Nobody likes feeling bloated: It’s uncomfortable, our jeans fit weird, and we can’t trust our bodies to stay silent during quiet (and potentially embarrassing) moments. Luckily, there are some easy fixes we can implement into our lifestyles to blast the bloat and have happier tummies.
Here are five things you may not realize are contributing to your bloating:
1You eat too fast
Ever wonder where your food went and then realized you ate it? You might be eating too quickly, which can cause belly bloating.
If you think this is an issue for you, try to consciously take your meals slower, chewing your food thoroughly before swallowing.
2You can’t quit that soda
Kimberly Snyder, author of The Beauty Detox Solution, blames the air bubbles in fizzy drinks for a lot of common bloating. “Carbonated soft drinks have air bubbles that travel to the stomach and release carbon dioxide within the digestive tract, creating an uncomfortable bloating sensation,” Snyder said.
Snyder recommends cutting carbonated drinks from your diet if you struggle with regular bloating.
3You’re eating packaged foods
Okay, it’s not the packaging that’s making you bloat, but the sodium – and pre-packaged foods come with a lot of sodium.
In her book Nutrition for Women: How Eating Right Can Help You Look and Feel Your Best, Elizabeth Somer blames sodium for causing water retention in the body.
The best way to get a control on the sodium in your diet is to cook more meals at home, using less salt while you do it.
4You use artificial sweeteners
According to Health.com, artificial sweeteners found in diet products, such as aspartame, are major culprits of stomach bloat.
Opt for foods with natural sweeteners instead – something that’s infinitely easier to do the more meals you cook at home.
5You’re eating dinner too late
According to R.D. Dawn Jackson Blatner, your body is focused on getting quality sleep late at night, so it devotes less energy to digesting food. Any food you eat right before bed will take way longer to digest than food you eat while up and at ’em, leading to morning bloat.
Blatner says you should try to eat your dinner three to four hours before bedtime to give your body the proper time to digest food.