For most, bloating is an occasional discomfort that follows an indulgent meal or long flight. For others, it's a constant state of being that's provoked by food allergies and intolerances, digestive issues, or more serious conditions like irritable bowel syndrome. If you fall into the latter camp and feel bloated more often than not, it may be time to consider a lifestyle change. That's exactly what PopSugar fitness editor Jenny Sugar did after 20-some years of chronic bloating. "Bloating has been an issue for me ever since I was in college," she writes.
"I've seen doctors, gastroenterologists, naturopaths, and chiropractors and have had millions of tests done. Now at age 41, I finally feel like I have complete control over my bloating." After years of trial and error, Sugar has identified a set of eating and lifestyle habits that keep her bloating at bay. In her own words, here's how she restructured her life to cure her chronic bloating.
She Identified Her Trigger Foods
"Ditching dairy was my first step toward relief, but it didn't cure me by any means. It wasn't until I gave up dairy, processed carbs, and sugar that my digestive system felt happy."
She Practices Intermittent Fasting
"I discovered intermittent fasting in February 2017, and the 16:8 method has been my savior in preventing the overeating that exacerbates my bloating. Having a shortened eating window … has helped me get a handle on sugar cravings, helps me honor my body's 'I'm full' signals, and gives my digestive system the break it needs to function normally."
She Fills Up on Fiber
"When I started eating a huge salad for one meal a day, that's when I was able to get my fill of fiber and stay regular. My go-to right now is massaged kale, shredded carrots, cucumbers, red peppers, cherry tomatoes, roasted sweet potatoes, avocado, sunflower seeds, and marinated tofu."
She Takes Probiotics
"Every day, I pop a probiotic. I know they're helping prevent bloating because when I went away for a long weekend and didn't take them, I noticed a difference."
She Drinks Tons of Water
"My 20-ounce water bottle is always by my side, and I fill it up four times a day. Another thing I've noticed is that drinking a ton of water can lessen the bloating effects of eating sugar or processed carbs."
Head over to PopSugar for more on her anti-bloating diet.