A bloated belly isn’t just uncomfortable, it can make squeezing into tight pants or a form fitting dress downright miserable! The good news is that a lot of bloating can be avoided by being aware of its causes and then using some tricks to prevent it.
Here are some common causes of bloating:
Overeating and eating too fast
Since it takes up to 20 minutes for satiety signals to reach your brain and ease your appetite, it’s easy to overeat when you’re eating too quickly. Try and pace yourself and enjoy your meal. Listen when your brain says: “Enough!”
Eating rich, fatty food
It takes fat longer to digest than protein or carbohydrates, causing your stomach to feel fuller for longer.
Food sensitivities can lead to bloating. It may take a little “detective work” to figure out if any food types are aggravating your system, but it may well be worth it. One at a time, try eliminating foods that are known to cause bloating. Dairy is a common culprit, and fructose, a form of sugar, can ferment in the gastrointestinal tract, causing gas and bloating. Caffeine may also cause bloating because it can irritate the digestive system and exacerbate symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Artificial sweeteners like sorbitol can’t be digested and can result in bloating, too.
Other ways to eliminate bloating include:
Drink enough water. This may seem counterintuitive, but in reality water helps in two ways. First, plenty of fluids are necessary to flush out your digestive system. Second, when your body senses it is dehydrated, it will actually retain water.
Try fennel, peppermint tea and green tea. These are natural diuretics and may help to decrease bloating.
Take a high-quality probiotic or eat naturally-fermented foods. These contain healthy bacteria for your gut.