That jiggle on your middle making you look like a stuffed pillow in that bodycon dress? Or, despite sweating it out in the gym, the lard refuses to transform into washboards? Perhaps bloating could be blocking your path to looking even more awesome
Abdominal bloating, a sensation of distended abdomen or excessive gas in the belly, occurs when your stomach feels full and tight and swells up (1, 2). It is one of the most common and bothersome symptoms that people report (1).
If you are also going through this irritating and embarrassing problem, you might want to keep reading on. Before it poses a risk for other serious health conditions, it is better to control it.
The first step in managing any problem is to understand its root causes. Bloating is a symptom. Addressing symptoms does not yield long-term results. It is important to discover and address causes.
Common Causes Of Abdominal Bloating (3) –
- Swallowing air
- Lactose intolerance
- Weight gain
What if you pay attention to these causes and follow ways to control them! You may manage the symptoms of bloating and feel good, if you pay attention to these causes and take steps to control them. We scoured a host of studies to collect a few research-proven ways that may help you with abdominal bloating...
5 Simple Ways To Manage Bloating
Avoid eating too fast and too much
One of the most common causes of bloating is improper eating habits. If you are eating too fast, chances are you may swallow air and fill your tummy with it, literally! Try to eat slowly and chew your food properly. The other advantage of doing this is that it may even suppress the desire to eat more and consequently, help manage weight too. (4)
Avoid eating foods that can cause bloating
Sometimes, bloating occurs when your body has a hard time digesting sugars in some foods. These foods fall under a group called FODMAPs (Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides, And Polyols). This group includes foods such as wheat, rye, onions, garlic, legumes (lentils and beans), pistachios and cashews, etc. Milk and other dairy products contain lactose which is also hard to digest and hence considered a type of FODMAPs. (5) Check carefully if your daily diet includes these foods or not. You may want to consider lessening or even eliminating them, depending on the severity of your problem or the results you desire.
Don’t overdose on carbonated drinks
Foods or drinks containing fructose or other artificial sweeteners are known to release an excessive amount of gas in the stomach and worsen bloating (6). Why not replace those trouble-causing drinks with simple beneficial plain water? No empty calories, no gases and plain hydration! Increasing your fluid intake may help in healthy bowel movement and lead to a better outcome in case you have constipation as well (7).
Limit your sodium intake
Studies have shown a positive association between sodium intake and percentage of body fat and abdominal obesity (8). High salt intake may often lead to fluid retention (9). And abdominal fluid retention may make your belly appear larger.
Cut back on your salt intake to avoid water retention. Instead of using table salt, you may use herbs and spices to add flavor to your meals, or just enjoy the natural flavors of the ingredients. Packaged and processed foods are often packed with sodium. Try to look for low sodium varieties while buying packaged foods. (10)
You must have heard from your friends or family members that if you want to lose weight, you must exercise regularly. But which exercises can prove beneficial for bloating and abdominal fat loss? A research study showed that doing moderate-intensity aerobic exercise may help reduce belly fat (11). Not only aerobic exercises but resistance training and cardio exercises are also known to take the edge off belly fat and lessen the symptoms of bloating (12, 13).
If you feel bloated very often, try exercising for at least 30 minutes to get relief! It’s like hitting two fruits with one stone – you will also be shedding some pounds! Even better!
All the above tips are essentially just lifestyle changes to beat bloating! Want to discuss more ideas or issues with people who may have struggled (and succeeded!) against belly fat? Join America’s leading social health group and let the experiences of others become your secret arsenal against that big fat belly! Click on the button below and join My Fat Belly Gotta Go Party now before the house is full!
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The statements and/or product(s) described in this article are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, mitigate or prevent any disease, illness or health condition. It is advisable to consult your healthcare provider before making any changes to your lifestyle, diet or dietary supplement program.
- Iovino, Paola et al. “Bloating and functional gastro-intestinal disorders: where are we and where are we going?.” World journal of gastroenterology vol. 20,39 (2014): 14407-19. doi:10.3748/wjg.v20.i39.14407. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4202369/
- HEATHER TOPHAM WOOD. “Exercises to Reduce Abdominal Bloating”. https://www.livestrong.com/article/455524-exercises-to-reduce-abdominal-bloating/
- “Abdominal bloating”. Medline plus. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003123.htm
- Waheed A, Sizar O. Meteorism (Tympanites) In: StatPearls. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK430851/
- “What’s causing that belly bloat?”. Harvard health publishing. https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/whats-causing-that-belly-bloat
- Cormier RE. “Abdominal Gas”. In: Walker HK, Hall WD, Hurst JW, editors. Boston: Butterworths; 1990. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK417/
- Bae, Sun Hwan. “Diets for constipation.” Pediatric gastroenterology, hepatology & nutrition vol. 17,4 (2014): 203-8. doi:10.5223/pghn.2014.17.4.203. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4291444/
- Grimes, Carley A et al. “Dietary sodium intake and overweight and obesity in children and adults: a protocol for a systematic review and meta-analysis.” Systematic reviews vol. 5 7. 18 Jan. 2016, doi:10.1186/s13643-015-0175-3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4717573/
- Cappuccio, Francesco P. “Cardiovascular and other effects of salt consumption.” Kidney international supplements vol. 3,4 (2013): 312-315. doi:10.1038/kisup.2013.65. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4089690/
- KRISTEN FISHER .“How to Treat Stomach Bloating & Water Retention”. https://www.livestrong.com/article/335543-how-to-treat-stomach-bloating-water-retention/
- Kwon, Hwi Ryun et al. “Effects of aerobic exercise on abdominal fat, thigh muscle mass and muscle strength in type 2 diabetic subject.” Korean diabetes journal vol. 34,1 (2010): 23-31. doi:10.4093/kdj.2010.34.1.23. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2879901/
- Kwon, Hwi Ryun et al. “The effects of resistance training on muscle and body fat mass and muscle strength in type 2 diabetic women.” Korean diabetes journal vol. 34,2 (2010): 101-10. doi:10.4093/kdj.2010.34.2.101. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2883348/
- Lacy, Brian E et al. “Pathophysiology, evaluation, and treatment of bloating: hope, hype, or hot air?.” Gastroenterology & hepatology vol. 7,11 (2011): 729-39. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3264926/