Whether you’ve enjoyed a big meal out, ate too quickly, are stressed, or it is that time of the month, bloating happens! Although it isn’t completely unavoidable, knowing what can trigger the uncomfortable feeling of fullness or pressure in your stomach can help you decrease the severity and frequency of bloating.

how to beat bloat


How to Beat Bloat: 8 Quick Tips

Here are eight ways to beat bloat from Brittany Werner, a registered dietitian and the Director of Coaching at Working Against Gravity.

#1. Balance Your Fiber

When you’re new to the nutrition game, you’re likely adding more high-fiber foods to your diet. Although healthy and recommended, go slow. Your digestive system needs time to adjust to these higher-volume foods. Oats, beans, and fruits (soluble fiber sources) are great starting options as they’re a bit easier on your system.

#2. Stay Hydrated

Drinking plenty of water is key to minimizing bloat for many reasons. It aids digestion, prevents constipation, and helps balance salt intake (in tip #4). This article will help you determine how much water you need!

#3. Monitor Foods that Produce Gas

Specific foods create gas, which, in turn, increases bloating. Cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cabbage, kale, beans, and onions are a few examples. Carbonated drinks—especially those with artificial sweeteners—can also temporarily increase bloating. 

Just because these foods produce gas doesn’t mean you need to avoid them completely. Cruciferous veggies, in particular, are full of important nutrients for health. Add these to your diet slowly and space them throughout your day.

#4. Keep Tabs on Portion Sizes and Eating Speed

Large meals mean more food in your stomach, which causes increased pressure (aka bloating). Smaller meals spaced throughout your day may help limit this uncomfortable feeling. 

Make sure to eat slowly, fully chew your food, and stay present with your meal. Proper digestion begins when you think about food, which cues your salivary glands to produce the necessary digestive enzymes. So, preoccupied eating can lead to inhibited digestion. Not fully chewing food also causes you to swallow bigger bites and more air, increasing the likelihood of bloating.

#5. Minimize Meals Out and Monitor Sodium Intake

Your body's sodium and water balance is tightly regulated. This means that when you eat more salt, your body holds onto more water, which can increase bloating. Although best handled by your doctor or an experienced nutrition coach, limiting sodium intake to less than 2300mg of salt daily is a good starting point.

Restaurant meals are often high in sodium and include large portions, both of which may cause some bloat. This doesn’t mean you need to skip meals out completely—pick and choose when it is worth it and learn how to order smart. Download our free Tracking Macros at Restaurants Guide for our best tips and tricks!

#6. Know Your Allergies and Food Sensitivities 

Food sensitivities and mild allergies can cause bloating. Monitor how you feel after eating, especially if you notice increased bloating after specific meals or after trying a new food. If you notice uncomfortable patterns, consider working with a dietitian and eliminating those trigger foods.

#7. Track Your Cycle

The shifts in hormones that happen during your menstrual cycle—both when you ovulate and when you shed your uterine lining—can cause some bloating. Although you likely can’t avoid it altogether, limiting other triggers during this time of the month can help limit bloating as much as possible.

#8. Monitor Sleep, Stress, and Recovery 

Sleep and stress management are vital in decreasing bloating as both can impact digestion and your body’s ability to break down and utilize the food you eat. Sleep, stress, and recovery from your workouts also impact water regulation. To help minimize the chances of bloating due to these factors, aim to get at least eight hours of sleep per night, minimize stress, and learn how to eat for recovery.


Final Thoughts on How to Beat Bloat

Bloating is frustrating and, to an extent, avoidable! It all comes down to food awareness, healthy lifestyle habits, and tracking patterns if bloating becomes an issue. 

If all the moving pieces feel like too much to tackle solo, consider Working Against Gravity nutrition coaching. Our coaches help monitor their clients’ nutrition logs and give specific recommendations to ensure you’re eating the best foods for your body and your goals!