Always bloated

Sophie Cox

Mar 19, 2019
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  1. Vegan newbie
Hi guys,

I've been vegetarian for about 3 years now and went vegan about 4 weeks ago. I know that bloating is a normal side effect of going vegan from all the extra fibre, but I'm worried that I'm doing something to make it even worse. I'm bloated ALL the time - even when I first wake up in the morning my stomach's like a balloon! I rinse my legumes and beans thoroughly and don't eat fruit right after a meal as I've heard these things don't help with bloating. Is there something else I can do or will my body eventually acclimatise?
Being that you were vegetarian before, that it's been going on for weeks, and that you take some precautions, I think your situation is very atypical.

Usually what causes bloating in new vegans is the abrupt switch from a low fiber to a high fiber diet. I wonder if you know how much fiber you used to eat and how much you eat now.

If you don't have a Cronometer account you should start one. They are free and it's one of the best nutrition tools out there. A typical new vegan may switch from under 15 g of fiber a day to over 30. And I imagine switching from 20 to 40 could also be problematic. But an increase from let's say 25 to 35 should not cause any problems. So it could be a good first step.

There are some tricks and tips for reducing your fiber. Soaking dry beans overnight, rinsing them, and then discarding all the water would be a good first step. (some people use the water for cooking - don't do that). You can also discard the water canned beans are in. You can rinse them too.

You can also choose more processed foods. White rice instead of brown rice. white bread instead of whole wheat. If Cronometer identifies a big source of fiber, you can moderate the intake of it.

Here in the USA, we have a product called Bean-O. I imagine you have something similar in the UK. It contains an enzyme that breaks down some of the undigestible carbs in food. This reduces the fiber available to your gut to digest, and therefore reducing gas. I took it for a little while and it seemed to help.

Or you could just do nothing. There is definitely a transition period where your gut's flora adapts. Seems like most people's transition is between 3 days and 3 weeks. But everyone is a little different. You will probably feel better soon.
Don't combine beans with carbohydrates, that’s what causes fermentation. Beans in a raw salad are ok. Eat fresh fruit 10 mintues before a meal, never after. Eat everything that digests easy and fast first. What takes longer to digest last. Reduce starch or completely cut it out. You need carbohydrates, yes. Starch is just one form of carbohydrates, but it’s optional. Replace with dried fruits like raisins, dates and figs.

Also first thing every morning juice from half a lemon in a mug of water, add agave or stevia or sugar if it's too sour. Then WAIT until you are hungry to eat. Don't forcefeed yourself breakfast. Skip it and eat twice a day instead.