Bloated? This Is What Is Happening to Your Body – and How to Fix It

Hey Guys!

Let’s talk about food babies, shall we?

You know… that dreaded food baby that happens thanks to BLOATING. We’ve all had it, right?! And we laugh and call it a food baby when really, it’s uncomfortable to even laugh because let’s be real, bloating hurts!

IDK about you, but when I’m bloated I just don’t feel my best. My clothes feel like they fit really weird and I feel sluggish. It can be really frustrating and hard to ignore. I just want to get rid of it ASAP.

Turns out, there’s actually more to bloating than you might think! Maybe I’m a little nerdy, but it’s actually a really interesting process! I did some digging for us so we can learn what’s up with bloating, and how we can push past the food baby and get back to feeling our best!

You ready?! Let’s deep dive!

First things first…what is bloat?

Ok so you know what bloat feels like…but do you ever wonder what’s going on in there?

I want you to touch your stomach right now. Nope, that’s not your stomach. Move your hand up to your diaphragm/rib cage area. THAT’s your stomach. Your stomach actually rests right below your chest and sternum! So if you’re imagining your stomach is full of too much food when you’re bloated, that’s not necessarily true! It doesn’t really have anything to do with your stomach! 🤯

The area we usually think of as our “stomach” is actually where our intestines are. They absorb a ton of nutrients from our food before they get rid of the waste. When they’re working to digest food, they can actually expand! Then, when they pull in water to help push out the waste… Bam. Bloat.

Pretty much what that means is that some bloating is normal and EVERYONE deals with it. But what about the uncomfortable, gotta lay down kind of bloat? Keep on reading!

What is making me bloat?

So water and air in the intestines = bloat. But there are some things that just make our intestines go a little extra when they digest food.

  • Swallowing air from drinking through a straw or chewing gum
  • Eating too fast – Because you swallow air!
  • Eating too much – We’ve all felt this one.
  • Eating fatty foods – Hiii pizza. 
  • Eating foods that create gas in the intestines (🎶beans, beans 🎶 … you know the rest!)
  • Constipation

Some medical conditions like lactose intolerance, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease and Celiac disease (gluten intolerance) are known to cause bloating too. These conditions just make it harder for the body to digest certain foods.

Ok…but why do I bloat sometimes even when I’m eating healthy foods?! 

Isn’t that THE WORST?

You can totally feel a little bloated after a healthy meal. But no worries! If you know ahead of time what these foods are, there are some things you can do to keep things from getting out of control. And just like everything else, everyone is different! The foods that make me bloat like crazy might not affect you at all.

The more “obvious” bloat foods:

  • Greasy, fatty foods
  • Artificial sweeteners (look for sorbitol on the food label)
  • Carbonated beverages (air!) 
  • Dairy
  • Salty foods and processed foods high in sodium (canned soup, frozen foods, etc)

Annnnd the not so obvious, sneaky bloat foods:

  • Raw, cruciferous veggies – like broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and onions
  • Some fruits like apricots, apples, peaches, pears and prunes
  • Beans and lentils
  • Whole grains

So why do these foods cause bloat? Well, they’re crazy high in fiber which is GREAT for your body, but takes a little more effort for your intestines to digest. These foods produce more gas and usually draw in more water. So they make you bloat. Also keep in mind that eating too fast can make you feel bloated, no matter what you’re eating!

Let’s talk about belly fat for a sec…

Belly fat is a different (and more permanent) story. First of all, you don’t need to stress about putting on belly fat after one indulgent meal. Belly fat shows up when you’re eating more calories than you’re burning over time. In other words, you’re not gonna put on 5lb of belly fat overnight.

Unhealthy habits like eating a ton of sugar, not exercising, lack of sleep and genetics can cause excess belly fat too. Although it’s suuuper rare to put on weight in your belly alone (you’ll probably notice weight gain all over), having that excess fat around your belly is actually dangerous for your organs.

How do I know if it’s bloat or belly fat?

Ok so let’s say your jeans suddenly don’t fit. Is it bloat or belly fat?! There are some easy ways to figure out the difference.

  • Is my belly suddenly bigger than it was a day or two ago? Probably bloat.
  • Did I just eat? Bloat.
  • Does my tummy slim back down the next morning? Bloat
  • When did I last go to the bathroom? If it’s been a day or two… it’s probably bloat.
  • Is it that time of the month? Bloat.
  • Am I dehydrated? Bloat.

