Nothing is worse than finishing a meal and feeling uncomfortably bloated. You may think you're eating all the right foods and drinking plenty of water, but at the end of the day, there are still certain eating habits that can cause bloating. Trying to get rid of all that pesky gas and that uncomfortable, overly-full feeling can seem impossible, so it's important to know how to prevent it from happening ahead of time.
Bloating can be more than just an over-inflated belly and extra water retention. Symptoms of bloating include abdominal discomfort, excess flatulence, and stomach gurgling. "Bloating is when there is increased swelling in the stomach area," says Beth Warren, RD to Bustle over email "It's a situation when the stomach feels uncomfortably full and more gassy."
Although you can avoid certain foods to help reduce bloating, and there are natural ways to fight it, you might want to take a look at your overall eating habits to help combat the problem. If you're frequently prone to bloating, or even if just happens to you on one-off occasions, try seeing if you have any of these six eating habits, which can contribute to stomach discomfort.
Sometimes bloating is caused by certain ingredients, and sometimes it really is just the case of excess food consumption. "Eating small, frequent meals, will help counter the need to eat large portions and overeat, which can cause bloating due to the heavy load of food that needs to be digested at one time," says Warren.
2. Too Many Greasy Foods
Foods high in fat calories from frying, for example, take longer to digest than other food groups and therefore, can contribute to bloating," says Warren. These foods are often also high in sodium, which is a major cause of bloating.
3. Eating Quickly
"Eating foods at a fast paced allows in excess air that contributes to bloating," says Warren. "It also causes you to overeat because you do not get the signal that you are full until about 20 minutes after you eat, which can result in bloating as well."
4. Consuming Too Much Air
Other habits that will have you swallowing too much air include chewing gum and drinking soda. "Excess gas that builds up in the digestive tract can also contribute to bloating," says Warren. She suggests cutting down on gum chewing and drinking out of a straw.
5. Overloading On Fiber
Certain foods high in fiber, such as beans or cruciferous vegetables, can cause bloating in people who don't eat them frequently. "Try incorporating these foods slowly into the diet to allow the gut to develop the bacteria needed to break them down, and drink a lot of water to help flush through the fiber in your system," suggests Warren.
6. Eating Sugar-Free Foods
"Artificial sweeteners and the natural sugar alcohols such as sorbitol, are not digested or absorbed by the body and therefore, cause bloating," says Warren. Check food labels to see if you are unintentionally consuming any of these sugar substitutes, which may be the culprit of your excess water retention.
Bloating isn't the end of the world, but it's also a terrible feeling, so why not try a few of these tips to help avoid it?
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