Is A Bloated Stomach Or Weight Gain The Cause Of An Enlarged Stomach?

If your midsection appears to be somewhat bigger than normal, you may question whether the increase in size is the result of weight gain or bloating in your stomach. Despite the fact that they may appear and feel similar, weight gain and bloating are fundamentally different conditions. In this article is going to collet facts against the bloating vs fat.

Bowel bloating, says Bryan Curtin, MD, MHSc, director of the Center for Neurogastroenterology and GI Motility at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, is characterized by a subjective impression of abdominal fullness, pressure, or gas trapped in the stomach. In other words, it occurs when your stomach gets swollen due to the presence of gas or fluid. It’s usually only a transient state of affairs.

Belly or abdominal fat, on the other hand, accumulates over time. To get rid of it, you must reduce your calorie consumption while increasing your physical activity.

Bloating vs Fat - bloating stomach

With that in mind, here are the most important distinctions between bloating and abdominal fat, as well as the causes of each and the best strategies to alleviate it.

The Best Way To Detect If You’re Gaining Weight Or If Your Stomach Is Swollen.

Not sure if you’re gaining weight or if you’re simply experiencing abdominal bloating? Here are several methods for distinguishing between the two.

Appearance And Storage Are Important Considerations.

According to Matthew Olesiak, MD, chief medical director of SANESolution, there are a handful of simple techniques to determine if something is fat or bloat. “Adipocytes (fat cells) are responsible for storing fat throughout the body,” he explains. Consequently, if you’re gaining weight, Olesiak says you’ll see it in various different regions of your body, such as your back and thighs, among other places.

However, if your tummy is the only portion of your body that has swollen, Olesiak believes you are most certainly suffering from bloat.

This Is How It Feels.

Pay close attention to how your abdomen feels the next time you see it increasing in size. Bloating will typically make your stomach feel rigid and tight, whereas abdominal fat will make your belly feel soft and supple.

The Amount Of Time.

The length of time that you experience bloating might help you determine if you are gaining weight or just coping with a stomach bug. Curtin claims that bloating is a temporary condition. However, abdominal fat is more consistent in general.

On The Scale, It’s Quantifiable.

“Belly bloating is an unpleasant sensation that almost everyone has experienced at some point,” says William Li, MD, author of “Eat to Beat Disease,” about the condition. It fluctuates, and it’s not something that can be measured with a scale.

Putting on weight through fat is a different story. According to Li, “actual weight increase from fat is visible on a scale and does not disappear on its own.”

What Is The Source Of Bloating?

Bloating can be caused by a variety of factors.

A few of the most popular triggers are as follows:

Increased Gas Production In The Intestines.

Despite the fact that this is the most prevalent cause of bloating, it can also be a sign of other gastrointestinal difficulties or illnesses as well. Consult your doctor if you have any concerns or if you are experiencing recurring or chronic bloating.


Bloating vs Fat - diet foods

Eating excessive amounts of fiber, beans, dairy products, and other foods is a primary source of gas and bloating in the digestive system.


If you have infrequent or unproductive bowel motions, this suggests that feces remains in your colon for a longer period of time than is healthy. According to Olesiak, this allows bacteria more time to ferment the food, resulting in excess gas and bloating as a result.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

Inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract in Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis can cause gas to be trapped and produce bloating and gastric discomfort.

Overgrowth Of Microorganisms In The Small Intestine (SIBO).

SIBO is characterized by an abnormal rise in the number of bacteria in the small intestine. When there is an imbalance of bacteria in the colon, which is known as dysbiosis, bacteria can overgrow into the small intestine, according to Olesiak. Many digestive problems, including bloating, are caused as a result of this.

Eating At A Very Rapid Pace.

According to Li, eating too rapidly might cause you to feel bloated for a short period of time.

Aside From That, There Are Other Medical Issues To Consider.

It is possible to feel bloated as a result of certain medical disorders. According to Li, the following conditions can cause constipation by slowing the passage of food through the stomach, changing the microbiome from beneficial bacteria to unhealthy gas-producing bacteria, or both:

  • Gluten intolerance.
  • Allergies to certain foods.
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
  • Infections caused by parasites.
  • Asities It is a dangerous medical disorder that causes fluid to accumulate in the belly and causes it to swell.
  • Obstruction of the bowels.

Stomach Bloating Remedies Are Available.

With bloating, you have two options for controlling it: limit meals and activities that cause bloating, or intervene as soon as your stomach begins to feel full or inflated, as recommended by your healthcare provider. The good news is that there are about as many cures for bloating as there are causes of the condition. Here are some home cures to try the next time you’re feeling bloated and uncomfortable.

Reduce Your Intake Of Gas-Producing Foods.

According to Olesiak, if you’re experiencing stomach bloat after eating, consider limiting your intake of the following gas-producing foods:

  • broccoli.
  • cauliflower.
  • beans.
  • cabbage.
  • oats.

Processed Foods Should Be Avoided.

Bloating vs Fat - Processed Foods

Sugars and preservatives included in processed meals, according to Curtin, can be a prevalent source of bloating in people.

Keep An Eye On Your Bowel Motions.

Maintaining a regular schedule of bowel movements can aid in the prevention of bloating by giving information about probable causes of the bloating condition.

