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5 Reasons You Bloat More After 45

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5 Reasons You Bloat More After 45

Do you experience belly bloat from time to time? Bloating is generally the result of not being able to properly digest foods. These not-so-easily digested foods often cause discomfort and create the feeling of being stuffed or “gassy”. It can happen at any age but if it seems to be more frequent as you’re getting older, it may be because of one of the reasons below. Read on to discover the 5 reasons you bloat more after 45.

Bloating Reason #1: Too Much Fiber

Sometimes our bodies are (or become more as we age) sensitive to the fiber in certain fruits or veggies. This can also occur when we introduce new ones into our diet as it may take a while for our body to get used to them.

Pro Tip: Try chewing your vegetables more thoroughly, or lightly cooking or steaming raw ones. If a particular fruit or veggie seems to be consistently related to bloating try eliminating it for a few weeks and monitor your symptoms.

Bloating Reason #2: Decreased Stomach Acid

Normally when we eat, cells in our stomach release more acid, which is important for many digestive processes like breaking down foods and activating enzymes. As we age this process can become less efficient and the result can feel like it’s wreaking havoc on the rest of the digestive system. Unfortunately, this can have wide-ranging effects on all of our digestion abilities “downstream” and that can result in bloating.

Pro Tip: You may consider reducing the amount of animal-based foods you eat and see if that helps you out.

Bloating Reason #3: Slow Digestion

One thing that can seriously cause bloating is when your digestive system slows down. Then things seem to be a bit stagnant, just hanging around in there a bit longer than you’d like. Certain foods, such as ginger, have been found to help with digestion and reduce nausea for certain people. Peppermint is thought to help your digestive muscles keep pushing food through, so it doesn’t stay in one spot for too long.

Pro Tip: Consider drinking a digestive tea like peppermint, ginger, or nettle (PS – Check out our recipe below!).

Bloating Reason #4: Unfriendly Bacteria

All this lack of digesting in your stomach and small intestine puts extra stress on the large intestine. The large intestine is the home of all of your wonderful gut microbes that have SO many functions in the body. When undigested food enters the large intestine, it can feed the not-so-great microbes. These “unfriendly” bacteria produce waste material and gas as part of their natural metabolism. The more of these microbes you have in your system (they will multiply if they are constantly being fed by undigested food in the large intestine) the more gas they will produce in the large intestine.

Pro Tip: Eat more fermented foods. Fermented foods contain probiotics which will feed the good bacteria and microbes in your system to keep the bad guys at bay This includes things like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi (as long as these don’t cause bloating for you!). Make sure they’re unpasteurized and contain live cultures. If you cannot tolerate dairy based yogurt and kefir dairy free options are available or you could make your own dairy free versions.

You can also consider taking a probiotic supplement. Just check the label first to make sure it’s right for you.

Bloating Reason #5: Poor Enzyme Activation

With reduced stomach acid you also have a reduction of the “activation” of several of your digestive enzymes (protein-digesting pepsin being one of them). In order for certain enzymes to go to work digesting your food they need to be activated. This usually happens with the assistance of stomach acid. Decreased stomach acid can reduce the activation of a key protein-digesting enzyme “pepsin”. This means that the proteins you eat aren’t broken down as much and they can pass through your system somewhat “undigested”.

Pro Tip: You may consider trying an enzyme supplement to assist your body in digesting food while you work on reestablishing your own production of stomach acid (a healthy diet and lifestyle can do this!). But before you do, make sure you read the labels. Some of them interact with other supplements, medications, or conditions, and may not be safe for long-term use.

Be Proactive

If you experience bloating on a regular basis, try implementing one or two of the tips above. If the discomfort is strong, schedule a visit with your doctor or a registered dietitian. They may be able to help you get to the bottom of the issue by finding out what foods you may be sensitive to or if there are other underlying health issues behind the bloating.

Which tip will you implement first? Let us know in the comments below!

Stronger for Today,

The Method3 Fitness Team

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