Basically, it’s probably just bloat unless you’ve noticed some changes all over your body. If your lifestyle has changed and your diet is off, or you’re not exercising as much, it could be belly fat.

Getting rid of bloat

Well now that we know what causes bloat, how do we get rid of it?!

First, try to prevent it!  The best way to do this is to just avoid or eat less of the foods that make you bloat. Like I said before, everyone is different so it might take some trial and error to figure out what foods give you trouble. This is where my love for food journaling comes in!

You can also try…

  • Eating more slowly, chewing more, or eating smaller more frequent meals.
  • Deep breathing to stimulate the digestive tract and relieve pain and discomfort.
  • Sipping on a warm beverage if you’re constipated. Caffeine may help too!
  • Strengthen your core

Of course, if you’re dealing with chronic bloating or other issues, ask your doctor for more help.

Getting rid of belly fat

Getting rid of belly fat is doable with the right amount of work and time.

  • Exercise – aerobic (think cardio) is the best for fat burning! You can start by going on a walk every day, or check out some of the Blogilates cardio videos. When you’re ready to ramp it up, doing some high intensity interval training (HIIT) or PIIT28 will REALLY burn fat.
  • Adjust your diet –  It’s most important to avoid eating more calories than you’re burning. Try to eat more fiber, fewer carbs, and drink lots of water! Avoid the sugary and processed stuff.
  • Sleep matters too! Getting 7 or 8 hours might sound impossible, but it really does make a huge difference for your body! This is something I can definitely work on too.

Above all else, remember this 

Love your body on all days, whether your abs are looking FIRE or your tummy is a little puffy from bloat. If you need to make some changes to feel better, go for it! But know that nobody’s body looks perfect every day.

What are your “problem foods” when it comes to bloating?! Tell me in the comments!

58 thoughts on “Bloated? This Is What Is Happening to Your Body – and How to Fix It”

There are 58 comments posted by our users.

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  1. Carol says:

    Thanks for the helpful advice because every time I eat or drink something I get really bloated and look like I’m pregnant and I’m 14.

  2. Cheryl says:

    Thank you for a great article! I have IBS and I get so gassy to the point that it is just trapped and hurts so much. I don’t really know the cause of it which is why I have been doing some research. It could be a series of things for me, but another great informational article I found was Talks about different foods to avoid and foods to eat. What are your thoughts?

  3. Serena says:

    I have been dealing with bloat for years! It gets extremely uncomfortable and sometimes it just looks like I am pregnant 🙁 I hate it. Thank you for the great tips to help manage the bloat, I actually came across another article that was helpful as well, . It is worth a read because it had some great facts and tips as well. Thoughts on it?

  4. Brooke says:

    🍕 pizza 🍕

  5. rachow says:

    Hey Cassey! I’ve been following you and your workouts for a couple of months now (since COVID started basically) and it’s crazy to see your transformation! I know that you’ve gotten really negative comments and any type of negative comment, no matter how successful, will still hurt. I hope you’ll remember that you have helped so many people (including me)! I don’t like how my body shape isn’t an hourglass, and you’ve helped me change the perception I have of my body. It’s a process, but you’re such an inspiration to me. I hope this encourages you!

  6. Stuti says:

    Such an informative piece. To add to this, from what I have faced, mental stress is another factor that causes our stomach to bloat. On days when I am super stressed, I always feel bloated and that is so uncomfortable 😣

  7. dxbgal says:

    Great article! What types of foods/fruits would you suggest to avoid bloating and for late night snacking with those munchies hit

  8. Aadila says:

    His is such a lovely, well written, informative post! Thank you so much for this

  9. Kate says:

    Thanks for this! I thought something was wrong when I ate a healthy broccoli salad and felt not-so-healthy afterwards! This gives perspective and now I know the other possible triggers so thanks Cassey! My triggers are mainly broccoli and cauliflower.

  10. Chelsea Dodge says:

    Great post!

  11. Douglas Wills says:

    Ahhhh, the sleeping is hard for me. I feel like I can get more done through the day and if I’m not done, I don’t stop! I have a 24/7 schedule whether it’s work and home and I’m… Trying so hard. 😂

  12. Anonymous says:

    Have you been tested for IBS? It’s more coming than most people think & I definitely understand the pains of frequent bloating

  13. Jaslyn says:

    Love this post! Such great info 😁

  14. Angela says:

    Such a helpful and informative post. Thanks, Cassey

    1. blogilates says:

      So glad it was helpful for you!!

