How do I know if I’m bloated or just… fat?

Let it be known, the title of this blog post – they, are not my words.  I don’t generally use the word fat, but since you did (well not all of you but many) I used it here, to let you know I’m all about answering your questions.  Several weeks ago, I had the pleasure of being part of a webinar hosted by Lisa Cordurff that was all about bloating and hormones.  THIS was the question you wanted answered – am I simply overweight (you said fat) or am I bloated and how can I tell the difference?

As somebody who in years gone by struggled with maintaining healthy weight AND bloating (because I was doing all the wrong things, I thought were actually right) I could totally relate to the question.  I thought about it for a while and I had the beautiful moment of realisation – bloating for me is truly a thing of the past.  I’ve learnt to understand my insides better.  To help you understand your own body, let’s take a look at why bloating happens.

We are living at a time where our gut health is severely compromised.  Hands down, the number one reason I see health issues in my clinic is because of this reason alone.  It’s simple. If we can’t adequately assimilate and absorb nutrients from our food and drink, we find ourselves severely overfed and undernourished – that is we eat far more food than we need, to meet our body’s nutritional requirements and even then, we are barely scraping in.

Bloating will begin to happen when our digestive systems struggle to do their job.  If they are out of kilter, one of the first symptoms to show up.  This is only amplified by foods we find difficult to digest – the main offenders being gluten, dairy and sugar.  Perhaps we are born with compromised gut health (we immediately inherit our mothers gut health at conception), or other factors during our lifetime like the pill, antibiotics or other medications have contributed.  In any case, sub-average gut health can be one of the reasons we experience bloating.  Overgrowth of certain (unwelcome) bacteria in the gut can too contribute to gas and bloating should food builds up in the digestive tract and not moved through efficiently.

Other foods may also contribute to bloating, beans and onions being high on the offender list but depending on the state of your gut, other foods like grains may too be the culprit.  For those with intolerances, this can also affect your digestive system.  Eating fruit on a full stomach can lead to bloating too as it begins to ferment in the gut oh and don’t forget for many raw and cold foods can be super hard to digest and cause the tummy to blow up like a balloon.  Since your gut digests at around 37 degrees, it really has to go to work when food is raw and cold.  For some, by the time it preforms this task alone, it is near exhaustion and breaking down the food a near impossible task.

But here’s my absolute favourite.  You get to blame your hormones once again (because who hasn’t said – oh I’m so hormonal!?)  Bloating can also be something we suffer from depending on where we are in our menstrual cycle.  In the lead up to ovulation, we experience a final peak in oestrogen before it drops off to let progesterone do its thing.  Along with this rise in oestrogen, we can see an increase in water retention especially when oestrogen dominance is at play.  The same can happen in the lead up to the period arriving, so depending on where you are in your cycle, you might want to track your bloating alongside this  information to really get some answers.

There are a host of things that will contribute to the tummy billowing out to resemble a pregnant woman.  It’s not fun and at best, uncomfortable.  So how do you know if you are suffering from being bloated or the issues is a more permanent fixture.

To put it simply – fat, especially around the tummy doesn’t quickly come and go like that of which comes with bloating.  

Bloating tends to come and go and if you can pin point your triggers, you can start to allow this to guide you as to what is going on inside your digestive system.  It is typically only around the stomach and not anywhere else although fluid retention can add to the confusion and we can hold fluid in various parts of our body.  This too tends to come and go unlike stubborn adipose tissue.

Bloating can last hours and sometimes days depending on the trigger (typically gluten attacks can be long lived) and the state of the gut but if you are constantly eating foods that your body can’t deal with, your bloating might seem like a more permanent fixture.

However, all of these factors that can cause bloating can also lead to weight gain.  Sluggish digestion leads to over eating, hormone imbalance and is just another form of stress your body doesn’t necessarily know how to handle.  So what might begin as bloating can soon turn into something more long term if not addressed.

We all want solutions!  There are many things we can do to avoid bloating like identify what sets us off, heal the gut, utilise herbal ingredients (i.e. teas or apple cider vinegar) but nothing beats giving the gut some TLC.  I find first and foremost, a gentle cleanse can do the world of good to reset the digestive system and pave the way towards better digestive health.  My Cleanse Yourself program is full of everything I know that works to really get the digestive system humming along.  BUT before you race off to buy – check this out.  For the next week you can get access not only to my Cleanse Yourself program but a bucket load of goodies for FREE as part of the Paleo Dork Bundle.  Think ebooks, memberships, meal plans and tonnes more goods to be had all included in this bundle by the worlds leading experts in health and wellbeing.

Want in?  Head here and it’s yours!  There’s nothing you have to do other than say yes please – plus it’s one sure way you can access Cleanse Yourself for FREE for a short time only!!



But before I go AND because it’s Friday – I want to share a recipe that won’t have you feeling bloated and that is kind to your hips!  I’ve shared it before but I’m sharing it again today because it is so fabulous!

My Delicious Macca Slice

maca slice

For the full recipe click here.



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