While you may enjoy happy hour, pizza dates, and brunch plans with the crew — as you should — there are a few key culprits that can contribute to you feeling bloated after a couple fun-filled days. Elite Daily spoke with nutrition, fitness, and medical experts to dig deeper into why you feel bloated after a weekend, in addition to simple things you can do to help decrease symptoms.
Michelle Zive, Ph.D., RD, and co-author of the National Academy of Sports Medicine, refers to bloating as “sporadic.” She says it’s typically caused by your lifestyle tendencies and/or what you eat. Katrina Pilkington, a National Academy of Sports Medicine certified personal trainer (CPT) and certified nutrition coach (CNC) based in Las Vegas, explains to Elite Daily that “feeling bloated” is a short-lived feeling, so no need to fret. “Our stomachs are like a balloon, and whenever we eat or drink, it inflates just as a balloon inflates when you fill it with water. When we are feeling bloated, we have to remember it takes time to process and digest everything we consume,” she says.
So let’s get to the bottom of why your scale may seem to play tricks on you come Monday morning. As you go into this weekend, you should keep these important things in mind that are likely contributing to bloating. Note: If you begin to feel bloated regularly — not just after a weekend — you might want to keep track of the food you’re eating, according to Pilkington. You might be sensitive to some foods, or have a gluten/lactose allergy. “Everyone has a distinctive gut makeup, which is why you should treat your tummy uniquely and follow a diet that works for you,” says Pilkington.
That delicious bowl of ramen you ordered for lunch, or the vodka sauce pizza you split with your crush on date night? As much as you may have a deep love affair with salty foods, they can make you bloated. Zive says it’s your kidneys’ job to manage your body’s water balance. If your salt intake is really high, your kidneys will instruct your body to retain water. “This helps them dilute the salty imbalance, then flush the additional sodium out of your body,” she explains.
So when in doubt, drink more water. “Getting enough water can help rid of extra fluids and sodium,” she says.
You may find yourself wondering how the heck can being dehydrated lead to bloating. It might seem ironic, but there’s an explanation. According to Zive, “If you're not drinking enough water, your salt and water balance is thrown off — and, again, your kidneys will signal to your body to retain extra water until the salt-water ratio is restored.” Dr. Niket Sonpal, NYC internist and gastroenterologist, suggests drinking one gallon of water per day to keep your system on track.
Sonpal says if you’re relaxing in bed all day after a night out on the town, this could potentially lead to constipation. “If you're bloated and constipated, getting moving in the morning is a great way to get your digestive system going,” he says.” You might want to pull out your yoga mat or go for a run when you wake up, and have veggies and fruits for a fiber-filled snack.
Pilkington adds if you change your diet from eating no fiber to consuming a lot of fiber within a short time frame, you can also get constipated. She suggests eating whole foods and incorporating fiber into your diet on a regular basis. Zive agrees, stressing a fiber-rich diet will keep your digestive system moving.
According to Livestrong.com, beef is made up of fat and protein. That makes it more difficult to digest than plant-based foods that are high in fiber. Zive agrees that red meat is not the easiest to digest, and points out it can actually aggravate your stomach and lead to bloating.She suggests eating foods that contain potassium. “This mineral [can help] your body maintain good blood pressure and water balance. Potassium-rich foods include bananas, pumpkin, plantains, and papaya.”
When you’re in the mood for a snack, Sonpal says fruits and veggies are the way to go — but steer clear of fruits and veggies that will make you gassy, like broccoli, pears, brussels sprouts, and apples.
Michelle Zive, Ph.D., RD, and co-author of the National Academy of Medicine's Certified Nutrition Coach program
Katrina Pilkington, a National Academy of Sports Medicine certified personal trainer and certified nutrition coach
Dr. Niket Sonpal, NYC internist and gastroenterologist
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