Why Am I Bloated?
Bloating isn’t just annoying; it can also be super uncomfortable and painful. Most of the time, we know exactly why we feel like a hot-air balloon. Turns out, there’s actually more to bloating than you might think!
Well, diet is probably one of the main reasons why you experience a gassy tension in your gut. Bloating can also be heightened by stress, lack of exercise, constipation, food intolerance, and so on.
With a condition like bloating, it’s important to put your mind and body into perspective and understand why your abdomen actually swells.
Bar None Fitness Studio has outlined some common causes of bloating, along with the most likely culprits. Read on to know more.
1. You’re swallowing too much air
Drinking through a straw, eating too fast, or chewing gum often causes you to ingest too much unnecessary air, which can lead to upper GI bloating. Staying hydrated is very important, but sucking three to five liters of water through a straw all day might contribute to that uncomfortable bloat you’re trying to get a handle on.
And, of course, rushing through a meal (like I definitely do all too often) can also lead to the dreaded bloat. I have personally been making an effort to give myself more time to eat, as well as making a conscious choice to enjoy my food as I eat it instead of just scarfing it down! By slowing down, you will also allow yourself to actually feel satisfied after your meal instead of overeating and causing more stomach distension and bloat!
2. You’re eating gassy foods
There are quite a few foods that are considered healthy but are also considered to be gas-inducing foods. We’re talking about Brussels sprouts, beans, peas, lentils, and cabbage. Also, very fatty, salty, processed, and high FODMAP foods can also make you feel bloated over time. Trying a low FODMAP way of eating and writing in a food journal for a few days are both great ways to target what may be causing you to get bloated.
3. You’re not exercising enough
Exercise literally gets your body moving, both physically and in your GI tract! It’s essential for a healthy gut and body!
Aiming to get thirty minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week is excellent. If your exercise intensity is very high, you might need more rest between workouts. So stick to an exercise routine that works for you, one that is enjoyable, safe, and challenging! And don’t forget to include elements of both strength and flexibility in your exercise program!
4. You may have food sensitivities or intolerances
Sometimes a food sensitivity or even an intolerance is to blame when you feel like bloating is relentless. But the good news is that our bodies are always changing, so these issues aren’t necessarily permanent. Foods like gluten, dairy, sugars, and even vegetables are common culprits for stomach irritability and inflammation. A great place to start is going through an elimination diet, where those common problem foods are eliminated for a period of time. Once your symptoms have dissipated, one food is usually reintroduced at a time to determine what is causing a problem. It’s a good idea to work with a health professional that knows how to guide you through this process!
5. You may have SIBO or IBS
Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) affect the small and large intestines. With both, there is usually an overproduction of gas that causes bloating, diarrhea, or constipation. Not fun. But there are many solutions! So definitely consult a health professional for a diagnosis and a proper treatment plan for relief.
6. You’re too stressed
Stress does a nasty number on our bodies in so many ways! And stomach troubles are certainly one of those. Stress puts our body in a fight-or-flight mode, which activates our sympathetic nervous system. This significantly slows down digestion and could even stop the process entirely. Our body is signaled to deal with the threat of stress, so eating in a rush or stress eating can lead to bloating and discomfort. If you feel this could be an issue for you, try some breathing exercises before you eat or periodically throughout the day. Taking several deep breaths intentionally relaxes your stomach and puts your mind at ease before you enjoy a meal. Take the time to sit and actually taste your food, put your phone or computer away for that moment, and let your body digest! It’s something we take for granted, but such an important part of our day!
To help you maintain a healthy lifestyle, reach out to the fitness expert at Bar None Fitness Studio. We are a personal trainer in Burlington, ON, and our mission is to optimize your life through exercise, nutrition, and positive energy! We are passionate about health and fitness and have a contagiously enthusiastic attitude when it comes to helping you think positively, feel confident, and achieve your goals!
We offer services like personal training, online personal training, and holistic nutritional planning and coaching to clients across Burlington, Brampton, Brantford, Cambridge, Guelph, Halton Hills, Hamilton, Mississauga, Milton, and Oakville, ON.
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