There’s nothing more frustrating than that too-full feeling in your belly. It can make your clothes fit poorly and wreak havoc on your motivation to eat well and exercise. There may be some simple reasons your belly is bloated, and luckily they’re all easy to fix!
Four Common Reasons Your Belly is Bloated
1. You May Have a Food Allergy or Intolerance
One of the main reasons your belly is bloated may be because of the food you’re consuming. Eating foods that you’re allergic to (or, that you’re intolerant to) can cause your body to produce excess gas. That gas can bloat out your belly quicker than you thought possible!
Start keeping a food diary and write down any times where you feel bloated and uncomfortable. You may notice that your stomach expands a few hours after eating wheat or gluten, eggs, dairy, or fructose. If it turns out you have food intolerances that are causing the bloating, cut those foods out immediately. Check out these Genius Substitutions for People with Food Allergies.
2. Avoid Sugar Substitutes
You might think choosing diet over regular soda is a good move, but there is little or no evidence that sugar substitutes help with weight loss. In fact, many sugar substitutes can actually make you hungrier and crave more sugar! These fake sugars also contain sugar alcohols (like sorbitol, xylitol, and mannitol) that could be one of the reasons your belly is bloated.
3. Bad Bacteria in the Gut
You may be eating right, exercising, and making good choices, and yet your belly is still bloated. It’s possible there’s a build-up of bad bacteria in your gut. Adding probiotics to your diet may help rebalance the microorganisms living in your stomach. Probiotics can eliminate excess gas and reduce your belly bloat for good.
You can find probiotic supplements at most natural grocery stores.
4. Overeating or Eating Too Fast
This is one of those reasons your belly is bloated that should be pretty simple to resolve! Sometimes, it’s not about what you’re eating; it’s about how much and how fast you’re eating it. The easiest way to reduce belly bloat caused by overeating is to follow portion control. It’ll not only fix your extended belly, but it will help you lose weight, too!
When it comes to eating too fast, you will need to work on slowing down. Try to incorporate some of these Tips for Mindful Eating from a Mindfulness Expert into your day. It also helps to take a lunch break instead of eating at your desk, put your phone away, and really try to enjoy each bite before taking the next one.