What can I eat for stomach pain? 4 important tips

Do you feel confused about what to eat and what you should and what not to eat when you have stomach pain? Maybe you read somewhere that you should follow a ketogenic diet, low sugar, high fiber, vegan and raw veggies… But you also heard low fat, cooked foods, carnivore diet and low fiber…

It is such a confusing world out there with many different messages about food! Before you jump on one of these special diets, check if you’ve tried these first important steps! They help you decide what works for YOU…

1: Eat whole foods

If you eat a diet high in processed foods and you have bloating, acid reflux, stomach pain… your first step is to replace those by whole foods. Whole foods are – well… what the are! A chicken is a whole food, a sweet potato is. Oats, rice, nuts, seeds are.

Processed foods often contain a whole list of ingredients: flours, sugar, processed oils, colourings, flavourings… That makes it much harder to recognise which ingredient is causing you issues. Processed foods make up most of the shelves of the supermarket and the messages on the package can suggest they’re a healthy food. So be careful and check the ingredients on the label!

2: Ditch the sugar and the refined grains

Sugar and refined grains (like white flour, most breads, cakes, biscuits, pasta, crackers, cereals etc) feed the wrong bacteria in your gut. They can also create yeast overgrowth. And result in stomach pain, fatigue, bloating, joint pain, cravings… I’ve seen many clients feel much better the instant they stopped eating these refined carbohydrates.

3: Eat when you feel relaxed

Many people eat while they’re driving, working or watching the news. If that’s you – you’re in action mode and your body is not focusing on digesting and absorbing food. The result: bloating, acid reflux, IBS symptoms and much more.

If you’re in a calm state you are in ‘rest and digest’ mode. Your body knows everything is safe, relaxes and focuses on sending more blood to your digestive organs. The solution? Resist the urge to eat on the go. Set the table with a nice plate. Light a candle. Make this a time to connect with your partner or family. And take some deep breaths and appreciate the food in front of you. It doesn’t take more than that to switch to the rest-and-digest mode. Your tummy will thank you for it.

4: Write down what you eat and how you feel

When you write down what you eat and drink and you take some time to connect to how you actually feel, you can start connecting the dots. You might for instance notice that you snack more than you thought, or that you always feel heavy after certain meals. This is how you can find out what works and what doesn’t work for you.

If you find out you are sensitive to certain foods and want to know why, check out this video!

Are cravings making you feel fat, tired and guilty?

Are you someone who wakes up every day promising yourself you will not eat the sugary or fatty foods you crave? Only to break that promise again and again? You’re not alone. Cravings can be very strong. Do you want to stop feeling fat, tired and guilty? Here are some helpful tips for cravings!

First: what can be the cause of your cravings?

There can be several reasons for your cravings. So it’s not all about your lack of willpower! As a practionioner working in functional medicine, I always look for the root cause. Here are some I see a lot with my clients:

  • Blood sugar imbalance: when your blood sugar goes low, your brain will make you eat something rich in easy glucose because your body goes into stress if there’s not enough glucose! I made a video about it here.
  • Toxic hunger: the additives, colourings etc in your food can actually make you hungry…
  • Yeasts in gut – like candida – want to be fed and they like sugar. So they send a strong message to your brain: eat sugar now! Feed me!
  • Hormonal changes: pregnancy is famous for cravings – sometimes really strange ones! When I was pregnant with my daughter I craved extra salty liquorice (it’s a Dutch thing…). Not such a great idea when you don’t want your blood pressure to go up!
  • Emotions… In an attempt to come back to balance when you’re experiencing strong emotions, equally strong cravings can come up.
  • A diet poor in nutrients: your body will start craving specific foods when you’re low in certain nutrients.
  • Lack of sleep: when you don’t get enough sleep your blood sugar can easily become imbalanced. And your hunger hormones are affected too!
So what can you do? Try out these tips for cravings:
  • Drink more water: your body can think it’s hungry when it’s actually dehydrated.
  • Get enough sleep. Make it a priority! Here are some helpful tips
  • Eat more protein, fat and fiber and less carbs so you keep your blood sugar more balanced
  • Get more movement
  • Eat a whole food diet. You will consume less additives and more nutrients and your cravings will lessen considerately
  • Identify when the cravings happen. Is it really food you’re craving? Or something else? Here’s a PDF with an exercise that can help you to connect with the underlying emotions of your cravings.

Do you need support with your cravings? Do you want to address what’s causing them and say goodbye to feeling tired and guilty? Book a free 30 minute call with me so we can explore how I can help.