Have you ever felt that your abs (that you had worked so hard to gain) have disappeared overnight? Or ever found that you no longer fit into a pair of denims that you could easily glide into the previous night. Blame it on bloating, a condition that occurs when your gastrointestinal tract is filled with excess air and gas. There could be many reasons this happens, but the most common one is the foods you eat. Bloating is a serious condition and can affect the fittest of people. It can also affect your performance in the gym and demotivate you when on a weight loss transformation journey.
In fact, many fitness bloggers (who sport chiseled abs and perfect bodies) have been openly sharing how bloating affects them. In December last year, Vancouver-based fitness blogger Michelle Middleton shared a photograph that went viral. She wrote, “Yes I get bloated and it happens when I eat certain foods…..Like earlier I had Greek yogurt and I got bloated within a few minutes but the bloat only lasted for a few hours and now I’m back to normal. The foods that make me the most bloated are yogurts, protein powders, apples, pears, watermelon, broccoli, cauliflower and asparagus.”
Similarly, certain foods or food groups may affect you differently and cause bloating. It’s important to be aware of the effect of a certain food on your body.
Here are some foods that may cause bloating and what to eat instead:
Legumes are high in protein and carbs. Beans are also rich in fibre. However, most beans contain sugars called alpha-galactosides, which belong to a group of carbs called FODMAPs. FODMAPs (fermentable oligo, do, mono-saccharides and polyols) are short chain carbs that escape digestion and then get fermented by gut bacteria.
Instead of beans, you can opt for pinto beans and black beans, which are easy to digest after soaking.
These are the most common culprits of bloating. When you consume aerated drinks, you end up swallowing large amounts of gas. Instead of carbonated drinks, have plain water, infused water, tea or coffee.
Broccoli and other cruciferous veggies
Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussel sprouts can cause bloating. You can consume these after cooking them well; this might make them less gassy.
Instead of these veggies you can add cucumbers, sweet potato, lettuce and zucchini in your diet.
Though dairy is considered highly nutritious, about 70% of world’s population can’t break down lactose, a form of sugar found in milk. This condition is known as lactose intolerance. If you’re lactose intolerant, even dairy can make you bloat and cause other digestive problems such as cramping, gas and diarrhoea. People who are lactose intolerant can switch of plant-based milks, dairy like yoghurt or lactose free dairy.
Over the past few years, wheat has got some bad press because of the protein called gluten. However, wheat continues to remain popular as it is used to make breads, pastas, baked goods. For people with celiac disease, wheat can cause bloating. Try including oats, quinoa, buckwheat and almond flour in your diet instead.