I've dealt with some pretty serious, uncomfortable, depressing belly bloat since last Summer. After countless doctor appointments and tests for celiac and parasites, they couldn't find any answers. Through my own trial and error, though, I've finally gotten a handle on putting an end to my belly bloat for good — but only if I do these five things. If you suffer from extreme, inexplicable bloating, consider trying these to ease your symptoms.
I'm one of those people who used to eat every two hours, and once I started eating, I didn't want to stop. I was never hungry and always felt full. No wonder I was bloated! I tried eating until I was satisfied and not stuffed, but that was so hard for me. It wasn't until I got a handle on my overeating through intermittent fasting that I'd finally go to bed without feeling crazy bloated.
Avoid Sugar and Processed Carbs
I eat a mostly plant-based diet, but it's not 100 percent healthy. Thanks to my mom, I've inherited a pretty substantial sweet tooth, which has turned into a sugar addiction. When I took a break from the white stuff for a month and even natural sugars like maple syrup, my belly bloat disappeared. It was amazing, but also a little sad. It sucks missing out on cupcakes, cookies, and chocolate, but I feel best when I avoid sugar, so that's my inspiration to avoid it.
Processed carbs also affect me, which I realized after my two-week fruit and veggie "detox." So I also limit bread, pasta, cereal, and whole grains.
Keep in mind that your belly bloat could be caused by a certain food, so you may need to do an elimination diet and see if gluten, soy, eggs, processed foods, or dairy makes your belly bloat worse. Talk to your doctor as well to see if they have any suggestions on changing up your diet.
Eat a Salad a Day
A salad a day keeps the belly bloat away! I aim to have a huge salad either as lunch or dinner. Getting my fill of fiber definitely helps keep my digestive system moving along happily. My bowl includes a variety of raw veggies, and I also like to throw in some cooked veggies as well, such as beans, roasted sweet potatoes, or butternut squash. My salad isn't complete without fiber-rich avocado, some nuts or seeds, and fruit, like blueberries or sliced strawberries.
Drink Lots of Water
I tried drinking a gallon of water a day for three weeks, and it definitely helped with my digestion and bloat prevention. But I was hitting the bathroom every 30 minutes to pee! That much water (128 ounces!) was just too much, so now I aim for 60 to 80 ounces a day. Drinking more water helps prevent constipation, which prevents gas and a bloated belly.
Fruit After Dinner
Since a bowl of dairy-free Ben & Jerry's is out of the question after dinner, I've gotten in the habit of having a bowl of fruit for dessert instead. Some cut-up berries, mango, sliced apple, or even banana with almond butter totally satiates my sweet tooth and gets a little more fiber into my system.