6 (Unexpected) Reasons You May be Bloated

6 (Unexpected) Reasons You May be Bloated

You know when you’re bloated; your stomach starts to balloon and you get that “stuffed” uncomfortable feeling. It’s easy to assume our food is to blame, but when there’s no rich meal to point the finger at, it’s worth considering other lifestyle factors.

Here are some unexpected reasons that may have you feeling the bloat.

Skinny Jeans
It may sound odd at first, but wearing tight pants can give you a sense of bloating due to the pressure on your abdomen. As your stomach naturally relaxes and contracts throughout the day, wearing constrictive clothing—like skinny jeans—makes stomach pressure increasingly noticeable and uncomfortable. Instead, opt for looser fitting clothes especially when you know you’re in for a rich meal.

Stress
We already know stress has negative effects, but did you know it’s also closely tied to your gut health? Stress signals slow down the blood flow to your digestive system which can leave you backed up and bloated. We can’t avoid stress altogether, but it’s worth looking into practices that could help you best manage it, such as exercise, getting enough sleep or taking up yoga.

Sedentary lifestyle
Desk jobs require many of us to sit for extended periods of time on a daily basis. Excessive sitting or lying down after a meal causes your GI tract to slow down which stalls the digestive process and can aid the onset of bloating. Taking a walk after a meal allows the digestive tract to move food through your stomach at a faster rate which in turn, will help to get things moving.

FODMAPs
We’ve all heard of the acronym FODMAP, but what does it mean? FODMAPs are food groups that get fermented by gut bacteria and can cause digestive symptoms like gas to build up. Cutting down on these foods––think dairy, wheat, lentils, onions—may ease your uncomfortable digestive issues and reduce bloating.

Eating too fast
When we eat too fast it’s easy for excess air to be swallowed which can cause your stomach to balloon. Try to remove yourself from common distractions (cue: computers + mobile) when it’s meal time. Not only will this help you become more aware of how fast you’re eating, but when you chew your food properly, it helps improve your digestion.

Chewing Gum
Similar to eating quickly, when you chew gum, you could be swallowing air that can cause a build up of gas in the abdomen. Many types of gum also contain artificial sweeteners which can contribute to bloating. If you’re an avid gum chewer but also find you bloat easily, try cutting back or switching from a sugar-free option to see if this may be the cause of your stomach discomfort.