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Does Bloating Cause Weight Gain? +5 Reasons for Bloating
Gut Health

Does Bloating Cause Weight Gain? +5 Reasons for Bloating

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by Edibel Quintero, RD | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD check
Published on October 21, 2022
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6 min

Seeing the drastic difference on the scale can be alarming, but it might be down to the bloating of your body. There are ways you can reduce bloating to feel comfortable again. We explain if bloating causes weight gain, including several reasons you might feel bloated.

Does bloating cause weight gain
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So, you step on the scale to find a big change in the numbers. Yesterday, you weighed a few pounds less, and now those pounds have suddenly been added on. Is there an explanation for this?

Everyone will experience bloating, whether that be from hormones, undigested food, or stomach problems. Your body retains intestinal gas, which leads to a swollen gut that might feel painful to some. Don’t worry. There are ways to reduce this bloating. 

If you want to know the link between bloating and weight gain, just keep on reading.  

Does Bloating Cause Weight Gain?

Yes, bloating can add a pound or two to your weight, but this isn’t permanent. The buildup of gas will make your body feel heavier. Bloating is a temporary problem that may go away within 24 hours, depending on the reason for the gas accumulation.

Some people experience severe bloating that impacts the number on their scale. Gas almost creates a “balloon belly” that feels painful to touch. A bloating problem can also prove to be water retention – swelling caused by water accumulation in the body’s tissue and cavities.

Bloating doesn’t mean abdominal fat gain. While it may seem plausible at first, a bloated stomach will naturally look bigger and push out the fat that is already there. Serious constipation can also make you feel like you’ve gained weight in certain areas. 

Remember that with regular physical activity, strong gut health, and a balanced diet, you can prevent too much gas from building up. As long as you have gut-friendly bacteria in the digestive tract, your body can achieve proper digestion without producing excess gas.

How Much Weight Can You Gain From Bloating?

You could notice a 5-pound difference when stepping onto the scale. Of course, this will change for everyone, depending on their bloating problem. For example, if you have a little bit of water weight from excess sodium, expect a 1–2 pound change in the morning.

There isn’t a distinct number when it comes to bloating and weight gain. Weighing yourself at the same time every morning will determine your true weight after the bloating has settled. However, most people notice an extra 1–5 pounds on the scale, which isn’t excess fat.

The only way to tell the difference is by feeling the bloated area. Bloating typically makes your abdomen feel uncomfortable and hard. Belly fat, on the other hand, is soft and can move around easily. Knowing how to separate the two will reassure you that weight gain is off the cards.

Why Am I Bloated? 5 Common Reasons

Now, you might be wondering where that feeling of a bloated stomach comes from. There are many reasons for abdominal pain and a hard belly. Both of these show that something has triggered your digestive system, so it’s important to look at some common bloating factors. 

Here are 5 reasons you might be bloated:

#1 Hormones

High estrogen levels can cause water retention in women. The menstrual cycle is to blame when it comes to hormones, as the body holds onto more water during the luteal phase. This is what happens when the uterine lining starts preparing for a possible pregnancy.

Progesterone is another hormone that slows the movement of food through your intestine, which results in constipation and bloating. When this hormone decreases during the period, some women experience increased bowel activity, leading to diarrhea and a painful gut.

#2 Poor diet

Eating certain foods, like candy, or drinking carbonated drinks, can damage your gut bacteria.

For example, carbonated beverages contain bubbles that feed the stomach with spare gas. The high amount of sugar will also ferment in your bowels and create bad bacteria and yeast. Sugar is the one ingredient that draws water into the intestine, encouraging a feeling of heaviness.

#3 Dehydration

Dehydration is a popular reason for getting constipation. The body doesn’t have enough water to flush out your system and prevent bowel obstruction. Constipation, as well as bloating, causes temporary weight gain, but that’s due to the retained fluids circulating through your blood, muscles, bones, and organs. 

