All of us know that uncomfortable bloated feeling now and then. Our waistline expands. Our clothes get tighter. It’s not that we’ve gained weight, or even that we need to do more sit-ups, but rather that our digestive system is gassy and full. Most of the time, you can relieve bloating by following these five strategies.
1. Practice portion control. It’s so tempting to fill up on all that yummy food, especially at parties. Or if you serve meals family style, you may be in the habit of finishing whatever food remains in the serving dishes before the table is cleared.
When you eat large quantities, your stomach becomes so distended that you need to loosen your pants. It also puts pressure on your lower esophageal sphincter, which causes the burping.
If you tend to overeat at parties, try putting all the food onto one plate instead of grazing. If you’re the one who finishes leftovers before they can be stored, practice waiting 20 minutes after you finish your first plate of food. That’s how long it takes for satiety to kick in. If you feel full after 20 minutes, push away from the table and put the leftovers in the refrigerator.
2. Watch your fat intake. Rich, fatty meals – such as a steak dinner with a loaded baked potato and creamed spinach – can make you feel bloated because they take longer to be digested. Picture your entire meal like a bottle of salad dressing. When you shake it up and let it settle, the stuff at the bottom would be the carbs. They leave your stomach first. The protein in the next layer gets absorbed next. The fats at the top take the longest to be digested. To avoid bloating, make sure your meals include carbohydrates.
3. Chew with your mouth closed. This isn’t just good manners. Bloating can be caused by gas in the abdomen from breathing in too much air while eating and/or drinking. Be mindful of chewing and swallowing. Put down your fork between bites. Don’t use a straw. And cut back on carbonated beverages, chewing gum and sucking on hard candy.
4. Avoid non-nutritive sweeteners and added fructose. These cause bloating in some people because they have trouble digesting non-nutritive sweeteners, especially the sugar alcohols such as sorbitol, maltitol and xylitol. Fresh fruit is okay, but foods to which fructose is added also make some people feel bloated. The solution is to eat foods closer to the way they are found in nature. Also read the labels. Even savory foods, including some canned soups and frozen vegetables, may contain trace amounts of sweeteners. That small amount may be enough to upset your stomach, if you have a sensitivity to these sweeteners.
5. Feed your friendly bacteria. Because it’s a prebiotic, Sunfiber provides the food to feed the friendly bacteria in your gut without the typical gas, bloating and cramping that most fibers exacerbate. That helps to support a healthy digestive balance. Daily Sunfiber intake also helps to avoid the bloated feeling caused by occasional constipation, and unlike many of the fibers out there, won’t lead to the opposite problem of loose stools or worse, diarrhea. It’s like a daily workout for your intestines and colon, because it helps move the poop through the chute at the right speed.
We worry that fiber supplements will give us bloating, cramping and embarrassing gas. What’s great about Sunfiber is that it doesn’t do any of that, and it is gluten free. It can also be added to your favorite foods and daily beverages without you or your family even seeing, smelling or tasting the difference.