Slow Down And Enjoy Your Meal.

This involves consuming fewer calories in smaller quantities. Eat more slowly to reduce the quantity of air you ingest, which can cause stomach bloating and distention during digestion.

Make Yourself Some Herbal Tea.

The herbal teas listed below may be beneficial in reducing bloating:

  • peppermint.
  • ginger.
  • cinnamon.
  • Lemon balm.
  • chamomile.

Peppermint Oil Should Be Used.

The use of peppermint oil as a supplement may be beneficial for persons suffering with IBS since it has been shown to reduce muscular spasms, according to a 2014 review of the study.

If you plan to take any supplements, consult with your doctor beforehand because they are not routinely regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). There is a possibility that some supplements will include higher quantities of active chemicals that might be harmful to your health, as well as additional components not specified on the label.

Avoid Carbonated Beverages At All Costs.

Carbonated beverages, such as soda and energy drinks, cause gas to build up in your intestines, resulting in bloating in your stomach.

Take The Initiative.

Li suggests taking probiotics or consuming fermented foods to help with digestion. This can aid in the restoration of good gut bacteria as well as the reduction of gas production and the creation of other unpleasant toxins by bad bacteria.

Take A Stroll In The Park.

Following your lunch, you could find yourself wishing for a siesta. However, according to Kristen Fleming, MS, RD, moving at a steady speed while taking a walk will help to accelerate the transit of gas through your digestive tract, providing temporary relief.

Consider Getting An Abdominal Massage.

According to Fleming, abdominal massage can help to relieve tightness, cramps, and gas by using the proper technique and pressure. According to a research conducted in 2015, abdominal massage is effective in lowering malignant ascites, which is a deposit of fluid in the abdominal cavity.

Perform the following abdominal massage by pressing softly with your fingers:

  1.  Begin by rubbing in a circular manner upward from the right side of your stomach near your pelvic bone for 1 minute, moving up until you reach your rib cage.
  2. For one minute, go straight over to the left side of the room.
  3. For 1 minute, rub in circular motions downward until you reach your left hip bone, then back up to your belly button for 2 to 3 minutes, repeating the process.
  4. You can use your fingers to gently push the button.
  5. Massage in a clockwise manner for 10 minutes, then reverse the motion.

What Is The Source Of Abdominal Fat Gain?

While stomach bloating comes and goes throughout the day, abdominal fat (also known as visceral fat) remains unless you make lasting adjustments to your diet and lifestyle to eradicate it completely. The majority of the time, abdominal fat is the outcome of general weight increase. This occurs when you ingest more calories than your body can burn in a certain time period.

The result of an imbalanced diet and insufficient physical exercise, abdominal fat can develop in certain individuals. Others, on the other hand, may be affected primarily by their food, and more particularly, by consuming too many calories. This can happen even if they engage in frequent physical activity.

The following foods can contribute to the accumulation of belly fat:

  • foods and beverages that are high in sugar
  • alcohol.
  • meals containing a high concentration of trans fats

According to a scientific analysis published in 2021, holding extra fat around your stomach might put you at risk for the following conditions.

  • Kind 2 diabetes is the most common type.
  • Heart disease is a medical condition that affects the heart.
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure).
  • Issues relating to metabolism

Another factor that leads to a rise in abdominal fat is the onset of menopause. In part, this is due to a decrease in estrogen levels, which leads to fat being accumulated in the abdomen.

How To Get Rid Of Abdominal Fat.

The majority of us struggle with abdominal obesity. It is possible that you will need to make dietary changes as well as boost your physical activity if you want to shed a few pounds to minimize belly fat.

In general, decreasing abdominal fat requires a combination of food, exercise, and a change in way of life. This involves increasing your intake of fruits, vegetables, and lean protein while decreasing your intake of trans fats, processed carbohydrates, sweets, and alcoholic beverages.

On the physical activity front, aim to do at least 150 minutes of cardiovascular exercise every week. Additionally, weight exercise on two days a week might aid in the reduction of abdominal fat.

Bloating vs Fat - cardio exercise

When You Should Consult A Doctor If You Are Experiencing Bloating Or Belly Fat.

Bloating is often a transient illness that may be treated at home with simple measures. Visiting a doctor, on the other hand, is occasionally advisable.

If your stomach feels swollen or distended after eating, see your doctor right away. Bloating and distension are both signs of an enlarged stomach. Make an appointment as well if you’re suffering bloating or any of the following:

  • A great deal of discomfort
  • Nausea and vomiting are common symptoms of menopause.
  • A reduction in body weight

If you see that you are accumulating abdominal fat, you should consult with your doctor. In order to lose weight, a doctor may offer you with useful advice on correct food and exercise approaches that you can follow to lose weight.

The Takeout.

Identifying the distinctions between stomach bloat and abdominal fat will assist you in determining the source of your symptoms as well as the most effective strategy to treat or prevent them.

Bloating is frequently just transitory. Most of the time, it is caused by anything in your food, a medical condition, or your way of life. Dietary insufficiency, lack of physical activity, and in rare cases medical disorders are all factors that contribute to abdominal fat accumulation. It’s also more long-lasting unless you take steps to mitigate the situation.

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