Not too long after a meal, I occasionally find myself bloated, gassy and holding my ‘food baby’. Am I legitimately concerned? Not really, it’s a sign that my stomach and intestines are doing their job. According to a recent study, about 10 to 30% of healthy people, without any gastrointestinal issues experience regular bloating after eating.
But bloating is still pretty uncomfortable, so I’ve listed 5 likely reasons for your gassy troubles with easy hacks to prevent or get rid of the bloated belly.
Bye-bye belly bloating
1. Slow down with stuffing your face
My bloating usually happens right after lunch at work. Sometimes I can’t help hurrying a meal when I have time-constraints. But wolfing down food, means you’re not chewing well and you’re swallowing a lot of air too. Trapped air in your belly plus large undigested food in your gut is the perfect combination to create a ballooned belly. Protect your meal time – set aside a half hour block for mindful eating and socialization. Have a conversation with your coworkers, friends, or family between bites (don’t talk and eat at the same time) and eat slowly. Chew well and take time between bites to digest.
2. Ditch straws and avoid soda, especially diet soda
3. Pay attention to the foods you eat and how they make you feel
4. Is your diet high in salt? When you eat too much salt, it causes your body to retain water to dilute the excess sodium. To improve the balance, you need to flush out the extra sodium by drinking more water. Though, the best way to prevent bloating is to limit salt in your diet. Foods that are high in sodium include: processed meats, some canned foods, cheeses, breads, cereals, sauces, pickled foods, commercial rice or pasta mixes and condiments.
5. Skip the gum and hard candy
If you have persistent bloating regardless of what you eat, or if you have other symptoms beyond just bloating (like diarrhea, abdominal pain, weight loss, and/or increased flatulence), then you should probably see a doctor.