When you’ve got that uncomfortable bloated feeling, you need something that works – quickly – to experience relief. This post will explain why your stomach bloats and how to reduce bloating, fast!
Ever get the feeling that your belly is distended, hard, and poking out like a basketball?
That’s bloating, my friends, and we all experience it. To some, it’s painful, while to others it’s embarrassing.
Often accompanied by gas, bloating is a nuisance. Your belly can be full for hours, making you look 5 pounds heavier and feeling like your clothes are just way too tight.
Those jeans fit perfectly a few days ago, so what gives?
There are several reasons for a puffed-out, hard stomach. Let’s learn how to reduce bloating to feel your best every day!
What causes bloating?
Everything from FODMAPs to overeating – many things can cause bloating. While you’d hope there would be one simple reason why your stomach goes from flat to full-out bloated, it’s more complex.
Multiple factors can contribute, such as these:
- FODMAPs: These are foods classified as fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols. Examples are dairy foods (lactose intolerance can cause bloating), onions, garlic, asparagus, artichokes, and cashews.
*Lovers of legumes (chickpeas and lentils, for instance) may see bloating after they eat them.
- SIBO: Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth is thought to occur when bad bacteria in the small intestine flourish and grow, eating food, and making extra gas. This cause of bloating is still under investigation.
- Symptoms of other conditions: In some cases, repeated bloating is a sign of an underlying condition. What are some of these health issues? Irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease, gastroparesis (when the stomach empties slowly), and even cancer, among others.
- Sugar alcohols and fructose: Foods with lots of sugar can add to bloat and are actually bad for you anyway. Consider limiting sugar!
Other reasons for bloating can be…
- Eating too much sodium or starch
- Food intolerance to spicy or acidic foods
- Chewing gum and energy bars with ingredients like xylitol and mannitol
- Overeating (meal prep is a great way to control your portions)
- Drinking too many carbonated beverages
- Eating MSG-containing foods (make homemade takeout instead)
- Eating packaged foods that are overly processed
- Adding air to your belly by chewing gum and eating too quickly.
How do I get rid of bloating fast?
For quick results, grab a water bottle and hit the streets for a mini-workout. Walking helps get your stomach contents moving and water does, too.
Stay clear of carbonated water and drinks, though, as the bubbles sometimes add air to the stomach—and you don’t want that.
Remember that getting rid of bloat fast isn’t always super simple and it’s not always a quick fix. But if you are feeling full and tight in the abdominal area, the best thing to do is to get moving!
Does drinking water reduce bloating?
Water can help beat the bloat, yes. This is because water is an essential part of a healthy digestive system.
Have you ever been dehydrated and as a result, felt sluggish and just plain blah? This is because water helps to reduce the sodium level in your body, which is often a contributor to bloat.
Water is also crucial if you are planning to add fiber to your diet. Keeping the digestive system moving is reliant on good ole H2O.
How can I reduce bloating at home?
There are 10 easy steps to reduce bloating fast and this includes at home or wherever you are. Whether you are traveling, at work, or just hanging around the house, keep these tips in mind. They work anywhere!
1. Make water your number one drink
Flush toxins, decrease your histamine response, and prevent bloating by drinking lots of water. Sure, green tea is good for you and coffee has benefits, too, but to reduce bloating fast, stick to water for the day. If you are really craving tea, make ginger tea.
*Ginger is good for your digestion and is an anti-inflammatory food.
2. Skip the beans today
If you are feeling bloated, skip legumes and beans for the day. Don’t avoid them all of the time because they are super-healthy. But if you are extra-bloated, take a break.
The oligosaccharides in soybeans, for instance, are ideal for boosting immunity but can cause gas to build up in the gastrointestinal tract.
3. Eat a banana
This may seem surprising, but eating a banana helps you to reduce bloat! A controlled study showed that eating bananas regularly can help.
*Honeydew melon is another good choice!
4. Eat small portions
If your food intake is made up of big meals, you will feel full and bloated. Enjoy small meals throughout the day to allow your digestive system to do its work.
Healthy snacks (my faves here) and small portions will help a bloated belly.
5. Skip the sodium
Consuming a lot of sodium will only add to your bloated feeling. Sodium leads to water retention (and extra sodium in your bloodstream!).
Too much sodium every day can cause high blood pressure and affect organs like the kidneys and brain.
TIP: Use spices to flavor your dishes instead of salt.
6. Choose veggies wisely
All veggies are good for you, but if you are having a day where you feel bloated, skip veggies like cauliflower, cabbage, and onions. These are on the FODMAP list (remember fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols).
Instead, go for fruits like avocados and veggies like squash, which like bananas, have potassium. Also, sauerkraut is good for you, as are other probiotic foods.
*Probiotic fermented foods like kefir help the gut and may reduce bloating.
7. Don’t have dinner late
Eating too late at night can make you feel bloated. And no one likes to go to bed on a full stomach. Not to mention the strain on your digestive system! And it can lead to weight gain.
That’s one thing I like about Intermittent Fasting—with my 4 to 5-hour window of eating from 11:30 am to 4 pm ‘ish, there’s no late-night eating for me. Learn all about Intermittent Fasting here.
8. Fill up on fiber
An easy way to reduce bloating fast is to eat healthy foods with lots of fiber. You might recognize a key theme here; keeping the digestive system moving along is key to not feeling bloated.
9. Get better sleep
Make it a plan to improve your sleep habits starting tonight! This guide to better sleep can help you do just that. Aim for 7-9 hours a night to keep healthy.
10. Make efforts to reduce stress
I know, this is easier said than done, but take it one step at a time. Meditation, exercise, and activities where you are aware of your breathing – like yoga – can reduce stress.
*I’ve written a post on the best time to workout take a look!
Does bloating cause weight gain?
Bloating can cause weight gain, but typically it’s going to be a pound or two at most. Let’s look at this further. If belly bloating causes you to gain weight, it will be because you’ve eaten too much, and your digestive system has some work to do.
Of course, if you consistently overeat, then you will gain weight. Looking for weight loss hacks? Watch my video for the best tips ever!
If your bloat is due to something like PMS or too much sodium causing you to feel like you’ve added a few pounds, it’s highly likely after a few hours the weight will be gone.
Why am I so bloated all the time?
Ask yourself, am I overeating? Bingeing on foods, eating too much junk, and passing up nutritious salads can bring on the bloat.
You may feel bloated because you are eating all of the wrong foods. If you are struggling, relook at the 10 simple tips I’ve outlined above and try them out.
What does inflammation have to do with bloating?
Inflammation has a LOT to do with bloating. So much, in fact, that I’ve dedicated a video to the topic, which you can watch here.
I’ve also written several posts about inflammation because it really can wreak havoc on your health.
- Take a look at 18 Top Anti-Inflammatory Foods to see some of the foods best for helping to reduce inflammation and bloat.
- On the other end of the coin, you’ll find 10 Foods that Cause Inflammation. Find out what to avoid and why.
- If you need help with all of this, start off on the right foot with my 5-Day Anti-Inflammatory Diet Meal Plan.
I hope you find some of this information helping! If you are struggling with the discomforts of bloating, relook at the 10 simple tips I’ve outlined above and try them out. Even bit by bit is fine.
The more steps you take, the better you’ll feel. Guaranteed!
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