Have you just started a diet, had a great day of eating healthy, BUT... it's now late at night and you find your stomach feeling really bloated, gassy and uncomfortable?
That is definitely a very common thing, especially if you have just transitioned from a regular diet, to a high protein diet... Going from low amounts of protein to higher protein amounts, causing your stomach to work extra hard to process all that extra protein...
Now when you search the internet, there is plenty of info that tells you simple ways to FIX your bloating issues, but not many reasons why it happens, when it comes to transitioning to a healthy diet.
Based on my experience so far, every time I've started a serious diet and increased my protein intake, going from 130g to now eating around 200g of protein, I would have the first 12 weeks or so, feeling really bloated through my stomach... not a fun feeling, plenty of jokes that can be made, especially if you're living with a partner, who has to suffer your wrath...
Now with all the fun aside, there are some common elements to bloating that I wanted to discuss and some simple ways to fix them.
1. Eat More Fiber
Try to eat around 30-35grams of fiber for men and 25 grams per day for women.
When you're on a low carb diet, it's easy to forget about eating a good amount of fiber in your diet. Personally, my low carb vegetables I've been digging into lately have been, tomatoes, cucumbers, mushrooms, onion and spinach. None of which have terribly high fiber contents... usually in the 1-2g of fiber per 100g which is quite low.
A great new food to include to increase your fiber is Flax seed meal. In a 13g serving, it has only 60 calories and a nice 4g of fiber, 5g of fat (1g of saturated fat) and 4g carbs. Adding Flax seed to your morning oats, will definitely boost your fiber levels and keep you full for quite a while!
2. Drink More Water
Now this might seem like a no brainer to most, but I feel there's a lot of people that forget to keep drinking water!
I always forget to drink water and it has always been a bad habit of mine...
What tends to happen when we don't drink enough water, the body goes into a precaution mode, which is a protective mechanism and starts to retain water, causing that stomach bloat! By drinking more water, our bodies will release that water retention and allow your stomach to flatten and feel great again.
Drink 2.5-3L per day to reduce stomach bloat, keep your body hydrated. Try to shoot for the 3L per day, especially in summer, when our bodies tend to lose water faster.
3. Give Your Body Time And Control Your Meal Portions
Personally I feel this is a big one. Now in the transitioning phase from different diets or even adding more protein to your diet, your body needs time to adapt to the new macros, so that it starts functioning properly again. I believe your body can be trained, but it also needs time to adapt, to be able to digest the food at a good pace.
The second part to this, controlling your meal portions is a huge one!
Have you had a massive meal, thinking to yourself, I shouldn't have eaten this much... Now my stomach is about to explode..
To give you an example, after my Huge Japanese BBQ buffet, I would've eaten in the 2000 calories and over 150g of protein alone... I find personally my body is fine with processing around 30-40g of protein per meal, but as soon as I eat a bigger meal, I would instantly feel that stomach discomfort. Highly processed food, with high sodium levels can also give you that bloating effect.
Control your meal portions and keep eating 4-5 small meals per day, with a good balance of macros (protein, carbs and fats) and keep that stomach nice and flat.
Those are 3 of my main tips and techniques that I've used so far to help me beat those annoying stomach bloats, which we all have to deal with, when starting a diet.
I Hope you enjoyed this article, if you did, please share it with a friend who might benefit from it! See you in my next blog post.