A bloated abdomen is very upsetting, both for cosmetic reasons and also because it makes one feel lousy and lethargic. Also, it can bring your energy levels down in a big way. However, the good news is that bloated belly can be managed by making some basic changes in the way you eat and/or drink.
Knowing what causes bloated belly is the first step towards managing it.
- Using a straw: Whether you are drinking a smoothie or shakes, coffee or tea, drink it directly from the glass. When sipping through a straw, a lot of air is consumed along with it, and that leaves you with a bloated feeling. If it is coke or aerated drink that is being consumed, it makes it even worse.
- Packaged foods: While packaged foods help you by saving cooking time and provide a quick fix for the hunger pangs, they also come packed with loads of sodium. This leaves you with a bloated feeling, and if you are someone who uses packaged foods at each meal, it is almost there to stay. Switch to fresh foods and see how your bloating disappears.
- Low-calorie foods: As we all are busy watching calories, we have started using aspartame. Be it artificial sweeteners for the coffee or diet cokes, these contain substances which take much longer to digest and so they stay in your tummy for a longer period of time. They are not recognized as foods by the stomach and so it takes time to digest. Switching to a no-sugar diet (minus the aspartame) or using palm jaggery can instantly provide relief.
- Legume/Bean family: While legumes are known as the best protein source, especially for vegetarians, they are also loaded with gas. Whether it is the regular beans, green peas, double beans, or kidney beans, they all have a great tendency to bloat you up. The carbohydrate in these are not easy to digest, giving the gassy bloated feeling. Taking an anti-gas agent when there are too many beans on your plate is very much recommended.
- Excessive use of gums or candy: For those who are used to chewing on gums or candies, there is a lot of air that is swallowed during this process. An alternative is to keep taking small sips of water, which will not leave you feeling bloated. The water also helps reduce bloating by keeping a constant movement of the intestine.
- Eating too fast: As we are all pressed for time, there is no time to sit down and eat. However, eating too fast leads to bloating in two ways. Firstly, by taking in a large amount of air along with the food. Secondly, by not chewing the food properly, bigger pieces of food reach the stomach and leave you feeling bloated. If you wish to discuss any specific problem, you can consult a General Physician.