5 Ways to Feel Better and Beat the Bloat
You've been going to the gym and absolutely demolishing your weights and PRs. Your nutrition is good enough and you have the occasional pizza or some junk food.
You've been eating right all week and then it happens, you feel bloated. The food baby you have in your belly makes it hard to bend, hurts to breathe, and you definitely don't feel like a lean, mean fighting machine.
Related - How to Lose Belly Fat
So what gives?
The distended stomach and uncomfortable fullness means we just had Thanksgiving at three different relatives' house or we are bloated.
While there are many things that can cause bloat, there are 5 common reasons. Let's go over them now.
Beat the Bloat
1.) Magnesium or Digestive Aids
Magnesium is an essential mineral that our bodies need. A published study shows us that 68% of us consume less than the daily allowance of magnesium.
What does that mean?
It means people will try to fill that gap by taking supplements or soaking in Epsom salt to soothe tired muscles. Jumping head first into supplementing magnesium can wreck your digestive system; bloating being a common side effect. Gas, diarrhea, and stomach cramps generally show themselves as well.
Any digestive supplement such as enzymes, bitters, fennel, and milk thistle all fall under the same category.
This doesn't mean we need to avoid them, we just have to start with a low dose and slowly up the dose over time.
2.) Too Much Fiber
Too much fiber can also wreck your stomach. Have you ever had a salad full of spinach and can only make it an hour before you have to visit the porcelain throne?
Slowly increasing your fiber consumption so that your body can adjust is what I recommend. With the new year coming, it's easy to say "new year, new me" and switch to a plant-based diet or a diet high in fiber.
Slowly easing into a dietary change like that will be the most beneficial and least painful.
3.) Food Allergies or Sensitivity
Food allergies suck. If you've never had any sensitivities or intolerances, you may think you are in the clear, right?
A recent study shows that half of all food allergies appear in adulthood.
Anytime you eat something and you feel bloated or inflammation, you should consult with your doctor and see what exactly you are allergic to. Simply cutting down on or eliminating that food completely can change how you feel almost immediately.
4.) Eating Too Quickly
If you grew up with a short lunch break at school with half of your time in line waiting to get your food, you've developed a knack for eating fast. While certain foods such as beans, Brussels sprouts, and artificial sweeteners cause bloating, eating anything too fast will give you some issues.
There are two main reasons why eating quickly can make you feel like crap:
- You eat so fast that your brain doesn't have time to signal that you are full. This is what happens to a lot of us and we overeat without knowing. Or...
- Hardly chewing your food and swallowing air impacts your gut and increase the amount of bloating and gas you may have.
So if you've ever been miserable after eating (think Thanksgiving) and after a few hours you feel fine, slow your role and enjoy the food.
Your body's reaction to even a mild dehydration is to hold onto as much water as possible. There's a reason that almost every nutrition article of mine includes something about dehydration; it's because most of us are slightly dehydrated.
Increasing how much water you drink allows your body to release stored fluids since there is plenty of hydration.
Eat bananas, avocados, Greek yogurt, kale, nuts, spinach, and coconut water if you'd like to absorb water more efficiently.
Wrapping It Up
Keep a journal and log everything you've eaten, and how you feel after you eat it. Being able to learn your body and narrow down possibilities for why you are bloated will help you get an idea of what is causing it.
Things such as stress can trigger cortisol release which is well-known for causing bloating and holding onto belly fat. Once you find out what is causing all of these issues, eat sparingly or stop eating it all together. It's really not worth the feeling you get afterward.
The more weight I lose and the better food choices I make have made a huge impact on how my gut, my joints, and muscles feel.
I invite you to find the root problem to your gut issues and tackle them head-on. You'll wish you would have done so a long time ago.
2) King DE , et al. "Dietary Magnesium and C-reactive Protein Levels. - PubMed - NCBI." National Center for Biotechnology Information, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15930481.