Ever wonder why you were able to zip your pants this morning, but by dinner time, you’re busting out?
While it might be the mound of salt you dumped on last night’s steak that led to your bloated belly, there are plenty of other reasons why you’re experiencing daily bloating, and it could be more than about just what you’re eating.
1. You’re Inhaling Your Food
If you’ve been known to scarf down your meals in record time, you could be unknowingly contributing to unwanted bloating. You’ve probably heard of the art of chewing slowly in order to savor your food and eat less. Well, this doesn’t just work for cutting calories; it also helps reduce unnecessary bloating.
That’s because food that isn’t chewed into digestible bits misses out on the process of your saliva and enzymes more efficiently breaking it down. That means your stomach will need to work harder to digest your food properly, causing gas and bloating.
2. You Constantly Drink Through a Straw
You might not be able to see yourself enjoying a frozen frappe without your favorite straw, but all that sucking is doing nothing to alleviate your bloating. Each time to sip your beverage of choice through a straw, air enters your mouth before your drink does, which can cause bloating. You don’t have to forego your straws all together but focus on sipping from the lid the majority of the time.
3. You’re O.D.’ing on Fiber
Fiber is a must for a healthy diet, but too much of a good thing can wreak havoc on your digestive system. While fiber is necessary for promoting bowel movements, increasing satiety, and maintaining a healthy weight, too much of it can cause plenty of bloating.
Give your stomach a rest and ingest your fiber steadily over a few weeks, rather than upping your daily amount all in one shot and shocking your system. And consider getting your fiber from sources like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, rather than packaged foods that feature a type of fiber – ‘inulin’ – which is harder on the stomach.
4. You’re Always Stressed Out
We all know how bad stress is for our minds and bodies for a variety of reasons. Well, you can blame it for your bloating too. The hormones released during periods of stress can irritate your digestive system, leading to bloating and gas.
5. You’re an Avid Gum Chewer
Who doesn’t love a good chew, especially when you’re trying to keep your mouth active during periods of dieting? But while you chew gum, you’re swallowing air at the same time, which can inflate your intestines and lead to bloating. Not only that but many types of gum also contain sugar alcohols, while can also contribute to bloating.
Be aware of these five seemingly innocent factors, and make a conscious effort to cut back on them as much as you can to counteract the pesky feelings of bloating.