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Stomach bloating: Seven causes you may not know about and how to combat it

Stomach bloating: Dr. Oz advises on how to 'beat the bloat'

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Some days, you may notice that your jeans are feeling a little tighter than usual, or your stomach is feeling puffier after lunch. For those who suffer with continual bloating, they will know these signs all too well, and are aware of how uncomfortable and debilitating they can be. To help identify the reasons you could be suffering with continuous bloating, David Wiener, Training and Nutrition Specialist at global leading fitness and lifestyle coaching app Freeletics, offers his expert advice and knowledge on the signs you could be missing and how to combat it for good.

You’re overeating

This might seem like an obvious one, but many choose to ignore it, said David.

“It’s important to remember that your stomach is around the size of your fist. Whilst you can stretch it, you will feel the repercussions of this through bloating, especially if you eat lots of salty foods and carbohydrates.

“To combat this, you should try to stop eating before you are full rather than getting to the point that you cannot physically eat anymore, as this might be too late.”

Swallowing too much air

Bloating can be caused by simply swallowing too much air.

David explained: “This could be from talking and eating at the same time, eating whilst you are standing up or slumped at your desk, chewing gum, or simply not eating with your mouth closed.

“Whilst these are such minute things that you think might not have any effect, they can lead to bloating and could be the reason that you are constantly suffering.”

You’re constipated

If your metabolism is not as good as it used to be, or you notice that you do not have regular bowel movements (at least one every couple of days, but ideally every day), this could be the reason for your uncomfortable bloating.

David advised: “To combat this, you should try eating more soluble fibre. Soluble fibre from grains, such as psyllium husks or soaked flaxseeds forms a soft gel in the intestines encouraging movement in the digestive tract and helps to eliminate excess toxins and hormones from the body, which can cause bloating.”

You don’t do enough cardio

Regular cardio exercise offers a myriad of health benefits, especially when it comes to bloating.

David said: “Not only can it help to relax you and improve both the nervous system and digestion, but it can also help expel gas that causes pain and help move digestion along.

“If you are new to exercise, or simply looking for exercises to incorporate into your routine that could help alleviate bloating, try Freeletics, the AI-based fitness and lifestyle coaching app which has workouts and exercises suitable for any age and fitness ability.”

You’re stressed

While it can be difficult to eliminate stress from your life, it is important that you know when to relax.

For example, David said: “If you are feeling stressed whilst eating, your body turns its attention away from digestion. This means you can’t break down and digest foods properly, which subsequently leads to bloating. If possible, turn off all possible distractions and focus on your mealtime.”

Drinking too many fizzy drinks

Unfortunately, if you are a fizzy drink lover but suffer from bloating shortly after your favourite drink, it might be a sensible idea to start cutting it out, said David.

“Whilst the carbonation in fizzy drinks is typically calorie-free and a nice substitute to see you through your day, the gas can really bloat you as they release air as they move through the digestive system.

“In addition to this, many fizzy drinks contain artificial sweeteners which can also contribute to stomach bloating.

“That’s not to say you need to give them up entirely, but it would be a good idea to swap some of your fizzy drinks for sparkling water and see if it has any effect on your stomach bloating.”

You have put on weight

You may not want to admit it, but your constant bloating could be purely down to weight gain.

David said: “If you have gained 10 pounds or more in the past year, the weight will likely have gone to your stomach area which is why you would be feeling bloated and your clothes a little too tight. This can be easily rectified through a regular diet and exercise regime, and you will be able to get back to feeling your best in no time.”

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