Signs You’re Not Fat [You’re Bloated and How to Get Rid of It!]

If your midsection feels a little larger than usual, you may be wondering if this increase in size is due to weight gain or bloating. Although the two may look and feel similar, weight gain and bloating have key differences.

According to Brian Curtin, MD, MHSc, director of the Digestive and Gastroenterology Center at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, bloating is the subjective sensation of abdominal fullness, pressure, or trapped gas. In other words, this is when your belly swells due to gas or fluid. It is generally a temporary condition.

In contrast, belly or belly fat develops over time. It requires eating fewer calories and increasing exercise.

With that in mind, here are the main differences between bloating and belly fat, their causes, and ways to relieve them.

How to tell if you are gaining fat or if your belly is bloated
Not sure if you are gaining fat or are you just dealing with flatulence? Here are some ways to tell the difference.

Appearance and storage
You have two easy ways to tell if it’s oily or swollen, says Matthew Olesiak, MD, medical director at SANESolution. “Fat is stored throughout the body by fat cells,” he says. So if you’re gaining fat, Olesiak says you’ll notice it in several other areas of your body, like your back and thighs.

But if your belly is the only part of the body that’s expanded, Olesyak says it’s probably bulging.

How do you feel
Next time you feel your stomach stretching, pay attention to how it feels. Bloating causes your belly to feel hard and tight, while belly fat feels soft.

all the time
One way to tell if you’re gaining fat or dealing with a bout of bloating is how long it takes. Curtin says bloating comes and goes. But in general, belly fat is more persistent.

measurable on scale
“Flatulence is an uncomfortable sensation that everyone feels at some point,” says William Lee, MD, author of Eat to Fight. It can come and go, and it’s not something you can measure on a large scale.

Gaining weight from fat is different. “Actual weight gain from fat is widely seen and doesn’t go away on its own,” Lee tells me.

What causes bloating?
Bloating has several possible causes. Here are some of the most common triggers:

Accumulation of gases in the intestine. This is a common cause of bloating, but it is also a symptom of other digestive issues or disorders. Talk to your doctor if you have concerns or if you have frequent or persistent bloating.
diet. Eating too much fiber, beans, dairy, and other foods is a major cause of gas and bloating.
Constipation. Having infrequent or unproductive bowel movements means that stool remains in the colon for longer than it should. This gives the bacteria more time to ferment, which leads to more gas and bloating, Olesiak says.
Inflammatory bowel disease. In Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract can trap gas and cause bloating.
Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). With SIBO, there is an atypical increase of bacteria in the small intestine. When the colon suffers from an imbalance of bacteria, known as dysbiosis, Olesiak says bacteria can multiply in the small intestine. This leads to many gastrointestinal symptoms, including bloating.
Eating too fast. Lee says that eating too quickly can temporarily cause you to feel bloated.
Other medical conditions. Certain medical conditions can make you feel bloated. Lee says the following conditions can slow down the passage of food in the intestines, change the microbiome from healthy to unhealthy gas-producing bacteria, or cause constipation:
wheat allergy
food allergy
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
parasitic infections
Ascites, which is a serious medical condition that causes fluid to build up in the abdomen
Bowel obstruction

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *