Does your stomach seem to grow after each meal? Do you feel gassy, uncomfortable, and maybe even unzip your pants after eating? If this sounds like you, then you probably suffer from bloating, which is an incredibly uncomfortable feeling.
How and what we eat plays a large role in how we feel post-meal. For example, some foods naturally produce more gas, which contributes to bloating. On the other hand, not properly chewing your food can lead to bloating because it takes longer for food to be digested.
If bloating is a frequent occurrence for you, then you will want to try the following five nutritionist-recommended suggestions to complete each meal to prevent bloating.
1. Eat good ingredients: When choosing what to eat, you want to pick good ingredients. That means picking foods that are non-GMO or heavy in pesticides because those types of foods can lead to bloating. The more natural the ingredients are, the better you will feel after eating it.
2. Eat slowly: Many of us are in a hurry or eat when we are at the point of “starving,” so when it comes to eating, we scarf down our entire meal. Shoving food down our throats delays digestion, so it takes longer to break down food. It takes about 20 minutes for the brain to receive the signal that your stomach is full, so if you eat slowly and reach that mark, you will feel full and stop eating. Eating slower is also a great way to lose weight.
3. Chew more: This tip compliments the previous one. Aside from eating slower, you should also take more time to chew your food. If you’re chewing more, it will take you longer to eat, so tip two and three really go hand-in-hand.
4. Avoid drinking while eating: We previously told you that drinking water or fluids with a meal can contribute to bloating. This is because drinking fills up your stomach more than food. Additionally, when you drink too much water with your meal, you are diluting your stomachs pH levels, which are necessary for proper digestion. If food can’t be properly broken down, it simply sits in the digestive tract, contributing to bloating.
5. Be mindful: You may have heard of mindful eating, but maybe you don’t fully understand what it is. Mindful eating refers to being present when eating. Many of us eat in front of a TV, check our emails, or even eat while on the go. This mindless eating can contribute to overeating, less chewing, and above all, bloating.
Mindful eating also refers to reducing stress and anxiety, which can further wreak havoc on your digestive system. Therefore, ensure that when you are having a meal, you are really in the moment, you are taking in the smells, experiencing the textures and flavors, and that you are focused on eating.