Well here’s the deal; there is both good news and bad news about bloating.
First, the good news: often times we confuse bloating with fat, but that’s not the case! Bloating is the byproduct of gas and water retention which can add inches and puffiness to our body. So when you reduce it, you will naturally look slimmer and feel healthier!
Now for the bad news: bloating is really a health issue and unfortunately, there is no ‘one size fits all’ fix that will eliminate bloating for everyone. If it is a chronic issue, you will need to do some work to determine what triggers your bloated belly.
Bloating can be a reflection of the health of your gut. If you experience constant bloating, your gut is trying to tell you it’s not happy and needs some TLC! So make it your job to figure out what’s activating your bloat.
✕ Food Sensitivity
– Dairy, gluten, eggs and soy are top food allergy offenders for gas and bloating in people who are sensitive. An elimination diet can be done to test for food allergies/sensitivities.
✕ Eating Too Fast/ Not Properly Chewing Your Food
– Easier said than done I know, but you must thoroughly chew your food to break it down into smaller parts for easier digestion. Also, your saliva coats your food with enzymes that will help the process. In addition, by chewing your food you’ll naturally eat slower and be less likely to swallow air.
✕ Artificial Sweeteners
– Artificial sweeteners are just that ‘artificial’ and are therefore foreign substances in the body that can lead to inflammation and bloating. Sugar alcohol (which is a kind of alcohol prepared from sugar) may also cause bloating and gas, so be on the lookout for protein bars that advertise 0 grams of sugar (like ThinkThin Bars) as these sneaky bars are usually full of sugar alcohols that can make you bloat.
✕ A Diet Extremely High In Fiber
– Fiber is your best friend and an essential part of a healthy diet, but if you starting adding too much fiber too fast, a common side effect is gas and bloating. Be careful of beans, lentils and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cabbage. Moral of the story is to increase fiber slowly to your diet.
✕ Chugging Water During Meals
– You don’t want to flood your digestive track while you’re eating as your body will be forced to work harder to break down food. Doing this can dilute digestive enzymes needed to digest food. Drink before and after your meal.
✕ Fizzy Drinks
– I am especially talking about soda – carbonated air bubbles travel to the stomach releasing carbon dioxide in the digestive track. Plus, sodas contain artificial sweeteners and that spells double trouble! But, Kombucha and sparkling water can also be bloating culprits.
✕ Chewing Gum
– Yes, simply chewing gum can lead to swallowing excess air which can trigger a ballooned stomach!
✕ High Sodium Foods
– We all associate salt with bloating, and processed and packaged foods may contain tons of hidden salt, i.e. ketchup or canned soup! Read labels. Also, restaurants tend to over salt their dishes, so ask for sauces or dressings on the side.
– Stop eating when you’re about 80% full and it will allow your body to properly digest foods you eat and prevent bloating. Remember thoroughly chewing your food will naturally have you eating less.
✕ Over Stressing
– This is the biggest one and some may argue hardest to manage, but stress wreaks havoc on your digestive track. Find ways to de-stress that work for you – meditation, exercise, reading or whatever works for you – and make it a priority!
If chronic bloating is an issue for you, keep a 7-day food journal. In addition to recording what you eat, write down when you feel bloated. You may be able to determine what foods or habits trigger your bloating.
It’s also smart to incorporate more foods into your diet that reduce bloat.
Foods To Banish Bloat
✓ Lemon Water
✓ Peppermint Tea
✓ Probiotic Yogurt
✓ Probiotic/Fermented Foods
Lindsay’s Happy Gut Smoothie
I love helping my clients overcome digestive struggles. I’ve been there with IBS, SIBO, and Candida. I know firsthand how awful it is to feel uncomfortable in your own body. Please contact me here if you’d like to learn more about working together or post your questions + comments below.