#4 Fast eating

When people eat too fast, they swallow more air. This air travels into your stomach and accumulates over time, leaving a horrible “bloat” feeling that doesn’t go away after the meal. Falling into this habit is very easy, so it’s important to chew slowly when aiding digestion.

#5 Constipation

Feeling constipated, either from irritable bowel syndrome or dietary changes, can give you that heavy feeling. While your stomach is trying to fix the problem, gas starts to build up in your intestines. This extra weight is bound to show on the scale within the next 24 hours or so. 

Swollen Stomach and Weight Gain – Is This Bloating?

A swollen stomach doesn’t always mean weight gain and bloating. Too much stress, alcohol consumption, and medication could damage your overall gut health. It’s important to speak to your doctor when monitoring the temporary condition.

Other causes of a swollen abdomen include partial bowel blockage, lactose intolerance, IBS, bacterial overgrowth, celiac disease, and ovarian cysts. Don’t be alarmed if you experience some bloating. A doctor can determine the underlying reason and provide the right treatment. 

Just remember to seek help from a medical professional if the bloating doesn’t go away. They could help you relieve bloating using at-home remedies. 

4 Things That You Can Do at Home to Reduce Bloating

There are many things you can do to relieve and prevent bloating. It’s very important to get the right nutrition and build healthier habits when improving your long-term health.

Below, you will find 4 ways to reduce bloating:

#1 Increase daily fiber intake 

Fiber keeps your gut healthy by relieving and preventing constipation. Foods containing dietary fiber soften your stools and prevent the intestines from getting clogged. People should aim to get 25–30 grams of this nutrient a day to maintain good bowel and digestive health.

If you struggle to get fiber from food, you can take some supplements. ColonBroom offers a powder supplement that fights bloating, regulates bowel movements, and increases energy levels. All you need to do is mix the strawberry-flavored powder with some plain water. 

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ColonBroom also contains psyllium husk – a type of dietary fiber that acts as a gentle, bulk-forming laxative. It supports the digestion of foods by feeding your gut good bacteria, which can prevent bloating in those who have a sensitive stomach.

#2 Drink peppermint tea

Peppermint tea contains lots of flavonoids – compounds that reduce inflammation and calm bacteria in your gut. This relaxing beverage can soothe any pain associated with abdominal bloating, so it’s worth having one cup of this every morning to improve your general health. If you are looking for a natural remedy, there are more teas that might help with constipation and bloating.

#3 Try massaging your belly

A self-massage could relieve discomfort and pain from bloating. This includes symptoms of pressure, tightness, and cramping in the belly. Just place your hands on the lower part of your stomach and gently massage the area, making sure that you don’t add too much pressure.

#4 Take a warm bath

Taking a warm bath can provide relief for a sore abdomen. The heat of the bath could lower stress levels, which instantly puts your body into relaxation mode. Feeling more relaxed encourages the body to clear out any gas and reduce the painful or uncomfortable bloating.

A Word From MD

To prevent the dreaded bloat from coming back, keep a food journal and monitor your daily lifestyle habits. There could be foods, like cruciferous vegetables or soda drinks, that trigger your gut. It’s important to recognize the first sign of bloating to stop it from getting worse.

Other great remedies include exercise, as cardio-based workouts get your digestive juices flowing during the day. You could go for a long-distance run or walk a few miles to feel healthy. Since exercise burns calories, you’ll also experience weight loss, preventing future fat gain.

Just make sure to work out regularly and follow a balanced diet for weight loss. Getting into this kind of lifestyle will naturally improve your gut health. If you are struggling with recurring bloating episodes, speak to your doctor to find the problem.

Conclusion

You can only gain weight by eating more calories, so try not to confuse bloating with overnight weight gain. Certain medical conditions could also be the cause of this uncomfortable symptom. 

If you do feel like something is wrong with your stomach, consult with a medical professional to get the right treatment.

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD
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