  15. Durh Lor says:

    Thank you for the tips and advice!

  16. Katze says:

    Super informative! I always found it strange how quickly my “stomach” size would change. This whole time I’ve been dealing with bloating not belly fat 😅 Now I just gotta figure out which foods are causing it 🤔

  17. Zoe Collier says:

    This has come at such a timely moment! I have been eating healthy foods since June and lost around 1 stone 10 lbs, it’s been upsetting to bloat so often when trying so hard. But these tips are helping and hopefully I can try some of the suggestions out. Do you know if a reaction to food should be immediate to be an intolerance?

  18. Cristen says:

    I think because in the past you’ve shared some of your disordered eating habits and body dysmorphia that people automatically assume you will be that way forever. I experience the same thing. I lost 40lbs in a healthy way that helped my mental state and for the first time had a decent relationship with food, I tried to tell other people who were struggling to help them but this only backfired and they told me I was too skinny but when i was bigger I was too fat. I feel like that’s what you’re experiencing here and I’m sad to see this happen. I know your true desire is to help people and it’s a shame to watch them try to tear you down. You’re not alone in this. And being overweight sucks for a lot of people I don’t care what anyone says, not just for your physical health but a lot of people’s mental health suffers as well in ways that can touch every part of your life and every relationship you have with not only people you know but society at large. It’s more then just food. And a lot of these people commenting negativity are too young to have any perspective or too stubborn to realize what it’s like. I hope you don’t take these things that people say to heart. You’re in the public eye and there will always be someone with some sh*t to say and those people have no empathy or true understanding of how it’s possible to heal from eating disorders. I know it ebbs and flows or it can. Anyway, you’re great I love your attitude and I appreciate you sharing what it’s like to be a person with a problem and overcoming it especially as we get older (we are the same age) I would think it would give more people hope. It does for me.

  19. Madhuri Rao says:

    Hi!!! Thanks for writing this. I actually want to say that a lot of the research that says losing weight is “healthy” is actually frought with bias and conflict of interest. But diet culture is so pervasive that there is not much argument against it. I really recommend reading the book called Anti-Diet by Christy Harrison which really breaks a lot of this down (she is a dietitian and an MPH). Thanks.

  20. Rose Whipple says:

    I love this! I’ve been on a gradual journey to become healthy myself. Not as sudden and intense as yours, just encouraging myself to work out and eat only when I’m hungry kinda stuff. I find myself dreaming of losing the extra weight and feeling strong when I run, but I get into negative thoughts sometimes. When I look for body positivity things all I hear is basically “people who really love their body just accept it at the size it is, trying to be healthier means you hate yourself” which makes me feel bad for trying so hard to be healthy! I really need voices like yours to know it’s okay to want to be healthy! That improving my body’s strength and limiting the extra garbage I’ve been feeding it is something I should want to do and it can be *part* of my journey of learning to love my body. Thank you!

    1. Rose Whipple says:

      Oh, lol, I thought I was commenting on the article about losing weight still being body positive >.< Whoops

  21. Dani says:

    I love that you’re writing about this! It makes me think in regards to body positivity, what is love? I don’t know about you, but my deepest experiences of love have been being known, seen, accepted and delighted in for who I am- and being cared for so much that I’m encouraged and challenged to grow! When I am taking care of/spending time with a child, I try to love them exactly as they are- showing them how good they are in and of themselves, and out of that love can’t help but want to help them become healthier and happier, whether that means teaching them skills and allowing them the dignity of struggling with it before they’re strong enough and have practiced enough to get it right (and celebrating with them that they worked hard enough to get there!), teaching them to accept the word ‘no’ (accepting boundaries) as well as hold their ground and stand up for themselves (expressing limits and creating healthy boundaries- and as long as they’re not unreasonable, listening to and respecting their ‘no’!), and allowing them to fail while teaching them to have the courage and confidence to get back up.
    My goal is to love myself and my body in the same way- Accepting it, seeing it as beautiful and amazing as it is, and loving it so much that I choose to challenge it, strengthen it, and feeding it healthy foods instead of always giving into cravings (but not without a ‘cheat’ meal or snack on occasion as you prescribe, Cassey 🙂 !). Not perfectionistic, not permissive/indulgent, but genuinely loving. I think that’s what love towards ourselves/our bodies can look like- if I’m truly positive towards my body and love it for what it is and what it can do, I’ll want to nourish it and challenge it. If losing weight is a part of helping my body become more happy and healthy, then I think IT IS body positivity.

