Unless you consciously yearn to have that nice “I just swallowed a small watermelon whole and I’m totally okay with it” look, then bloating isn’t within the conventions of what you normally want to look like outside of second trimester pregnancy. There are a lot of reasons why bloating occurs and here are a few common perpetrators.
Dehydration Water deficiency would cause the body to hold on for what little supply it has. This often results in sluggish digestion and even completely stopping it in some cases. And what do you get? That nice roundbelly that we all love to hate. So hydrate—at least two liters daily—to keep things going down there.
Stress Stress over-stimulates the nervous system. Unfortunately, the human guts are opulent with nerves. The excess stimulation causes the bowel to build up pressure in the stomach, resulting in a bloated mid-area. So take a breather every now and then. Your pants will thank you for it.
Lack of Sleep Partly related to the previous entry, lack of sleep triggers stress. This, in turn, causes the release of the “stress hormone” called cortisol. This lovely, lovely cocktail can disrupt digestive functions, rewarding us with a good spell of bloat. And if it’s all the same to you, cortisol also decreases bone formation. So hit the sack early if you don’t want to end up looking like a pot-bellied gnome.
Food Sensitivities Dairy and gluten are the common bloating culprits—more so if you have sensitivities to these delightful treats. So stop getting inspiration from all those Buzzfeed recipe videos that list down cheese as 90% of the ingredients. Apples and that old Instagram favourite, avocados, often induce bloating and even constipation in some people, as well.
Wolfing down food Inhaling food because you “hadn’t had anything to eat since half an hour ago” is no excuse to toss proper dining etiquette out the window. Eating too fast can cause you to breath in more air than you need. That air can hang around in the stomach, resulting in bloat. You get a big belly full of food and air, and a really uncomfortable time.
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