We've all been there: the perfectly fitted jeans that was once comfortable is suddenly too tight after a meal to the point where you reckon someone might give up their seat for you on the train.
What's perplexing is when that happens despite us not even eating that much. Well, this sudden visible stomach bulge after eating, aka a food baby, might not necessarily be caused by a large meal. It's commonly the result of bloating caused by excess gas production, water retention or slow digestion.
Keep reading to find out the diet habits that will reduce bloating and belly bulge after eating!
#1 Don't talk while eating
Speaking with your mouth full isn't just bad table manners, it can also contribute to bloating.
People have the tendency of swallow excess air when talking and eating at the same time. This leads to an accumulation of gas in the body which causes a bloated sensation and a food baby.
#2 Eat slowly
Eating too quickly is another habit that makes you swallow excess air.
Take your time to chew food thoroughly as this not only helps avoid gas retention but also makes it easier to digest. The easier and faster food passes through the digestive tract, the less chances of bloating.
#3 Avoid carbonated drinks
Carbonated drinks like soda and even sparkling water can cause bloating. The bubbling sensation of such beverages is actually carbon dioxide which builds up in the body and puffs up the stomach.
On a side note, avoid drinking beverage with a straw as it tends to make us swallow more air.
#4 Go for a walk
Although you might feel like slumping down on a chair after a big meal, try going for a brisk walk instead. This movement helps stimulate the built-up gas through your digestive tract so you'll be less bloated.
#5 Cut down on sodium
We all know that a diet with too much sodium, or salt, isn't good for us for many reasons. One of them is that it can cause water retention which leads to bloating.
Cut down on overly salty foods and avoid processed food as it's especially high in sodium.
#6 Cut down on fatty foods
Another well-known unhealthy food that also causes bloating is fatty foods.
Fried food and other high fat foods stimulate contractions in the digestive tract which slows down digestion. This leads to an uncomfortable stuffed feeling and a noticeable food baby.
Healthy fats from nuts and avocados will also contribute to bloating so include them in your diet but just not in oversized portions and pair them with gut-friendly foods like whole grains, papaya and yoghurt with active cultures.
#7 Keep a food diary to identify food triggers
Food intolerance or allergy is a common cause of bloating. To identify what food triggers bloating for you, keep a food diary and write down the possible culprits whenever it occurs. Some common foods that may cause bloating are dairy products, beans, apples, onions, wheat, gluten and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cabbage.
Of course, some trigger foods are healthy so you can opt to have moderate portions of them rather than cutting them out from your diet completely .
If these tips don't work out for you, it might be the case of an underlying health condition and it may be best for you to consult a doctor.
Know anyone who has the same issue with a big food baby after a meal? Share this article with them!
Text by: GirlStyle SG