A fitness blogger has shared before and after photos of her bloated stomach on Facebook to inspire other women to be body confident.
Tiffany Brien took the “food baby” photos 12 hours apart and shared them along with with the caption: “We are not all what we seem on social media.
“I thought I would share a bad day with you to show you nobody is ‘perfect’ and it is ok to have an off day where your body just decides to not play ball.”
Brien went on to say that she often experiences bloating at the most inconvenient times, such as when she’s just about to slip on a tight dress before a night out.
She said she finds it “frustrating” as she often can’t identify exactly what’s caused her stomach to bloat, although she believes it is linked to diet choices, stress and hormones.
“I am in no way perfect. In fact I am miles away from being a role model when it comes to looking after myself fully in this sense,” she said.
“We all have our areas of weakness. I know what I am doing wrong and I know how to fix it but it is actually implementing it into your lifestyle that’s the tough bit. I am trying extremely hard to sleep more, relax more and eat right (not less, just right) and I am definitely seeing improvements and will share tips and photos as I go.
“Yes it gets me down when this happens. No there’s nothing I can immediately do about it. But you can aid it and eventually overcome.”
She ended the post by offering her top tips on how to look after yourself if you recognise these symptoms in yourself:
* Get your zzz’s!
* Write a food dairy and reflect where and when you bloat.
* Don’t over exercise to compensate for a bloated belly. It’s not fat. Exercising will most likely make it worse.
* Look into gut health supplements – multivitamins and probiotics.
* Drink peppermint tea to soothe your tum.
* Relax and be happy… It’ll be ok, you’re not alone. Promise.
According to the NHS, bloating is often a symptom of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), food intolerance or coeliac disease and your GP can help you figure out the main cause.
“Keep a food diary for a couple of weeks, noting everything that you eat and drink and when bloating troubles you most,” the NHS site says.
“But don’t get rid of food groups long-term without advice from your GP.”
It adds that it’s important to consult your GP to rule out a more serious condition if bloating continues long-term, as bloating and a persistent feeling of fullness are key symptoms of ovarian cancer.