Bloating During Intermittent Fasting: Causes, Prevention, and Treatment
Intermittent fasting (IF) is an increasingly popular way to lose weight and maintain overall health, but bloating can be an unwelcome side effect of the lifestyle. Bloating during intermittent fasting can be caused by a number of factors, including what you eat, the extended intervals between meals, and dehydration. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to reduce bloating and make your fasting experience more comfortable.
What Causes Bloating During Intermittent Fasting?
“A full day of fasting followed by a large, sodium-rich and fiber-deficient meal will most certainly induce bloating,” says Iris Lami, an ACE-certified health coach and personal trainer. The most common causes of bloating when fasting are how and what you eat, lack of fluids (water), or the extended intervals between meals. For many people, bloating and discomfort can become more pronounced during fasting.
According to the Mayo Clinic, it is normal to experience bloating during IF. In most cases, your body naturally resolves the bloating without any additional steps. However, changes in diet associated with intermittent fasting programs may cause bloating and diarrhea (8). Dehydration, another common side effect of fasting, can also cause bloating.
Tips to Prevent and Reduce Bloating During Intermittent Fasting
Many people who first start intermittent fasting feel very bloated. This problem is extremely common. Instead of smaller meals spread throughout the day, you are suddenly eating larger meals in fewer intervals. This can cause the bloating to become worse.
- Eat smaller meals more often. Instead of two or three large meals, try to spread them out over the day.
- Drink plenty of fluids. Staying adequately hydrated is important for digestive health and can help prevent bloating.
- Incorporate more fiber-rich foods into your diet. Eating a diet high in fiber can help reduce bloating and can also improve digestion.
- Reduce your sodium intake. Eating too much sodium can cause the body to retain water, which can lead to bloating.
- Take a probiotic supplement. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that help support gut health and can help reduce bloating.
Treating Bloating During Intermittent Fasting
If bloating is still an issue after trying the prevention tips above, there are some treatments that may help. Peppermint oil is a popular home remedy for bloating, as it can help reduce abdominal pain and cramping. Taking an over-the-counter digestive enzyme supplement may also help reduce bloating and improve digestion.
Finally, if the bloating is severe and does not improve with home remedies, it’s important to consult a doctor. Bloating can be a sign of a more serious condition, so it’s always best to get checked out.
Intermittent fasting is a great way to improve your health and lose weight, but it can also come with some unwanted side effects, such as bloating. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce bloating, such as eating smaller meals more often, drinking plenty of fluids, and incorporating more fiber-rich foods into your diet. If the bloating persists, it’s important to consult a doctor.
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Does intermittent fasting lead to bloating?
Intermittent fasting can sometimes lead to digestive problems, such as constipation, diarrhea, nausea, and bloating (3, 5). This is due to the decreased food intake that often comes with certain intermittent fasting regimens, which can interfere with normal digestion and cause these side effects.
What steps can I take to prevent bloating while intermittent fasting?
Limit Carbonated Beverages. …
Eat Probiotic Foods. …
What are the drawbacks of intermittent fasting?
What could be causing me to feel bloated after consuming food quickly?
Eating too quickly can result in swallowing excess air, which can lead to bloating and gas.