5 Ways to Reduce Uncomfortable Stomach Bloating

stomach bloating

We have all likely experienced a bloated stomach at one point or another; whether due to indulging in a hearty meal, an upcoming menstrual cycle, or even a food sensitivity, bloating appears to affect upwards of 25% of adults. Furthermore, according to the Cleveland Clinic, 10% of those adults notice their stomach bloating on a regular basis! 

As uncomfortable as stomach bloating can be, it does not appear to be uncommon. That does not mean we have to live with it, though! Unless there is an underlying circumstance, you can usually determine the cause of your bloating and then take preventative steps to ensure it does not derail your daily activities.

Let’s break down some of the top foods that can cause bloating, some other possible causes of bloating, and five ways that you can help decrease the pressure in your stomach! 

Top Foods that Can Cause stomach Bloating

Let’s say you attend a family dinner function; there are all the yummy eats and treats on the table, and maybe some foods you have not eaten in a while. After the meal, you notice your stomach feeling extra full, almost uncomfortably so. Was it overconsumption or a particular food that triggered your bloating? 

A specific type of food can undoubtedly cause this feeling of pressure or fullness. Some of the more prominent culprits for many people include:

Cruciferous veggies

Although these vegetables are amazingly healthy, some do affect the gut more than others. This is especially true if you choose to eat them raw. Broccoli and cauliflower are two examples! 

Dairy products

This food group can be hard to avoid, but dairy products (and the corresponding lactose) can do a number on your gut. Items like ice cream, cheese, yogurt, and milk can all possibly cause bloating. 


Beans are a prime suspect for bloat, as are similar legumes like peas and lentils. When preparing beans or the like, try to run them through cold water or let them soak for a bit first. This can help with the bloating that you might experience after you eat them!

Non-Food Sources of Bloating

Looking at your diet is typically the first go-to in terms of determining what is causing bloat for many people. However, there are non-food sources that also cause bloat! These include factors such as:

  • Hormone fluctuations (especially during menstrual cycles or perimenopause)
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Constipation

This is a concise list of possible reasons for bloating that are not explicitly related to consuming food. Always speak with your physician if you are experiencing bloat that is not rectified by adjusting your diet! 

5 Ways to Decrease Bloating

While there are many different paths you can take in order to decrease any uncomfortable bloating you might experience, here are five helpful ways that you can begin!

Decrease how much you eat in one sitting:

The stomach is designed to stretch, but only so far before you begin to feel uncomfortable! Eating in excess can undoubtedly cause you to feel bloated, especially if you have consumed things like fast food or other packaged or processed items (which then tend to contain loads of sodium, which contributes to bloat). 


Not typically thought of as a way to reduce bloating, exercise can help air move around a bit inside your gastrointestinal tract, thus decreasing the sensation of bloating. This does not mean you have to drop down and do a high-intensity workout after a meal – do what works best for you and your body! One study from Gastroenterology and Hepatology from Bed to Bench reported on over 90 individuals who either used medicine after eating to reduce bloat or they walked for 10-15 minutes after eating. After four weeks, the participants that exercised after each meal noticed a greater reduction in bloat than those using medication! 

Stay hydrated:

Drinking enough water daily is critical to reducing bloat. While your stomach might feel momentarily full if you have chugged a glass of water, your GI tract will thank you for it. Most healthy adults should aim to consume at least half their body weight in ounces each day (i.e., someone who is 140 pounds should aim for at least 70 ounces of water daily). 

Slow down and enjoy your meal:

With everyday life moving at 1000 miles per hour these days, it can be easy to see how our meals have moved just as quickly. Instead of standing over the kitchen sink eating a late-night dinner or eating lunch on the run, try and take a few minutes to sit down and really pay attention to what you are eating. Really focus on chewing through each bite of food, and pay attention to your hunger cues. You might find that you have food left over on your plate! 

Pay attention to patterns:

If you know that you always get bloating at a specific time of day, write down what you have eaten and the time. If this pattern continues (even with adjustments in what you are eating), then you can bring those notes to your physician. Sometimes stepping back and taking a look at the grand picture of what you are eating each day – or even if there is a similar ingredient that leads to subsequent bloating, such as milk – then you can see those progressions over time and begin to take action. 

Bottom Line: Bloating is not an uncommon condition; however, there are ways that you can treat it once you have discovered the source! If you are eating a whole, nutrient-dense diet and have tried eliminating specific foods that you might think are the culprit (and are still experiencing uncomfortable levels of bloating), please speak with your physician. While an underlying cause could be the case, it might just take two heads coming together to determine the exact cause of the fullness and pressure in your gut.

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