3 Dinner Mistakes That Could Be Causing Your Morning Bloat
If you wake up in the morning with an uncomfortable, fuller feeling in your stomach, you may be experiencing bloating. Bloating, which is a build-up of gases in the stomach and intestines, is one of the most common digestive complaints. In more severe cases, bloating can be painful and accompanied by more serious symptoms. And, it has lots of possible causes, including eating a large meal, particularly right before bedtime, swallowing air from eating too fast, too much alcohol consumption, eating too much fiber, and more.
The key to preventing morning bloating is to learn what causes it so you can make changes to your diet and lifestyle. Specifically, determine if you ate or did anything around dinner time that may have caused you bloating discomfort the next time.
To learn more about the three dinner mistakes that could be the cause of your morning bloat, we spoke with Krista Linares, a registered dietitian and nutritionist that specializes in PCOS. The mission of her company, Nutrition con Sabor, is to promote health equity for Latinos and see Latinos better represented in the health and wellness world. She said that eating too fast, increasing your fiber content too quickly, and only eating raw vegetables are the worst things you can do at dinner. Find out more about preventing morning bloat and some tips for reducing stomach discomfort below!
1. Eating Too Fast
When you eat your dinner too quickly, you take larger bites and end up chewing your food less. Linares believes that eating too fast can cause bloating the next morning. "Chewing is an important part of digestion because it breaks food down into smaller pieces and mixes food with saliva, which has digestive enzymes that help break down the starches in your food," she explains. "By skipping the chewing step, you're interrupting this process, which could lead to bloat and discomfort the next morning." So, be sure to chew and swallow your dinner carefully!
2. Increasing Your Fiber Content Too Quickly
Like any dietary changes, you should be careful not to do too much too fast. This is especially true with fiber. "A lot of times when people start to pay attention to their nutrition they increase their fiber by a lot. But our bodies need time to adapt to higher fiber intake, and increasing too quickly can cause bloating, pain, and constipation," Linares says. "Try upping fiber one serving at a time (per day) and increase water at the same time." Take your time and let your body adjust to a new fiber level. Learn how much fiber experts say you should eat every day for weight loss.
Only Eating Raw Vegetables
While raw vegetables are full of healthy vitamins and minerals, some people can find them difficult to digest which can lead to bloating. "Sometimes when people want to eat [healthily] they think that means they have to get a huge salad, but you might be able to get similar benefits with less GI discomfort if you eat cooked vegetables as well," Linares explains. But, you don't want to only focus on vegetables because that can cause even more bloating. That's why eating a balanced meal that is full of carbohydrates, protein, fat, fiber, and non-starchy vegetables is so important.
The Bottom Line
So, there you have it! Experts like Linares say that these three dinner mistakes (eating too fast, increasing your fiber content too quickly, and only eating raw vegetables) could be to blame for your morning bloating. That's why you should eat a balanced meal full of healthy carbs, protein, fat, fiber, and non-starchy veggies. She also recommends chewing your food slowly and completely. Linares wants to remind us that bloating is "a part of the normal digestive process." The overall goal is not to avoid bloating altogether but to prevent painful bloating. But, if you still don't see a change in your bloating despite making lifestyle changes (like adding some new morning habits to your routine!), you may have a chronic issue that requires a doctor to determine possible causes.