Every Girl’s Guide to Gut Health

Don’t allow your belly to be in charge of your day, let alone your fashion or sex life

Style Magazine Newswire | 2/7/2018, 1:20 p.m.
What rhymes with ‘vacation’? Ugh, constipation! “Bathroom issues can take the fun out of a romantic rendezvous. It is super ...
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When your belly feels uncomfortable in the morning, it can affect what you eat and drink the entire day. Feeling bloated may also change what you wear and may even cause you to second guess going on that hot date. No woman enjoys being irregular. It’s time to stop letting our bellies control so much of our lives!

“If you don’t have good gut health, there’s always that fear factor on dates,” confirms registered dietitian nutritionist and author Dr. Felicia Stoler. “I know of some women who won’t even leave home until they’ve gone to the bathroom. We’re afraid of embarrassing body noises, smells or worse. Even if you’re in a public restroom, you don’t want to call attention to yourself. It can be mortifying!”

Stoler has outlined some DIY tips and strategies to help you bring your belly under control. With less gas and bloating, could more intimacy be far behind?

  • What rhymes with ‘vacation’? Ugh, constipation! “Bathroom issues can take the fun out of a romantic rendezvous. It is super important to stay hydrated, especially during long flights. Travelers’ diarrhea can also be a problem. Having a healthy gut may help reduce the risk of developing tummy troubles on the road. To keep your gut defenses strong, make sure you’re eating prebiotic fibers and probiotics. Probiotics are the healthy bacteria that reside in the gut. Prebiotics feed the probiotics. The easy solution is to slip several stick packs of Regular Girl into your travel bag. It’s a synbiotic blend of prebiotic guar fiber and probiotics, it is flavorless and crystal clear when mixed with water. It won’t cause additional gas or bloating you might associate with other fiber supplements.”
  • Does poop size matter? “How often you go is important, but so are shape and consistency. It is ladylike to look in the toilet bowl! Size may not matter, but your poop should enter the bowl like an Olympic diver: straight in with no splash! And you’ll know it’s the right consistency when you only need to wipe once.”
  • Banishing “not tonight” headaches. “If you suffer with headaches, irritability, belly pain and/or bloating, constipation may be to blame. Not eating enough plant-based food can slow digestion.”
  • Get intimate with your good bacteria. “Your good bacteria play a role in many aspects of your health, including your mood and possibly even your libido. Show them the love by feeding them more fermented foods, including sauerkraut and yogurt. Get your carbs from fruits and veggies. Drink lots of water. And find one or more relaxation techniques that work for you, and that you’ll stick with.”
  • Think twice about those bedtime snacks and drinks. “Sorry ladies, a bowl of cereal before bedtime may quiet your hunger but it can also cause bloating if you are sensitive to lactose (in milk) or gluten (in many cereals). Sugar-free candy or snacks won’t do you any favors either if they contain sorbitol or xylitol. These artificial sweeteners may cause gas, bloating and stomach cramps.”
  • Stop sucking in extra air. “Chewing gum and drinking through a straw can force air into your digestive system which may also lead to bloating. Also, make sure you are chewing your foods S-L-O-W-L-Y.”
  • Recognize that guys poop differently. “Be kind to yourself. Guys may not understand why you’re feeling backed up. There are anatomical reasons! Men’s colons are shorter than women’s. They tend to go more often during the day, while women typically only poop once a day. So if we don’t go that one time, it’s often a bigger deal.”

Most of us just feel sexier when we’re regular. “And because 80 percent of our immune system is in our gut, a healthy belly may also reduce your susceptibility to other illnesses that could get in the way of your love life,” Stoler concludes. More tips for keeping your belly in top condition can be found at www.RegularGirl.com.

Biography: Felicia D. Stoler, DCN, MS, RDN, FACSM, FAND

Dr. Felicia D. Stoler, America’s Health & Wellness Expert™, is a registered dietitian nutritionist, exercise physiologist and expert consultant in nutrition and healthful living. She was the host for TLC’s reality show, Honey We’re Killing the Kids. She is the author of Living Skinny in Fat Genes™: The Healthy Way to Lose Weight and Feel Great (Pegasus 2011). She specializes in integrating behavior modification to influence positive health outcomes.