Fat or Bloated?

I know when I’ve lost a few pounds because I gain a few comfortable inches of space in the waistband of my tight jeans or a certain dress doesn’t cling to my hips but falls slinkily straight down. Sometimes, when I gain an inch or two, it’s not because I was overindulgent with some pie. It’s usually because I overindulged with certain healthy foods. Imagine that!

It’s not weight I’m gaining, but gas bloat. So, before you plan a crash diet to quickly rid dump a few pounds, reconsider. You could just be bloated. Almost everyone eating a healthy diet is ingesting daily loads of stuff that cause gas, cramps and bloating. Sounds crazy, right?

Fresh fruits and vegetables have lots of appeal with bright colors that can attract a person. But, remember, in the wild a poisonous berry is very bright and attractive as well! Now, I’m not saying broccoli is on the same level of hemlock. Everything should be consumed in balance. If you go overboard on some of these healthy foods you may pay a very uncomfortable and puffy price. So, go easy on: broccoli, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, beans, pears, apples, peaches, whole grains such as flax and bran. Also, if you are lactose sensitive, limit your consumption of dairy. Otherwise you’re just asking for trouble.

What happens when these foods are consumed? Being complex carbohydrates, gut bacteria thrives on this stuff. When we consume complex carbohydrates, bacteria in our gut gobbles up the by-products of digestion. This then produces nitrogen gas. Yes, that would be the stuff that comes out when we toot and burp. In fact, a high fiber diet can usually be directly to blame for most of the gas and bloating experienced by today’s health nuts.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to discourage anyone from eating a healthy diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables. I’m just trying to give the newcomers to the healthy life a heads up. Most people laud the praises of the healthy lifestyle and never discuss the fact that there is a dark side. If we don’t discuss it, we can’t resolve it!

So, keep reaping the benefits of a high fiber diet. Enjoy lowering your cholesterol and reducing your risk for cardiovascular disease. Accept that, although you may not drop dead of a heart attack, you may knock someone unconscious with an explosive release of nitro. And, to minimize the gas and bloating, ease into any new diet, especially if it’s a high fiber one. Give your body some time to adjust. Rather than eat large portions of gas producing foods, eat frequent small portions. And, the panacea of almost anything, drink lots and lots of water. And, if all else fails and you have an important social engagement and you would rather not embarrass yourself, go ahead and slip a roll of antacid tablets in your pocket or purse. I’d much rather have a chalky taste in my mouth than go down in history as the one who shut the party down.