How to avoid post-meal bloat after eating
Have you ever finished a meal and thought, “Why does my stomach stick out like I’m pregnant?!” Hey, don’t get mad at us, we know that the majority of you are asking questions like this, Google says so. However, please ignore this sentiment if you are indeed pregnant. Anyways, post-meal bloat happens when you eat a large meal regardless whether it’s healthy or not. It’s a sign that your body is working hard to digest.
It’s important to mention that this kind of bloat can also be the way your body reacts to certain foods. Some foods cause bloating (salty snacks like chips, pretzels and popcorn) and water retention, which makes the stomach area appear larger than it actually is.
In order to prevent unwanted bloat, we suggest you avoid the following groups of food when heading out for a day at the beach or when you’re going to be in a situation where you want to look and feel your best:
- High-sodium foods: Large quantities of sodium prompts your body to hold onto water. This fluid retention can make your muscles look less defined and cause your stomach to appear bigger than it really is. Drink plenty of water to counteract this.
- Dairy: Some individuals are lactose-intolerant without realizing it. If you are, the lactose (sugar composed of galactose and glucose) in milk, yogurt and cheese can bloat you, making your stomach appear more rotund.
- Soda: The gases from the carbonation in these drinks can build up in your stomach, leading to bloat and gassiness.
- Sugar-free foods: In some cases sugar-free is better than sugar-filled, but not when it comes to gut health. Sugar-free foods are often sweetened with sugar alcohols, which can lead to an upset stomach and — you guessed it — bloating.
- Allergies or sensitivities: Some people may have sensitivities to foods such as fish, shellfish, nuts, soybeans, wheat and eggs, which can trigger inflammation and digestive issues. If you’re wondering whether or not you might have food sensitivities, log meals in your 8fit app or keep a food journal.
- High fiber foods (beans, lentils, vegetables): Fiber is very good for your gut but if your body isn’t used to it, it can take some time for your digestive system to adjust. Try increasing it slowly, cooking fiber-filled veggies and drinking plenty of water.
- Bad bacteria: Excessive use of antibiotics, processed foods, and sugar can cause unhealthy bacteria in the gut to run amok. The result is bloating and frequent bathroom runs. Try adding prebiotics to your meals (raw garlic, leeks, onion, asparagus, wheat bran) to fuel the healthy bacteria, and probiotics (unsweetened yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, miso) to add more healthy bacteria to your diet to keep your gut happy.