Bloating Due to Dieting

fresh fruits
Increased fruit and vegetable intake can lead to bloating. (Image: Robert Fesus/Hemera/Getty Images)

Bloating is an uncomfortable feeling that occurs when gas builds up in the digestive tract. In addition to making your pants feel tighter, bloating can contribute to gas, an embarrassing problem that can lead to social anxiety. If you have made some changes to your diet, such as increasing your fruit and vegetable intake, it’s possible you can experience some dieting-related bloating. Understanding how to minimize and relieve these symptoms can help you reduce the incidence of bloating.

Increased Fiber Intake

Many diets involve reducing your intake of high-fat foods in favor of increased amounts of fruits, vegetables and whole-grain foods. However, these changes increase the amount of fiber in your diet. While this fiber is not digested, the bacteria in your intestines must become accustomed to the added amount. These bacteria can give off gas, contributing to bloating until your body becomes accustomed to the added fiber. This does not mean you should minimize your intake of nutritious foods on your diet because you can expect this symptom to reduce with time. Reduce your intake of fruits and vegetables slightly until your body becomes more used to digesting higher amounts of fiber.

Fast Eating

In addition to what you eat, how you eat can contribute to abdominal bloating. If you are on a diet and eating your diet foods very quickly, this could introduce additional air into your body and cause bloating. It's more likely to occur if you are eating a diet food you do not particularly enjoy. This could cause you to eat the food more quickly, and can result in bloating.

Precautions

Experiencing bloating does not mean you have to quit your diet. Instead, you may wish to take some additional steps to reduce symptoms. Examples include taking an enzyme supplement such as Beano that can ease the digestion of fruits and vegetables, according to Mehmet Oz, M.D., a health and wellness expert interviewed on ABC News. Drinking plenty of water also can help to minimize fiber-related bloating that comes from increased whole grain, fruit and vegetable intake.

Warning

While most dieting-related bloating will subside with time and preventive steps, bloating can sometimes indicate the presence of a more serious underlying condition. See your medical provider if you experience symptoms that include bloating accompanied by diarrhea, worsening heartburn, vomiting, weight loss unrelated to your diet or blood in your stool.

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