What’s Actually Going On In Your Body When You’re Bloated

Hey guys!

You know the feeling. You eat something delicious like pizza, mayyyybe overdo it a bit…and out of nowhere, your stomach feels like a balloon.

OMG I’ve been there so many times.

We’ve talked a lot about what causes bloat and how to avoid it, but are you ever curious about what is ACTUALLY going on in our body when we’re bloated? Well, I did some research for us!

bloat reason abs aren't showing

Are you bloated or just full?

YEP, there’s a difference!

It’s so common to throw around phrases like “ugh I feel so bloated” after eating a big meal. But actually, you’re not technically bloated. You might have just eaten too much! Overeating just makes you uncomfortable because your stomach is full. People tend to treat bloating as a symptom of overeating, like it’s something that is SUPPOSED to happen after a meal.

But it’s not!

Bloating is actually a reaction that causes your abdomen to distend or “balloon,” which brings that discomfort we all dread. It’s usually caused by things OTHER than overeating.

@blogilatesIf u learn what foods ur intolerant to, eat less of those foods! You’ll feel better. ##learnontiktok ##bloating ##bloated ##bloatedstomach ##nutrition♬ Wipe It Down – BMW KENNY

You feel like a balloon when you bloat for a reason

And the reason is…. GAS.

Some foods just produce more gas when you eat them. These are usually foods like:

  • Beans
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Cruciferous veggies (like broccoli and cauliflower)
  • Onions
  • Dairy

Sometimes more gas is produced because the bacteria in your intestines that absorb your food are out of whack. It’s totally normal for these bacteria to produce some gas, but they may produce more if you’ve been on antibiotics or if your gut microbiota is just off for other reasons. A food sensitivity can cause this too!

This is why sugar alcohols can make you bloated too. They get to your intestines pretty much undigested, so the bacteria that breaks them down produces more gas!

Something as simple as taking in excess air could cause a buildup of pressure in your tummy too. That happens when you chew gum, eat too fast, or drink through a straw.

Take a closer look if you’re bloated too often!

It’s definitely not normal to feel uncomfortable on a regular basis. If that’s happening, think about some of the foods you’re eating to see if maybe that’s the culprit. It’s also a good idea to talk to your doctor to get it figured out.

Otherwise, I have a whole post on things that can help prevent bloating, and how to tell the difference between bloat and belly fat here!

21 thoughts on “What’s Actually Going On In Your Body When You’re Bloated”

There are 21 comments posted by our users.

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  1. Mukul Ahmed says:

    Really wrote a lot of beautiful things. I learned a lot after your blog and found out. Thanks for making such a great post.

  2. jen says:

    So its not common that your belly expands after eating ? Because i can literally drink plain water & i bloat so bad to the point i cannot sit down pushes on my diaphragm & causes me to want to vomit

    1. Lilyana says:

      I think, it’s not normal. Do you drink not too much water in a too short time? 1 liter/1 hour is the ultimate maximum, if you are not an athlete, etc. (because your kidney beans could get damaged). If you drink less, like just one cup first, and after a short time break (like 10-20 minutes) the next cup and this not solve your problem, talk with the doctors.

  3. Cece says:

    I want to lose belly fat but I do,not know how to can I get some help

  4. Dairy, sugar, some veggies like broccoli boost me!

    Sometimes some sugar alcohols do as well. Otherwise I get some water retention when I’m super stressed out.

    Water retention, anyone?

    1. Sandra says:

      I generally get bloated when I’m stressed! Which is alot sooooooo I’m always bloated! :/

      1. Demi says:

        I feel you!

  5. Brittany Mocerino says:

    Great info thanks!! Can I ask where the pink shorts are from?! So cute!

  6. Kaylee says:

    Eating artificial sweeteners is a common source of bloating for me – which are often used in protein powder and diet soda.

  7. Lucinda says:

    You need to lose fat, track your calories and make sure you are in a calorie deficit. And do some cardio you enjoy!

    1. Tracy says:

      If I eat or drink anything much stomach is a balloon so I don’t know what to do. Ive seen every doc’ specialist and naturopath!

  8. Luisa says:

    Cuando es?

  9. Amanda says:

    Where to start for having flat belly?

  10. Akshata says:

    Hey I recently started following your workouts but I have never done this before so body is paining like hell and also I don’t have that much of knowledge about my diet n all so help me with that 🥺

  11. Laura says:

    I do the “90 day journey”, I am on day 5 (omnivore plan) and bloated so little after brocoli and cauliflower and I discover that hapend because I didn’t combine it with mayo. The mayonese make things much worse.
    I am so happy with my food and the thing that I’m not bloat like other times! So let’s eat that pancakes! 🤤

  12. Bee says:

    Period bloating/gas is also very real!

  13. Ginny says:

    WHERE are the pink shorts from?

    1. blogilates says:

      I think it’s Free People!

  14. Taylor B says:

    Hi there! So as a PA, we’ve been seeing the diagnosis of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) rising in our young women population. Common symptoms are typically lots of gas accompanied with bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea, or constipation. I struggled with bloating for years and was to the point that it was impacting my social life because I was always scared of the discomfort that seemed to randomly appear. It was recommended that I try the FODMAP diet, an elimination diet that has been gaining a lot of traction in research over the last few years. It targets foods that are high in specific types of carbohydrates that some people have difficulty breaking down. These are Fermentable, Oligosaccharides (includes fructans and galactans), Disaccharides (lactose), Monosaccharides (excess fructose), And Polyols (sugar alcohols). From the Mayo Clinic’s recommendation, I did 6 weeks of elimination from these foods and then added the food items one at a time per group. The diet can be overwhelming at first, so I recommend doing lots of research and finding many recipes before starting. Upon completion, I found that I struggled digesting oligosaccharides, meaning that I couldn’t absorb wheat & garlic (part of the fructans group) and legumes (the galactans group). And it sounds like you Cassey struggle with fructans and lactose. I know this isn’t a well of information, but I hope that it can be a start for some on their journey of feeling better and restoring their relationship with food!

    Disclaimer: If you are experiencing other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, or blood in your stool, you need to discuss it with your provider.

  15. Vu Thi Minh Ngoc says:

    I’m bloated because I have constipation. It’s all due to stomach disease. Arrr!!!