One minute, you’re able to button-up your jeans with ease then the next, you have to suck in your stomach and use some strength just to get them on. Bloating can be pretty annoying. It feels uncomfortable, makes you look like you have a really big stomach, and it makes you burp and fart a lot too.
So what gives us the bloat? Most people would think it’s because of the fiber but actually it’s the little things that you do daily that contribute to the bloat. Are you guilty of any of these 10 bloat-inducing mistakes?
1. Eating too fast
Unless you’re in a rush, take your time to enjoy your meal. When you eat fast, you tend to chew less and swallow more air which causes your bloat . So chew more, relax and enjoy your meal. Besides, by taking your time to enjoy your meal you feel more satisfied so you might eat less.
2. Chewing gum or sucking hard candy
Chewing gum or sucking on some hard candy may help you control your cravings while giving you a fresher breath but you’re unconsciously swallowing more air . Why not munch on some fruits, nuts and healthy snacks to keep your mouth busy?
3. Sipping from a straw
Just like chewing gum, drinking from a straw can cause you to suck in the air that’s trapped in the upper part of the straw before you get to taste your drink . Doesn’t matter how big or small the straw is, the air is already added to the bloat. Try sipping from the side of the cup instead if you’re bloated already.
At a buffet you want to pile as much variety of dishes as you can onto your plate because you want to make it worth your money, right? But the food coma bloat after having several plates is not the best feeling in the world. So don’t force yourself to go all carnal at the buffet spread. Try to use a smaller plate so you can try to control the portion a little bit and eat slowly . Or even better, just skip buffets and go for a fulfilling meal that’ll probably cost less instead.
5. Drinking carbonated drinks
Fizzy drinks are refreshing to slurp up on a hot day. But they’re usually filled with sugar and those gas bubbles in the drink will only make you feel more bloated. Sip on some fruit-infused water which is naturally sweet, filled with vitamins and it helps to reduce your bloat too by keeping your GI tract moving to get rid of the excess air and water .
6. Eating foods that are high in sodium
Eating fast food and other highly processed food which tend to be high in sodium and fat can contribute to the bloat. It could cause constipation and make you feel sluggish too . Try to avoid those kind of food and go for some brain food instead to perk you up without the bloat.
7. Having large amounts of beans, whole grains and other hard-to-digest food
If you suddenly go on a beans, whole grain and fiber binge then your body will have difficulty in digesting the large amounts since you rarely eat these kind of foods which in turn makes your stomach bloated. Beans have indigestible sugars called oligosaccharides which can only be digested by the bacteria in your intestines. Whole grains, cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower contain a high amount of fiber (indigestible carbohydrate) which are good for you if you introduce them to your body slowly and you drink loads of water to help them move through your GI tract .
8. Eating too close to bedtime
If you have a heavy meal 1-2 hours or less before you hit the sack, it will give you a not-so-flattering morning muffin top. Lying down will slow down the digestion process so your dinner will only be fully digested in the a.m. Try to have your dinner 3-4 hours before bedtime or have a small low-cal snack to feed those hunger pangs if you have no choice .
You’re inhaling and swallowing air along with those carcinogens. Smokers tend to be more bloated than non-smokers because they swallow more air and it gets collected in their body. Another good reason to stop smoking.
10. Eating low-cal/ diet foods with hidden sugars
You’ll be surprised that those sugar-free food or drinks you are consuming are the source of your bloat. Since most of them are made with artificial sugars such as aspartame and sucralose, your body will have trouble digesting or won’t be able to digest it at all. Diet versions of carbonated drinks are the worst culprits .
But if you have tried to avoid making these mistakes and yet you still feel bloated, it could be an allergy symptom. Do check with your doctors to see if you might be allergic to certain foods such as gluten. Or it could be an underlying symptom for something more serious.