Everyone has experienced the uncomfortable effects of bloating and having too much gas. It’s certainly not fun, and it can affect the way you feel about your body especially if you feel this way chronically. When you feel unwell or uncomfortable it’s hard to have a great sense of wellbeing and body image, no matter what your weight is. So how exactly does bloating and gas affect how you feel and your weight management?
It can affect your perception of weight loss
When your stomach is distended and filled with air, often feeling crampy and unwell, it will make you feel like you’ve gained weight, or subsequently, haven’t lost any weight. It can lead to sudden food restrictions instead of exploring what’s causing so much discomfort. When you eat foods that agree with your belly you will naturally feel “cleaner” and “lighter” because eliminating bloating and gas can decrease inches around the abdominal region that was previously filled with air. Your digestive system plays a big role in how you feel and your perception of how your stomach looks.
It can affect your exercise
Have you ever tried to engage your core (abdominal muscles) when you feel bloated and gassy? It just doesn’t happen. As a result, you may get injured from arching your low back and you may not be able to exercise at your full potential since you may not have the coordination or strength you did before. Your core is your power house! The more engaged you are in the core, the more power you will have in all your muscles, thus the more effective your workout will be and the better results you will get. It's always good when workouts are actually effective right? :)
It can indicate there’s something wrong with your digestive system environment
Your digestive system is crucial for weight loss because it digests, absorbs, distributes and utilizes nutrients from food. When you’re experiencing gas and bloating it can be from not having enough good intestinal bacteria (probiotics) or not enough stomach acid. Both of which affect weight loss because bacteria and stomach acid are necessary to digest food efficiently and in turn, enable it to be turned into energy so it doesn't store away as fat, or slow the metabolism down. Lots of smelly gas is the number one indicator of an imbalance of intestinal bacteria so load up on those probiotics!
It can indicate food sensitivities or allergies
We now know that there are immune responses to food beyond IgE antibodies (which causes anaphylaxis, a deadly reaction from certain proteins in food, like a peanut allergy). Another class of antibodies, IgG, can detect delayed onset food sensitivities or intolerances, which can cause chronic low grade inflammation, diarrhea, constipation and be related to IBS or other intestinal disorders. Being backed up can pack on the pounds because poop actually has some weight to it, subsequently, diarrhea can lead to nutritional deficiencies, which also affects how your body functions and your weight management.
To ensure gas and bloating aren’t getting in the way of how you feel, your health and achieving a healthy weight start paying attention to how foods make you feel on the inside and consume foods that make you feel great. It's a good idea to supplement with probiotics to enhance your digestive environment as well. There are blood tests available for IgG food sensitivities/intolerances but elimination diets are also effective, and more economical. Either way, ensure that on this weight loss journey you're looking at what's going on inside as well, not just what's happening on the outside :)