    1. Dani says:

      Oh man! Hahaha this was supposed to be a comment on “IS IT OKAY TO WANT TO LOSE WEIGHT?”, not the article on bloating (although, this is great too!)

  22. Katie says:

    Hello Cassey! I really enjoyed reading this article. When I start writing down what I eat, does it have to be specific down to each ingredient and spices? And after that I just see how I am feeling after I eat? How can I use the food journal successfully and correctly ? Thank you in advance!

  23. Lila says:

    In my experience; we all have intolerance for different foods, for example milk, onion, bread etc. Also if you have sinusitis like me, it is causing you to bloat because you got air from your mouth, not from your nose. Working out of course does help, but be careful, overexercising can give you bloat too (due to the stress hormone that secreted).

  24. Maryam says:

    I bloat from onion, garlic, fructose corn syrup (you will find this in pretty much all processed candy buhuu), fatty foods, too much dairy or gluten and probably other things I haven’t found out yet 😉 I’m currently on the the Low FODMAP diet, it helped me soooooo much. Its recommended for people suffering from IBS and other bowel issues.

  25. Lori says:

    Very helpful thanks you Cassey!

  26. Niina says:

    Just to clarify, Celiac disease is not an intolerance or an allergy, it is autoimmune disease.

  27. Melissa says:

    I’m visiting a pelvic pain fysical therapist since beginning this year because I have been bloated and constipated for years.
    Turns out, I constantly squeeze my belly, pelvic, butt and internal muscles when I’m more stressed. I have learned to let them go a bit and have had to cut down on the ab exercises because they make me squeeze them more. So more core work, doesn’t always help!!
    Also, sparkling water helps me when I’m in pain from bloating haha. Which usually doesn’t help so every body is different

  28. Mira says:

    Awesome info. Im from South Africa and your videos/blog inspire me daily. Im going to try the tips for belly fat. I cant seem to stay away from pizza 🙈 Thanks for all you do Cassey! ❤

  29. Monica Vellanoweth says:

    I get painfully bloated when I eat super salty foods. Drinking peppermint tea has really helped the extra gas escape and I feel much better.

  30. Karen says:

    Great info! At 58 I am post menopausal. I love your workouts and do them daily. So glad I found you! The best thing of quarantine for me was to find you!!!! What tips do you have for us post menopausal women trying to reduce belly fat? Menopause took my eyebrows and left me belly fat
    🙁 frustrated for sure!!! Thank you!

  31. Mjade Jade says:

    How about baby bump belly fat? After baby how can I lose it?

    1. Maya says:

      WHITE BREAD. It’s pretty much instant.

  32. Annica says:

    Fatty foods, white bread and regular milk. Funny thing.. Sometimes when I’ve been working my abs I get a little bloated afterwards!

  33. Ella says:

    So Fibre is sneaky and causes bloat but we should eat more Fibre to reduce it?

    1. Quiana says:

      I think in that instance it would be to help with the bloating that comes from constipation. Eating more fiber is very helpful for constipation, of course definitely need to be drinking enough water too or fiber causes constipation!

  34. Eve says:

    Isn’t strength training the best for fat loss because muscle burns more energy to maintain?

  35. Julie says:

    Hi. I’m a celiac and can relate on the bloating when I accidentally get glutened. Gluten intolerance and celiac disease are separate things. Celiac disease is a generic autoimmune disorder which can lead to damage to the intestines. They have similar symptoms though.

  36. Alexandra says:

    I bloat no matter what I eat, its not necessarily uncomfortable just annoying because I have worked extremely hard to slim down and get stronger and to see my stomach pop out is annoying. Not to mention I had two children and my stomach did NOT bounce back, and I have the most STUBBORN lower belly fat ever! I have never been this small since I was under 16 and it looks like I have been eating krimpets all day OR I’m like 3 months pregnant third child, let’s not mention stretch marks because…just wow. And my youngest is 5 years old so lol. Just gotta keep going right?

