If you’re trying to gain weight, you’ve likely come across the frustration of getting bloated, uncomfortable, gassy and maybe even alternating between constipation and diarrhea as your digestive system adjusts to more food.
So today on weight gain wednesdays I’m going to discuss how you can help to decrease bloating and gas and other digestive discomforts while you continue on your weight gain journey. Pssst, this actually applies to pretty much anyone with digestive issues, even the weight loss folks and weight stabilizers.
It’s not uncommon to experience digestive issues while you try to gain weight because your digestive system is on overload and working incredibly hard to digest extra food. It can get pretty tired, and you have to feel full to accomplish weight gain. However, there are some tips and tricks to try and ease this discomfort as much as possible.
1. Chew – your body is already taxed by the extra food, so if you don’t chew properly so that your food is in a babyfood consistency, your body will have to work even harder to break apart the food. The higher the surface area of the food being swallowed, the harder it is for your enzymes to break it down, which means large food pieces going through your body. Ouch. Burp. Fart.
2. Drink liquids away from meals – Since your meals will be quite filling, you definitely don’t want too much dilution sloshing around your food and filling up your stomach even more. It doesn’t count if your meal is a liquid like a smoothie or soup – but water, teas, alcohol, milks and other clear hydrating fluids should be consumed in between meals or 30 minutes before meals as much as possible so that it exits the stomach quickly without discomfort. Generally 1 cup of liquid sipped slowly will be fine, just avoid large quantities and guzzling.
3. Drink peppermint or ginger tea – in between meals of course. This can help decrease intestinal spasms and improve digestion making it easier when you reach meal time. Extra bonus points if it’s fresh ginger added to boiling water for an extra spicy more effective digestive tonic.
4. Snack lots – instead of jamming all of your food into 3 meals make sure that you spread it out to ensure that your digestive system gets drips of food throughout the day. Think of it like exercise. If you exercise 1 hour a day for 7 days, your body can easily do it. If you exercise 7 hours in 1 day, you’ll be pretty exhausted. If your digestive system gets a huge load of food all at once, it’s resources will be taxed too so make sure you have the 3 main meals with a few extra food pumper uppers but also add your extra food in the form of snacks at least 3 times per day to give your GI tract a bit of a break each time it needs to begin digesting.
5. Avoid actual foods that make you bloat – this is really important because if a food is making you bloat and preventing you from eating other nutrient dense foods, it will impede your progress. Try and monitor how you feel after meals and whether you feel bloated due to a high quantity of food, or perhaps a particular food item in that meal. For example, it’s not uncommon for people to feel a distended stomach and some gas after consuming beans. You can decrease the gas causing ability of these by soaking them, boiling them with seaweed or apple cider vinegar or using a lemon/vinegar dressing, but they could still be a problem for some so determine your own individual food discomforts to ensure your belly is only full when it really needs to be, and not full because it’s filled with extra air.
If you are still having digestive issues, there may be more going on, but start here first and if needed, contact a Naturopathic Doctor or Holistic Nutritionist near you for further guidance and possible supplemental support.
Now go empower your growing body with food, comfortably 🙂
UPDATE: Please enjoy the rest of the series