While working toward your health and fitness goals, experiencing bloating can feel like you are backtracking. However, bloat often is not a result of poor diet and irregular exercise. Instead, it can be brought about the foods you eat and the time of day you have them.
According to Chana Mason, vitality coach and author of Hold That Thought and The Size of Your Dreams, the biggest nighttime mistake that can cause bloating is eating fruit after dinner.
Although fruit is typically a healthy option, it's best to have it earlier rather than later in the day. Mason explains, "I believe the biggest nighttime mistake is eating fruit after dinner."
Why does the time of day matter for when you're eating fruit? Mason explains how having fruit after dinner can cause the fruit to ferment. She explains,"Most people eat dinners that have a combination of protein, fat, and complex carbohydrates. These foods offer a lot of nutrition, but take hours to digest, particularly at the end of the day when our system is slowing down. Fruits take about thirty minutes to digest, but if they're resting atop a heavy meal, they begin to ferment."
This fermentation can lead to serious bloating right before bed. Mason explains how the fermentation relates to bloating: "Fermentation creates the air bubbles in bread, beer, and Swiss cheese. It also causes the air that will bloat your stomach."
This stomach bloat can be painful, and it can be damaging to your self-esteem when you are focusing on being healthy.
This does not mean you should cut fruit out of your diet completely. Mason explains its health benefits: "Fruit is packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, so you want to eat tons of it." In fact, fruits are a crucial part of a healthy diet. The fruit is not the problem; it is the timing that can cause trouble.
Mason explains that breakfast is probably the best time to eat fruit. On the other hand, having fruit as a snack midday could also be a smart way to incorporate more fruit into your diet along with its beneficial vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber.
She sums it up: "Keep your fruit intake to the beginning of your day and far away from other foods!"