Do you ever feel bloated after eating a big meal? Your body may be trying to tell you something!
You’re hungry and exhausted after a long day, and all you can think about is the leftover fettuccine in your fridge. You devour your pasta quickly in your famished state, but instead of feeling as good as new, you feel bloated and sluggish. We’ve all been there.
But why exactly does it happen?
Chewing, Carbs, and Digestion
“We produce an enzyme in our saliva called amylase that begins the breakdown of carbohydrates,” Cassie Berger, MS, RDN explains. “If we’re eating fast and not giving those bites enough mix time with that enzyme through ample chewing, it can produce excess gas.”
When bacteria in our large intestine breaks down carbohydrates, gas can be created, so the more carbohydrates there are to break down, the more likely we’ll experience some gas and bloating.
Eating Fast = Swallowing More Air
When we eat too quickly, we’re not just swallowing food, says Meghan L. Scott, RD - we're also swallowing more air.
“Air has no way of leaving our digestive tract except through the top (burping) or the bottom (gas),” explains Scott. “While air is moving through our digestive tracts, it causes bloating and can be very uncomfortable.”
If we chew thoroughly and eat slowly, Scott said, we’ll swallow less air and experience less bloating, gas, and burping.
Slowing Down, and Treating Gas
To avoid that bloated feeling after eating, do your best to eat slowly and mindfully. If this means packing a few small snacks during the day to keep yourself from feeling ravenous at meal times, then go for it! And the next time you catch yourself eating superfast, take a few seconds to pause and reflect on exactly what you’re doing. Ask yourself if you can truly taste the meal, and if you’re even noticing what you’re putting in your mouth.
If you’re still dealing with gas and bloating after a meal (honestly, it happens to the best of us), try Gas-X Extra Strength Chewables. The number-one doctor-recommended, over-the-counter gas relief brand, Gas-X provides fast relief from pressure, bloating, and discomfort.
So the next time you’re starving, go ahead and enjoy that fettuccine — just do your best to enjoy it slowly!