least…
You’re no doubt nervous about the modelling casting or shoot, but try not to stress. When we’re stressed, we hold tension in our bodies and nothing works as it should. Stress causes blood to be diverted from your GI tract where you digest food, so you’ll digest more slowly and be more likely to bloat.
Also, when we’re nervous, we can tend to breathe more heavily which leads to us swallowing more air and bloating. Instead, take long breaths and focus on exhaling for a few beats longer, to calm yourself down and cut your stress off in its tracks.
Take these deep, measured breaths and say to yourself “I’m great at what I do and I really want this. They will like me for who I am”. Then walk into that casting with your head held high, a huge smile and a great attitude (and a flatter bloat-free tummy!).
We Are Models member Ewa is a dance fitness instructor and nutritionist. Ewa teaches empowering dance classes every week and offers nutrition advice to transform your lifestyle from unconsciously unhealthy to consciously healthy & happy. To find out more, visit her Website, Follow her on Facebook HERE and Instagram HERE.
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