Do your pants suddenly feel tight after you eat? We all know that feeling after we eat something that doesn’t exactly sit well in our stomach – it’s that I might need to unbutton my jeans kind of discomfort and if it happens more often than not it may not just be because you’re full. There is nothing that makes me wanna get up and dance more than being so uncomfortable post meal that I can’t move (I’m totally kidding). Unfortunately there’s nothing hot about being bloated and as someone who has struggled with not only bloat but digestion and overall gut health issues as well for years I know better than anyone how shitty it feels to look in the mirror and see your stomach so painfully extended and have no explanation as to why.
WHAT EXACTLY IS BLOAT?
Bloat is when your gut and stomach fill with gas and extend – often times people confuse being full for being bloated but they are not the same thing! We get full after we eat because we have food in our stomachs that hasn’t started to digest yet, but when we bloat we might not have any food in us at all! Bloat does usually feel like fullness or tightness in your stomach but happens when we are eating the wrong food for our body and our intestines, gut and stomach become inflamed. Bloat can also be accompanied by stomach pain, gas, stomach gurgling, sluggishness and depression (yikes).
WHY DO SOME OF US BLOAT MORE THAN OTHERS?
There are multiple different reasons as to why your body may react the way it does to certain things you put into it and even if you are eating super clean your body simply may just not like what it’s being fed. How many times have you had a meal with a friend where you’re both eating the EXACT same thing and they feel fine after but you’re left feeling gassy and gross? It seems unfair doesn’t it?
All body’s are different – what digests easily for some may do some serious damage for others and a lot of us are actually living with food intolerances and have no idea.
For years I ate greek yogurt and kefir and took a dairy based protein powder and never thought anything of it I just thought that bloating and being uncomfortable after eating was normal (wtf right?). It wasn’t until last year that I actually put two and two together and realized that I was significantly more bloated and gassy after eating something dairy based so I cut out all dairy, switched my protein powder to a vegan one and I noticed a huge difference almost immediately! Unfortunately as someone who suffers from IBS my food intolerances/sensitivities are a little more severe than your average feeling of something "not sitting well" and I have to pay very close attention to how my body reacts to certain foods.
Keep in mind that what my body does and doesn’t like is not going to be the same for your body, I have found out my food intolerances through listening to MY own body and watching it react over the course of months and years, I didn’t discover these over night and neither will you. The bets way to figure out what it is exactly that is causing you to bloat is through trial and error, tests with my doctor and naturopath and elimination diets! I personally did not follow an actual elimination diet, I just used my education in nutrition and did it myself slowly but there are a ton of good ones out there like; Whole 30 which is totally free!
HOW TO KICK BLOAT IN THE BUTT!
- Start your day with a glass of water with freshly squeezed lemon juice before eating or drinking anything else!
- Take 1 oz of Raw Organic Apple Cider Vinegar daily – I use Bragg Foods
- Introduce a Fermented Probiotic Food into your daily routine such as; Kimchi, Sauerkraut, Kombucha, Coconut Yogurt, etc!
- Take a Probiotic Supplement daily – My favourite is Udo’s Choice Ultimate Probiotic
- Start taking Digestive Enzymes – My favourite is Webber Naturals
- Take time to chew your food properly when you eat – When you eat in a hurry you swallow a lot of air which causes gas so make sure you chew your food well with your mouth closed!
- Limit raw veggie intake if you’re feeling bloated – Raw veggies are a lot harder to digest than steamed ones!
- Get enough sleep – This effects all aspects of your body’s health
- Go for a walk or do some yoga – Sometimes your body just needs to move in order to get things flowing but nothing too intense!
- Don’t stress out over it – Stress hormones speed things up in the body which can increase digestion in a negative way and cause gas.
I’m actually really lucky because I have a strong passion for nutrition and the body and since being diagnosed with IBS I have been able to use what I’m learning in my Nutrition Program to help me figure this out for myself but I know that that isn’t the case for everyone and for some people they may just think that feeling uncomfortable after every meal is the norm but it’s definitely not. I’m here to tell you that you’re not supposed to feel gross after every meal you should feel full but energized and you sure as hell shouldn’t be uncomfortable in any way!
If you are struggling with indigestion and bloat it may be time to reflection on your diet, keep a food journal and record what you eat for each meal for a week and make notes as to how you feel after each meal! This is what I did at first and it helped me a ton because from there I was able to actually see on paper and make connections as to what was not working so that I could take certain foods out and put them back in and see how I reacted. This was the most helpful thing that I did for myself, personally I’m a visual learner and I like to see things on paper and be able to read them multiple times but that’s just me. It’s important to find and do what works for you because you know your body best!
Food is fuel and it is supposed to feel that way, always!