A majority of people get bloated. Especially in modern days, as we have poor eating habits and eat a heavy, protein-rich diet. I’ve had stomach issues since 2008. Perhaps my unhealthy way of living took a toll on my internal body, which created issues like IBS. I was often bloated and had other stomach issues, all caused by the foods I was eating and the lifestyle I was living.
It was the prime years of my life (and still is btw), but my struggle for having a bloated stomach started to get in the way of my social life. I’m sure some of you may recognize yourself, you’ve eaten something “bad” during the day. Your stomach swells up like a balloon, and you have plans to go out in the evening, forcing you to find an emergency solution that will cover your bloating. Not a fun way to start your night!
The point of this post is not about “finding new outfits that will cover your bloating,” but instead focus on “How can you get less bloated and not get this problem from the beginning?”
Let me share with you what has worked for me over the course of 10 years. Hopefully, it will help you, so you don’t need to ruin a fabulous jet-set night by looking pregnant!
1. Stress Less
A bit of a cliché, but it’s true. Whenever you are stressed, something happens in your body (I’m no scientist, I can’t explain exactly what) but we end up getting more bloated. On top of that, stress makes us eat more, which makes us even more bloated (when we overeat) so it’s worth thinking about calming yourself with meditation and mindfulness. Honestly, it helps.
Sometimes it can be too late (meaning, your bloated ship has sailed, and you’ll remain bloated until tomorrow if you’ve surpassed your stress limit) but it’s good to focus on mindfulness as a prevention method.
2. Change your diet (and thank me later)
If you’re still stuffing yourself with processed food, meat and dairy you can kiss your intestine goodbye. No, this is not some Vegan propaganda. It’s biology. Our intestines are not of carnivores, meaning, we’re not supposed to eat meat and dairy. It’s difficult for it to break down and digest animal products.
My advice is to change to a healthy, plant-based diet, but do this transition gradually, preferably over the course of a year, so that your body can adjust without side effects.
3. Eat slowly
This is something that I’m still learning. I inherited a fast eating pace from my family, and it’s difficult to change it overnight in adult days. But the speed of your eating contributes massively to your bloating, mainly because it puts too much pressure on the digestive system in one go, plus the swallowed air blows you up like a balloon.
4. Don’t drink together with your food
Many of us are used to drinking a lot of water or soft drinks in combination with eating. It’s not good; I’m sure you’ve heard it before? Think of it this way; your stomach acid is there to help you break down your food efficiently. If you dilute it, it becomes more difficult to digest, plus putting pressure on your digestive tract, making you bloated.
On top of it, if you drink a lot of fluids, you’ll become very swollen by the body retaining all fluids when it’s focused on processing the food you’re eating. Wait 30 min before or after the meal of having a drink… I know it can be tough with wine during a meal… No solution for that really than drinking very little perhaps?
5. Be careful with high-fiber food
When you eat high fiber foods like broccoli and cauliflower, or a RAW vegan meal, you probably feel really healthy and expect to have a flat stomach due to the low-calorie meal. But did you know that if you’re not used to a high fiber diet, your stomach might get so inflated, and cause other side effects like gas, diarrhea, etc.? If you’ve been eating processed foods and animal products your entire life, then you go all in with extremely enzyme-rich food which your body does not recognize very well – obviously, there will be problems!
I encourage all of you to eat as many vegetables, fruits, and raw vegan or plant-based foods as possible. But keep one thing in mind. You can’t jump to extremes overnight. It needs a gradual introduction, so you must take it slowly. Fruit and Veg are extremely rich in fiber, and that has a direct effect on your digestion in a negative way when you’re not used to it. But it becomes positive once you have the right enzymes and bacterias to break it down properly. Just give time to them to develop in your gut, and you won’t have any problems. Growing a lush microflora in your digestive tract is the solution to all stomach issues.
6. Avoid eating anything that makes you bloated
So besides high-fiber, you have other factors that trigger bloating. Fizzy drinks, artificial sweeteners, processed foods, wheat/gluten, sugar/starches, beans/legumes, cruciferous vegetables, raw onion or garlic, alcohol (beer in particular), dairy, meat, etc.
A good idea is to keep an eye on when you get bloated and try to investigate the cause. Keep a note of the things that you know get you bloated and see if eliminating them works to keep your stomach flat.
7. Chewing gum
We want to have fresh breath, but we end up swallowing so much air when chewing gum, resulting in a bloated stomach. The artificial sweeteners don’t help, contributing to the inflated sensations.
The best advice I can give you is to either use a mouth spray or take care of your mouth hygiene and food intake to a high level, meaning you won’t need to chew gum. Going au natural is fully possible while not without having any odor.
8. Food combining
Did you know that there are many foods that you must be cautious with how you combine them when eating? We take it for granted that our bodies are like a trash can. We can throw whatever, in any type of mixture, down the drain and expect to feel fine.
There are many food combination rules to study and memorize not to let your digestive system go havoc. Once your stomach gets irritated, that’s when you get bloated.
Some examples of bad food combinations:
Melon (can’t be eaten with any other fruit or food, must be eaten alone).
Proten + protein (eat your chicken and beans, and you give your body double hell in breaking down so much protein)
Fruits (should always be eaten alone and never combined with food. It’s ok to eat fruit once you have digested all other foods.)
Search on “food combining” on Google to get the full list.
It’s no rocket science to understand that eating too much will make you look stuffed. Bloated basically. Some of us don’t know that the portions we eat are way too big in size, think about this. Your stomach is the size of a fist. Surely it’s stretchable, but how much are you going to stretch it without feeling the consequences?
I don’t promote eating small meals but more often. I encourage, small meals, period. Humans are not supposed to stuff themselves with all the large quantities of foods that we have today. Just cut down on your food intake, and you’ll notice your bloating go down.
10. Intermittent Fasting
I will be repeating myself over and over again on this topic. This has probably been the most significant helper in battling my stomach issues. When I started my intermittent fasting, basically giving my digestion system a break by not eating anything for 18 hours / 5 days a week (my eating window is between 12-18 pm) – magic began to happen.
My stomach was not looking pregnant anymore. I could eat healthy foods I was not able to eat before because of the high-fiber content. I didn’t have any of the terrible side effects of my IBS; they only returned on days that I didn’t do intermittent fasting… I finally got it. My digestion system can only handle one set of a load. The more I burden it, the more problems I get. So I’ve become very conscious of my eating habits and prioritizing health first. Intermittent fasting has become my medicine for my IBS.
If you try to level up into the jet-set environment, life will give you a more upscale social life and adventures where there is no time to be bloated. I advise anyone who has these problems, to consider my advice, and perhaps doing an adjustment and see if it helps you. There are chronic diseases like celiac etc. that needs medical advice. I’m only referring to the most elementary things to overlook when you feel that you have bloating symptoms.
I’m not a doctor, just a girl in the jet-set world that enjoy’s wearing flattering figure clothes and learned from the harsh reality. These were my learnings and observations. Meanwhile, I recommend investing in a good pair of spanks to control your stomach until you get the hang of all the anti-bloating solutions.