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Nutrition

Is it Normal to Become Bloated During Intermittent Fasting?

It’s a fact, bloating does occur for some women during intermittent fasting (IF). The most common causes of bloating when fasting are how and what you eat, lack of fluids (water), or the extended intervals between meals. For women approaching or over the age of 50, hormones, lifestyles, and body changes also play a critical role in intermittent fasting and bloating.  If you’re experiencing bloating, consider making a few changes to the diet plan to prevent and diminish the bloating influencers.

According to the Mayo Clinic, whether you’re dieting or not, most individuals do experience periodic bloating without any harm. In most situations, the body resolves the condition naturally. But, when bloating begins to interfere with daily body functions or physical activities, you need to talk with your doctor.

Remember, the purpose of IF is fitness, weight loss, and improved digestion for a healthier well-being. If you’re considering IF as a weight loss program or you’ve already started the process, take the time to review your choice of foods and eating patterns to avoid bloating.

What Causes Bloating During Intermittent Fasting?

WebMD Health reports that one in ten individuals experience some level of regular bloating. Further information on the latest health and diet trends indicate staying hydrated is an essential intermittent fasting and bloating prevention criterion. Insufficient water and the body’s digestive process atomically slows down, causing a backup effect — bloating.

Two foods groups that offer health benefits for losing weight are high protein and whole grains (high fiber). While dieting, these two food groups do help to satisfy your hunger quickly. But for your body to digest these foods, it needs a higher level of water intake. If your body becomes dehydrated, it naturally responds with bloating and constipation.

Tips and habits to remember while fasting:

  • Drink water even if you’re not thirsty.
  • Quench your thirst and curb dehydration.

Another common food group associated with dieting contains sugar and starch. Although your body needs these two nutrients to stay healthy, the sugar and starch compounds found in certain fruits or vegetables can cause bloating.

While we’re talking about sugar, you need to understand that sugar substitutes or artificial sweeteners are difficult for the body to digest. The problem with these ingredients is that they cause the body’s digestive system to produce more gas in the stomach, and occasional bloating.

Is Bloating Normal or a Cause for Concern?

Yes, to both questions. Healthwise, temporary or infrequent bloating is normal. The condition can be mild to severely uncomfortable. For most women, bloating does pass once the food is processed and excreted from the body. One suggestion is to keep a journal to track your intermittent fasting and bloating experiences. The information will help to redefine your diet plan or eating schedule if needed.

Situations that are commonly linked to bloating:

  • Foods that are difficult to digest or gassy.
  • Overeating in a single meal causes havoc in the digestive system.
  • Eating food too fast causes the food to sit in the stomach longer, activating gastric acid.

When bloating interferes with normal body functions and lasts longer than 24 hours, you should be concerned. If you frequently experience bloating that’s accompanied by pain, stop fasting, and see the doctor.

intermittent fasting and bloating

Possible signs for concern:

  • Frequent pain in the digestive tract. It could be a damaged or injured gastrointestinal muscle.
  • Food allergies are linked to underlying conditions and affect the digestion of food. Signs are pain, fever, swelling, or bloating.
  • Mixing multivitamins, over the counter supplements and medication can cause bloating.

Solutions to the Problem and Ways to Avoid Bloating

Since every woman is unique, there is no single solution to remedy intermittent fasting and bloating. Small adjustments to what you’re eating and the frequency of fasting may help curb bloating effects. Behavioral changes can also help manage and control bloating. For example, after completing a full cycle of fasting slowly introduce food back into your system. Keep a healthy balance between solid and liquid digestible foods to prevent bloating.

Believe it or not, breathing can cause gas in the abdomen, followed by bloating. When we swallow air in large or consistent quantities, we contribute to the body’s internal production of gas. Luckily, your body is designed to relieve minor bloating through burbs or belching.

Some behavior solutions to help manage and prevent bloating:

  • Stop drinking liquids through a straw.
  • Reduce or eliminate gum chewing and chew a mint instead.
  • Take small sips when drinking, no gulping allowed.

>READ: INTERMITTENT FASTING MISTAKES BEGINNERS MAKE — AND HOW TO AVOID THEM!

>READ: WHY WOMEN OVER 50 BLOAT AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT

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