    1. Susan Turner says:

      Look into Diastasis Recti – abdominal separation. Very common for woman after they have gone through pregnancy and is what causes the “pooch”. There are exercises that can be done to heal DR and some exercises can make it worse. ‘Every Mother’ and ‘Bloom Method’ are two exercise program that can heal the separation. Been loving Blogilates and I am going to ask Cassie if she has input on this abdominal separation.

  37. Paula says:

    I bloat from things with a lot of fiber. Lettuce, peaches, nectarines, beans and spicy food. And also certain yoguhrts.

  38. Maider says:

    I’m crazy bloated since I got pregnant. Before, it used to happen sometimes, when I would not follow my regular routine (sleep, eating habits), such as during vacation or when eating out too much. Now it’s almost permanent, since my digestion is so slow. Unless you have a food intolerance which needs taking care of, my best advice is eat small portions frequently, drink plenty of water (2-3 l daily), beware of fiber, stay active and get a good night sleep!

  39. Julia says:

    I can’t figure out if my bloat comes from dairy or high sugar levels… I always get it when I eat yogurt.

  40. Anastasia says:

    I hate looking bloated and I tried going gluten free for a week and it really helped. The only problem is that I don’t know how to do this long term because I am vegan half the year (for religious reasons). I also live with my family. Any helpful ideas?

    1. Julie says:

      Have you been tested for celiacs disease?

  41. Emily says:

    I want to try a 28 day reset of no gluten and dairy next month, I’m tired of feeling and looking bloated all the time! This was an interesting read! Thank you Cassey! Xx

  42. Bexx says:

    Wow yeah, I have IBS and fibromyalgia but used to eat whatever I wanted and would pay the price with bloating and extreme fatigue. I couldn’t do any schoolwork nor any physical activity for about 30 minutes to an hour after eating. If I worked a double shift at work I would eat a big lunch in the middle to get me through and I would literally be out-of-it for an hour or more. Now I have definitely learned what foods my body can handle the best, and surprise, it does not react well to dairy, processed foods, meat, fried foods, and sugar. I like to eat more natural, home cooked and clean foods, not just for my conditions but also because they are what are best for our body! Now I do let myself indulge here and there, I let myself have one small sugary snack a day like a couple cookies. With my healthy nutrition and small snack I experience almost no bloating and my energy levels AS A WHOLE have been up, which is great as fibro depletes your energy. I used to completely restrict my diet but that didn’t work either and I was miserable. All in all, I so agree with you that we should make changes FOR US and us alone, and that we should love our bodies every day not just our best days. Our body is our temple! Thanks for the information, I didn’t realize that fruits and whole grains can cause bloats too! Maybe that’s why I feel a little off after my breakfast. I found you on youtube about two weeks ago and I am so happy to go on this fitness journey. I hadn’t worked out a lot in the past four years though I was a dancer for my whole childhood and thus I didn’t really like gyms. Other workouts never felt like the right fit for me but pilates definitely does. Fibro causes me a lot of knee pain so high impact is not the best for me. You are very motivational and helpful and I’m loving the calendar. I’m excited to better my fitness and to finally treat my body well. I feel better about myself already! Thanks

  43. Elizabethh236 says:

    Definitely if I eat a lot of fibre or dairy I tend to bloat. My digestion isn’t always smooth, regardless of what I’m eating, so sometimes if I eat too fast or too much I definitely feel the bloat after. It’s hard to be wary of it coming on though, especially when I’m super hungry and just want to stuff my face. This post is really interesting and helpful though! Thanks Cassey!

  44. The lou says:

    I have ibs and it’s so frustrating i get bloated and mad stomach aces and what I can eat is so restricted now i hate it:/

  45. phoenixphyre says:

    I have been working on my lower abdominal area and could not tell if I was dealing with belly fat or bloating. But this explains everything. Thank you!

  46. Is it that soluble fiber or insoluble fiber causes more bloat or?

  47. jlmoodies says:

    Oh dairy and gluten are 2 tough ones for me. Thankfully there are plenty of alternatives these days 🍦 It’s terrible how bloating could be painful too !

  48. Jeannamarie5 says:

    I’m currently trying the 28 Day reset challenge. Gluten totally makes me bloated! I’ve know for awhile that I need to stay away from tons of dairy. I’ve been bloated to where I’ve been asked if I was pregnant, many times. Thank you for helping me get through the hardest times in life💕

  49. Adira says:

    How did you know I needed this today! Lol. Cassey, you are amazing.