6 Reasons and Solutions for Bloating
After crushing it at the gym and hitting your macros perfectly all week long, you look in the mirror and feel, well, bloated and uncomfortable. Why?
Everything you do has an effect on your body. Take a look at the possible causes of bloating and “fluffiness.”
1. Sodium is an essential nutrient that helps your body regulate blood pressure. It also causes your body to store water. A large intake of sodium will cause water retention to be more noticeable.
Eating salty foods is one way to overdo your dose of sodium, but the real mischief maker is not the salt shaker. High levels of sodium are often hidden in processed and packaged foods—read your labels! Remember that you do need to eat sodium, just be careful about how much of it you’re eating.
2. High-Volume Food is the key to achieving most weight loss goals. High-volume foods are abundant in size but low in calories, i.e., you can eat a lot of them and consume fewer calories.
This may sound obvious but if you consume an abnormally large amount of any food, you’ll experience fullness. It takes your body time to digest large volumes of food and depending on what you eat, you may experience bloating. However, this style of bloating is only temporary and it’s better than being hungry.
3. Food Sensitivities can be the cause of regular bloating. Take note of the foods you eat regularly and your body’s reaction. This may help find the culprit.
Don’t confuse a food sensitivity with an allergy. You may just bloat more with certain foods—it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t eat them. However, if you’re concerned about your reactions you should see a doctor.
4. Dehydration is a physique and performance killer. Your body needs hydration for proper function: organs, muscles, digestion, liver, heart—everything! Not drinking enough water causes retention of the little water that you do drink. Team up dehydration with high sodium and ladies and gentlemen, we have a bloater!
If you eat well and hydrate, your body will flush out excess water and your organs will function optimally, reducing bloating. For more details on hydration and methods for improving your water intake, read The Ways in Which Water Works for You.
5. Lack of Sleep is like dehydration. Your body needs sleep to repair and maintain its functions. Take sleep away and you’re relying on the rest of your body to pick up the slack. Sleep has proven to be a key factor in weight loss over and over again. Its benefits for reducing bloating and water retention are incredible.
Check out this article and use our Sleep Tracking Sheet to help monitor and assess the quality of your sleep over time.
6. Stress! Did you know that your body doesn’t actually know the difference between emotional stress or physical stress? Stress is stress and all your body knows is that it isn’t good and it needs to react!
Have you ever taken a week off training and actually looked and felt leaner and stronger? Your body is catching up from the stress it was under.
Do you receive more compliments when you’re feeling happy and relaxed? Take a hint!
If you train, work and have a personal life, you might be dealing with some level of stress. The more stress, the more your body will react. Some reactions include hormonal changes, water retention, and overeating. All reasons for feeling bloated and “fluffy.”
There are some simple ways to help manage and relieve stress. Working Against Gravity CEO, Adee Cazayoux, shared her favorite Five Ways to Manage Stress.
You’ve now seen a list of reasons that might be causing that bloated feeling. The great news—they’re all fixable!
Address one issue at a time by giving yourself a new goal for each week or month. For example:
- Week 1: Monitor sodium intake.
- Week 2: Drink more water.
- Week 3: Improve sleep.
Watch these add up to a better-feeling you!
Join Team WAG
Love what you learned but still want more guidance and support? Hire a 1:1 coach who will get to know you, your lifestyle and your unique needs and create results that you can sustain long-term. If you're not quite ready to go all-in on hiring a coach, check out our Macro Calculation Cheat Sheet & 18 Tracking Tips and Tricks for macro counting!