Have you ever experience a feeling of discomforts in your belly that it becomes SO BIG as if you are 6 months pregnant but you are actually not? Imagine, the feeling of you wanting to unzip your pants so badly after a meal, the feeling of you struggling to move around because of all the gas inside you, the feeling of you wanting to cry out loud “God help me! My belly is about to EXPLODE!”. Or, sometimes you find yourself wondering why you eat less amount of food than usual, but your belly is so stuffed and full of god knows what. So uncomfortable isn’t it? Well then, congratulations! Your belly is now officially entering a state of being BLOATED!

The term bloating is probably one of those terminologies that you have already been heard of but the question now is, do you actually know what is it? What causes your belly to expand? and how to prevent yourself from looking like you are about to explode. So let’s do some digging.

First off, to get you more familiar with the word bloating here is a short clip to help you to get a better understanding and a better visualization. The video clearly explained why bloating occur by using simple science like Physics.

Tummydrops: Youtube Channel designed by Dr. Dustin James, MD, a Board-Certified Gastroenterologist 

The cause of bloating can come from many factors. Here are lists of common factors that you did not realize that it actually makes your belly bloated:

  • Overeat
    • Normally it takes at least about 15 to 20 minutes for the brain to tell your body that you are full and therefore sometimes you are overeating without realizing it. This is the most typical cause of bloating. When you eat, you also swallow the air into your belly as well.
  • Eating too fast
    • Eating too fast is another common factor that causes your belly to bloat. The faster you eat, the more air you swallow. Eating too fast also mean that you probably did not chew your food properly and that impacts your digestive system.
  • Food that triggers bloating
    • Food that are categorized as FODMAPS, which stands for Fermentable Oligo-, Di- and Monosaccharides and Polyols. They are the type of food that contains:
      • Fructose (fruits: apples, pears, mangoes, cherries, dried fruits etc)
      • Lactose (dairy products)
      • Fructans (wheat, artichoke, garlic, onion etc)
      • Galatians (nuts: cashews, pistachios)
      • Polyols (sugar alcohol)
  • Bubble drinks
    • Those yummy sparkling drinks such as soda, beer, champaign and other carbonated drinks or fizzy drinks contain a large amount of carbon dioxide. Once you consume those drinks, you consume gas as well, which can stay there in your digestive system.

“You are what you eat.”

Raymond Francis

Not only the gas that is the main part of the reason for the cause of discomforts of your belly but also there is another factor that many of us are not aware of. Lots of scientific research out there discovered that there is a link between our physical health and our emotions. If you think about it, it is actually true. Suppose you are exhausted from work, not only your mind will feel the need for relaxation, but also your body as well. Moreover, there is a phrase in Thai for someone who is overly stressed, saying “stress down to your stomach”, which basically means that the cause of a stomach ache came from the stress you are feeling. Therefore, when your body is responding in certain ways, your emotions will react to that too and it goes the other way around as well. Basically, your body and your mind synchronized with each other. The same concept applied to the cause of bloating as well. According to the study from The Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology, the research demonstrated that stress is one of the factor that responsible for the development of gastrointestinal disorders, which causing your belly to bloat.

Top Tips to Beat the Bloat!:

  • Wear looser clothing
    • If you wear something loose then it is easier for the gas to pass through. Simple as that.
  • Chew your food!
    • It is very important for you to take your time and pay attention to how you chew your food as your guts are not some kind of a magical highspeed blender. Once you swallow your food that is it, you won’t be able to control what’s happening inside your body anymore. So, control what you can!
    • Chewing your food properly also automatically make you eat slower and apparently it makes you feel full faster too. A smaller amount of food intake will also help you to reduce the gas intake as well.
  • Avoid food and beverages that trigger bloating
    • People are more sensitive toward a certain type of food or drinks. Some may bloat on this type of food while others felt fine. So pay attention and try to see which food bloats you and avoid them so that your belly won’t bloat.
  • Get moving!
    • Exercise is one of the best method to beat the bloat. I personally recommended this and there are a variety of things you can do.
    • Simply go for a walk outside, a 10-15 minute walk will do the job if you don’t have much time. Just a simple walk can already ease the bloating
    • Try simple exercises to get your body working. You will feel much better trust me!
    • Not only it helps you to deflated the gas inside your body but also helps your mind to feel at ease as well, meaning that you also lower your stress level without noticing it too.
    • Check out @ontrackasia to find motivations and contents that would help you to get your body back on track!
    • Check out a 12 minutes low impact full-body strength routine below. Perfect exercise to get you moving and deflated your bloating belly.
Ontrack Asia: Active lifestyle brand and community that helps you to get back on track
  • Work on a stress management
    • Mediation is another good way to relax and release the tensions and stress in your mind. By simply take 10 minutes off from your chaotic routines, it will make so much difference.
    • Regular meditation will definitely reduce your stress level.
    • Download the application Calm on your phone or just simply watch this video below
      • There are a varieties of exercises for you to choose from this platform whether it’s a clip to help you with meditation or a clip to help you sleep better.
    • Tips: many of you might think that mediation is hard but I suggest you to just give it a go and this will surprise you!
Calm: helps you to meditate and reduce anxiety, worry, and stress

Get Professional Help:

Some people experience bloating more often than others. Be aware that it could be a signal that says, hey you need to seek professional help. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, many of us probably would avoid visiting clinics or hospitals if it is not an emergency. Don’t worry, I have a solution for you.

Laura Martin, Certified IBS Nutrition Consultant and Founder of Healing to Happy

Let me introduce you to Laura Martin, the founder of Healing to Happy and a Certified IBS Nutrition Consultant. She used her own experience of struggling with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), anxiety, depression, and eating disorder to help others to heal and find happiness and self-love.

On her online platform, you can find friendly-user content about health-related topics and you can join Facebook private group to discuss health issues, especially about your gut! She is a gut specialist after all. So one of the most popular course on her platform is called Gut Recharge, which is a 4-weeks program focusing on healing your body, your gut, your diet, and your mind. Without any help of medicines, she believed that people can heal their anxiety and depression through food, through more understanding about your body, and through a healthier lifestyle. Moreover, she also offered many recipes that is gut-friendly as well. She also talks a lot and share her own experiences about how to live and have a healthier lifestyle and how to achieve happiness in your own way as well. Definitely worth checking her out.

You can easily follow her on Instagram @lauramartin_h2h to stay up to date with her content.

*NOTE: Bloating can become severe for some people and therefore it is important to get medical help as soon as possible.

Last but not least, bloating is totally normal! Everyone must go through with it. Some suffer more than others but eventually, it can be solved within a short period of time. Regular exercises, eat healthy, and being stressless are three main important factors you have to constantly keep in mind. Your body depends on you, therefore, it is crucial to take good care of it. Pay extra attention to small details, observe your body, see how it react to a certain type of food and avoid them if they make you bloat. I encourage you to follow those top tips I provided you and give your body some love. Trust me, your body will thank you later and you will be able to BEAT YOUR BLOATING BELLY!