November 2, 2020

You’ve finally cut off carbohydrates from your diet, and now, the weighing scale says that you’ve lost a few pounds.

Well done!

But wait, why are your pants getting tighter? And is that an unwanted belly bulge showing through your blouse?

Jeez! What’s happening?

If you feel like a balloon that’s about to pop anytime, it means you’re experiencing keto bloat.

While bloating is a common keto issue, there are plenty of reasons why it happens.

We know it’s making things difficult for you to determine what actions you need to take to address the side effects you’re feeling.

Do you want to hear the good news?

We are here to share with you all of the reasons why you may feel bloated on the keto diet.

That’s not all.

We also included all the solutions you need to know to kiss bloated stomach goodbye!

If you’re ready, let’s get started!

What Causes Keto Bloating (and How to Fix It!)

Before we try to fix your keto bloating issue, we need first to identify its root cause.

To help you out, we’ve enumerated some of the most common reasons for feeling bloated on a ketogenic diet. Here they are.

You’re not eating enough fiber.

When you’re having issues with your digestive system, the first thing that would come to mind would be fiber.

And, well, you might be right because lack of fiber in your diet may cause bloating.

Since you’re on keto, there’s a high chance that you may not be getting the right amount of fiber that you need.

This is because dietary fiber is commonly found in starchy vegetables like potatoes, pastas, breads, and many more.

These are some of the food items you will need to forego on the keto diet.

Here is what you need to know...

Dietary fiber is a type of complex carbohydrate which is neither digested nor absorbed by the body.

Its role is to add bulk to the digested food to facilitate its movement down the digestive tract.

With enough fiber, the undigested food will be properly and effortlessly excreted from our bodies.

When you’re not consuming enough fiber (which is often the case in the keto diet), it will take longer for the food to pass through your intestine.

Food that moves slowly is prone to fermentation, leading to bloating and, eventually, constipation.


How to Fix It:


Simple. Just eat more fiber.

Okay, in order to address this, you need to hit the RDA for fiber, 25 to 38 grams for women, and men. (1)

Here are some tips on how to increase your fiber intake when in keto:

  • Eat low carb high fiber foods like broccoli, celery, kale, spinach, brussels sprouts, and many more.
  • Add seeds and nuts to your diet.
  • Take fiber supplements.

Or your diet has too much fiber.

Yes, this may sound contradicting but eating too much fiber can cause bloating also.

Why is this so?

Well, you see, too much dietary fiber in your digestive tract will lead to bigger feces. When the wastes are too big, it will also slowly pass your digestive system.

If that’s the case, the same thing will happen.

The food in your digestive tract has a high risk of being fermented, which will, again, cause bloating, gas, and abdominal distension.

How to Fix It:

The key here is to keep your fiber consumption in moderation. Ensure that it doesn’t go down the minimum RDA and, at the same time, ensure that it won’t go beyond the maximum range.

To find the right balance, you can use a food tracking app that will allow you to monitor your fiber intake so that you won’t go below or above the limit.

You’re not drinking enough water.

During the first few weeks of the keto diet, you’ll notice you’re already losing a lot of pounds. The weight you lose at that time is mostly water weight.

To get into ketosis, your body has to use up the stored glycogen. Each glycogen molecule is bound to 3 to 4 grams of water. 

Because of this, water goes out of the body when glycogen molecules are used up. That’s why you tend to pee a lot during those first few weeks.

If you don’t replenish the lost water molecules, you’ll get dehydrated. When you’re dehydrated, there’s not enough water in your body to keep your digestive tract lubricated and your feces moist.

With the combination of dry feces and lack of lubrication, it will be hard for your poop to move through your digestive tract.

Lack of hydration may lead to fermentation, which causes bloating.


How to Fix It:

This one’s pretty simple—drink water.

With your frequent peeing, you need to consume more than the recommended daily water intake.

According to Shauna Sacco, MS, RDN, calculate 75% of your body weight, and drink many ounces of water per day. (2) 

You may also need to take electrolyte supplements to balance the electrolyte levels in your body.

You consumed too many sugar alcohols.

What do people do when you take sugar off their diet?

They look for sugar-free substitutes, of course!

If you’re a sweet tooth, you’ve most likely restored to keto desserts to satisfy your cravings, are we right?

While this option can undoubtedly curb your sugar cravings, you should know that such food items contain sugar alcohols.

These give you the sweet taste you’re looking for, but these don’t have digestible carbs.

Because of this, sugar alcohols are partially resistant to digestion, so the body processes them the same way it metabolizes dietary fiber.

Too much of these sugar alcohols can also cause bloating and stomach upset. (3)


How to Fix It:

There’s nothing wrong with consuming sugar alcohols from time to time, but you have to keep your intake in moderation.

It’s okay to give in to your sugar cravings from time to time.

However, try to incorporate more natural and low carb to sugar-free food items to your diet as much as possible.

You have a food sensitivity.

As you explore the keto diet, you’ll bound to try certain food items for the first time.

This is good if you want to satisfy your nutrient intake requirement.

However, there’s a chance that you will consume food items that you have an undiagnosed sensitivity to.

Some of the food items prone to sensitivities are dairy, artificial sweeteners, coffee, eggs, nuts, yeast, and seafood.

If you are sensitive to any of these food items and when you consume these in large quantities, which is the case when you’re on keto, it may promote swelling and inflammation.

Food allergy may affect your intestines and stomach, which will cause bloating and unwanted gas.


How to Fix It:

The solution is pretty simple—cut off the food item that you have a sensitivity to.

