How to Avoid Gas When Going Vegetarian

Best way to prevent side-effects is to ease your way into the new diet

By on October 7th, 2009 19:21 GMT
Vegetarianism is a diet that promises countless benefits, from a healthier heart to better skin and a boost of energy, as compared with the regular diet that also includes meat. However, when deciding to make the switch from regular to vegetarian, aside from the inevitable cravings, other side-effects may appear, which can actually be more unpleasant and embarrassing. These include gas and a bloated tummy, but that’s not to say they can’t be avoided, FitSugar assures us.

According to experts, going vegetarian all at once can prove too much for your body to take, which is when the aforementioned, unpleasant side-effects appear. However, that is not to say that the diet is not good for you and that you should return to your previous lifestyle. The best solution for this problem is to gradually ease the change into your life, instead of doing everything all at once, the fitness-oriented e-zine says.

“Your body is greatly benefiting from consuming less saturated fat and more plant-based proteins. I’m actually not surprised that you’re experiencing such embarrassing and uncomfortable side effects, but that doesn’t mean you can’t become a vegetarian. […] There’s such a thing as too much, too soon. Vegetarian foods are very high in fiber, and if your digestive system isn’t used to that, it translates to gas and maybe even diarrhea. So my advice is to slowly ease into this diet. Be a flexitarian for a while.” FitSugar says in response to a female reader experiencing gas and a bloated tummy with the change in diet.

A flexitarian is actually a person on a vegetarian diet who is allowed to “cheat” on it a few times a week by eating meat. That is to say, while the person in question would describe themselves as vegetarians, under certain conditions (such as those imposed by social gatherings or when traveling), they also eat meat, without foregoing vegetarianism altogether. In order to prevent the much dreaded bloated tummy side-effect, flexitarianism is a good way to go.

“Consume your old diet that includes meat, and gradually increase your fruit, vegetable, legume, and whole grain intake as you fade out the meat. At first, eat small portions of foods that are especially gas-producing such as broccoli, beans, green peppers, apples, and high fiber cereals. Slowly increase the portion size over time and the gassiness should begin to dissipate. Making the switch to a vegetarian lifestyle overnight is a shock to your system, so all you need to do is move forward slowly, listen to your body, and you’ll be meat-free (and less bloated) within a few weeks.” FitSugar explains.

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