Sick of feeling full and bloated all the time? It’s likely that what and how you eat could be the reason you feel so crummy. Here’s a list of reasons you may be dealing with an uncomfortable belly.
You’re Not Eating Enough Fiber
One of the most common reasons for bloat is that you’re not getting enough fiber, or you may even be eating too much of a good thing. To keep your digestive system happy, aim for 25 to 30 grams of fiber a day. Gradually add in fiber-rich foods like beans, avocado, pears, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. And if you think you may be eating too much, try cutting back a little to see how you feel.
You’re Not Staying Hydrated
If you’re not drinking enough water each day, constipation could be the reason you feel bloated. And we’re talking plain water, as carbonated water makes you swallow more air. You don’t need to go nuts and drink a gallon of water a day, but aim for around 60 to 80 ounces daily. Drinking a big glass right when you wake up can get things moving right along (if you know what we mean), which can prevent bloat the rest of the day. And keeping a reusable water bottle on hand will encourage you to sip all day. If you forget, set reminders on your phone.
You’re Inhaling Your Food
Whether you’re in a rush to scarf down breakfast because you’re late for work, or you need a quick bite before an afternoon workout, inhaling your food in five seconds flat is one of the worst things you can do for your digestion. You’re more likely to swallow air, which translates to belly bloat. Take time out of your day to devote to eating and digesting. You’ll enjoy the food much more and feel more satisfied.
You’re Eating Foods That Irritate Your System
Certain foods can be hard to digest, so keeping a food journal for a week can help you pinpoint what foods might be the culprit. Dairy products like Greek yogurt, gluten, apples and pears, beans, broccoli, onions, salty foods, alcohol, and fried foods can cause that full, gassy feeling.
You’re Eating Too Much Sugar
You’re the first one to admit that you’ve got a major sweet tooth. And it’s not just a few squares of dark chocolate after lunch or a bowl of ice cream after dinner. You go for sweetened vanilla soy milk in your oatmeal and douse it in maple syrup. Unfortunately, eating tons of sugar, even natural, can cause belly bloat for some people. When that sugar craving strikes, reach for fruit or this frozen banana nice cream.
You May Be Eating Too Much
If every meal involves you eating until you feel grossly stuffed, you’re not only consuming extra calories that will lead to weight gain, but your digestive system can’t handle the load, so it retaliates. No wonder you feel painfully bloated. Focus on eating until you’re 80 percent full to avoid that sick, bloated feeling. Leslie Langevin, MS, RD, CD, of Whole Health Nutrition suggests that you can even take a 10-minute break halfway through your meal to assess whether you should continue eating more or be done. It’s OK not to finish all the food in front of you!
Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Ericka McConnell