However, it’s easier said than done, especially if you don’t know which food item you’re sensitive to.

The best way to identify this is through trial and error:

  • Start by eliminating the suspected allergens from your diet.
  • Observe how you’ll feel when you try it.
  • Afterward, reintroduce these food items one by one.
  • Take note of your body’s response after doing so.

Another great idea is to visit your doctor and undergo a comprehensive allergy test. This is a more expensive solution, but it will give you a quicker turnaround.

You overdid your MCT Oils.

One of the most common advice to combat keto fatigue is to take MCT oil supplements.

These supplements contain Medium Chain Triglycerides, which can function as a quick energy source since the body quickly digests these.

It also aids in bringing about a sense of satiety, so you’ll consume less food. Additionally, it also helps the body to reach ketosis fast.

In addition to supplements, experts also advise incorporating natural MCTs in your diet—coconut oil and palm kernel oil.

While there’s no doubt that these oils are incredibly beneficial, consuming them in large amounts can be counterproductive as it may bring about side effects such as cramping, bloating, gassiness, and diarrhea.

How to Fix It:

To avoid this unwanted effect, the best thing you can do is stick with the right MCT Oil dosage.

The recommended intake is only 4 to 7 tablespoons of MCT oil per day. (5)

Avoid exceeding this recommendation, and make sure that you distribute these doses throughout the day.

There’s an imbalance in your gut microbiota.

If you’re not aware of it, our digestive tract is home to good bacteria that performs specific functions to promote good digestive health.

However, changes in your dietary intake can disrupt your intestine ecosystem, paving the way for an increase in harmful bacteria.

Harmful bacteria may cause bloating and other digestive issues.

When you go on a ketogenic diet, you’re susceptible to this, especially if you don’t consume enough fiber or take too much sugar alcohol.

How to Fix It:

The best way to bring back balance to your gut microbiota is to increase the good bacteria in your intestines. There are two ways you can do this:

Incorporate more keto-friendly probiotic-rich food, e.g. sauerkraut, kombucha, yogurt, pickle, and kimchi. (6)

Take probiotic supplements.

There are many supplements to take on a keto diet, and probiotics are some of them.

Your diet is filled with foods that induce bloating.

There are plenty of keto-friendly food items that are known to induce bloating.

If you’re eating them in large quantities, there’s no doubt that you’ll experience bloating, diarrhea, and gas.

Sometimes, you have to check on the unhealthy food for your keto diet.

How to Fix It:

Simple, avoid the foods that may cause bloating. So what not to eat keto diet to avoid bloating?

Here are some of them:

  • Milk and milk products
  • Cruciferous vegetables: asparagus, cauliflower, brussels sprouts.

As mentioned, you should also watch out for your fiber intake, so you shouldn’t completely eliminate these food items in your diet.

However, you should consume these food in moderation.

You may be experiencing Leaky Gut Syndrome.

Leaky gut syndrome? That sounds painful or icky, right?

No, this syndrome doesn’t mean that there’s a hole in your guts, like not literally.

It only pertains to the phenomenon wherein your intestinal barrier cannot filter what goes into the bloodstream properly. (7)

As a result, toxins and bacteria can enter your bloodstream, where they cause an immune reaction.

As of now, this syndrome is not a recognized medical diagnosis.

However, some research studies associate leaky gut syndrome with gut microflora changes related to a high-fat diet. (8)

Symptoms of Leaky Gut Syndrome include fatigue, digestive upset, and bloating.

How to Fix It:

Because of the association between gut microbiota and leaky gut syndrome, the two conditions' approaches are almost similar.

If you think that what you’re experiencing is this syndrome, here are some of the solutions that you can try:

  • Eat probiotic-rich foods.
  • Eat anti-inflammatory foods.
  • Boost your fiber intake (but only within the recommended consumption).

You (unintentionally or intentionally) cheated on your diet.

We all know that the keto diet is effective at weight loss.

However, we can’t deny the fact that maintaining ketosis is quite tricky and mentally hard.

Going beyond the stated carbohydrate limits can kick your body out of ketosis, even if it’s just a bit.

But aside from this, consuming too many carbohydrates can also cause bloating.

When you’re on a low carb diet like the keto diet, the levels of carbohydrate-digesting enzymes drop.

Since there are no longer enough levels of these enzymes in your body due to the keto diet, more carbohydrates will reach your color once you eat carb-rich foods again.

These nutrients get fermented and may cause bloating and gas.

This phenomenon is referred to as temporary carbohydrate intolerance. 

Keep in mind that all of these can happen even if you only cheated on your diet once. 

The moral lesson here is: Don’t cheat on keto. Even a little cheat can delay the progress you’ve worked so hard to achieve.

How to Fix It:

Well, it’s pretty obvious, right?

Avoid cheating on your keto diet.

However, it’s not as easy as it sounds, especially if you don’t prepare your food.

That’s why you should avoid ketosis eating out as much as possible so you can monitor your macros.

Final Words

The keto diet is indeed working to help you lose weight.

This is because the food items you’re allowed to eat on the ketogenic diet are different from those of other types of diet.

Another thing that makes the keto diet unique is it switches your energy source.

Unfortunately, the things that make this high fat diet effective are also why it comes with plenty of side effects.

Keto wind is one of the most common keto diet side effects.

As we mentioned, the bloated feeling on the keto diet is caused by many factors.

The good thing is there are plenty of ways on how you can avoid the bloated feeling associated with the keto diet.

Just keep in mind everything we shared with you on this guide, and you can certainly get rid of this digestive system issue!

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