Ah, the dreaded tummy bloat. You never expect it, you never want it, but somehow it always finds it's way into your life. We've all heard the common theories of how to avoid a bloated belly, like not eating salty foods or drinking soda -- but even on days when you follow every non-bloat concept, somehow it still creeps up on us.
So, the question of the day is -- what actually causes bloating? Well, the truth is, a lot of things. It's not just salty snacks and sugary drinks that increase the size of our bellies for the moment -- several other things do as well, and we're completely unaware of it.
With that said, take a look below at everyday habits that may be making you bloated without you even knowing it.
1) Chewing too much gum
2) Chewing your pen cap
3) Eating really fast
4) Drinking through a straw
5) Snoring throughout the night
6) Too much fiber in your diet
7) Too much stress
8) Wearing tight leggings or spanx for long periods of time
9) Eating too much fruit
10) Being dehydrated
Click through below for easy ways to prevent bloating:
7 ways to prevent bloating
10 daily habits that are unknowingly making you bloated
1. Don't eat right before bed. Your digestive system needs to rest at night, just like you do. If you stop eating a couple hours before hitting the hay, and then get a good night's sleep, your belly has the time it needs to reset and be ready for the next day's work. Aim for at least an 8-10 hour overnight stretch without eating.
2. Eat fermented foods. Kombucha, kefir, tempeh, yogurt, miso, kimchi, sauerkraut and other fermented foods help your gut bacteria flourish, despite an influx of processed holiday foods.
3. Eat yogurt everyday. Yogurt isn't better than other fermented foods, but it is widely available and easy to integrate into meals and snacks – so it's easier to make a habit of yogurt-eating. Try to buy plain, organic yogurt (which you can sweeten with honey or jam if needed) since it delvers the most nutritional bang for your buck.
4. Drink plenty of water. Belly bloat (and constipation) can begin or get worse with dehydration. Keep track of your water consumption and make special effort to drink at least eight glasses everyday.
5. Banish bubbles. If you tend toward bloating, avoid carbonated beverages (except kombucha which is naturally slightly bubbly) which can increase gas. You may also want to avoid chewing gum, which can make you swallow more air.
6. Eat naturally-occurring fiber. Plenty of fresh vegetables, fruits and in-tact whole grains can help keep things moving smoothly. Don't be fooled by processed foods with "extra fiber" or "added fiber" – these contain synthetic fiber which can actually make bloating and constipation worse.
7. Consider a probiotic supplement. If you're not a frequent eater of fermented foods, you may benefit from a probiotic supplement. However, not all probiotic supplements are the same! My favorite one is Bio-K+, which is essentially like a super concentrated kefir. It's expensive but even 1/4 of a container each day can make a difference in your digestion (and may help the immune system, too).