The blown-up balloon feeling you may get from eating too much fiber can be unpleasant. Adding fiber to your diet is great for your well-being, but bloating is your body's way of telling you that you are consuming too much of this carbohydrate too quickly. The good news is that bloating caused by consuming too much fiber is usually temporary.
Don't give up on fiber just yet; change how you consume it. Introduce fiber to your diet slowly. The University of Michigan Bowel Control Program recommends adding 5 grams of fiber to your diet daily at two-week intervals. Try to get your fiber from food sources rather than supplements. Add unprocessed grains, fresh fruits and green vegetables to your diet. Be patient. You will still experience gas initially, but bloating and gas will decrease gradually.
Drinking water with your meals can help reduce bloating because fiber absorbs water, making it easier for fiber to pass through your digestive system. Aim to drink six to eight glasses of water per day. Have a glass or two with each meal, and you will reach your goal before you know it. Water is boring, so don’t be afraid to mix it up a bit. Fruits like watermelon and grapefruit are about 90 percent water content and are low in sugar -- -- and they add to your daily water intake. Limit fruit juice to one or two glasses per day.
According to the Harvard School of Public Health, women between 19 and 30 years of age should consume 25 grams of fiber per day, based on an 1,800-calorie-per-day diet. Eating smaller meals will help reduce bloating. Rather than the traditional three-meals-a-day routine, eat five to six small meals, which are easier for your digestive system to handle. Smaller, more frequent meals also boost your metabolism by keeping it active, which will help you achieve a slim figure.
Fiber-rich foods such as wheat and legumes can cause bloating due to a food allergy or intolerance. If your bloating persists after several weeks, consult a doctor for advice. Irritable bowel syndrome is also a common cause of bloating; pain and discomfort are common symptoms. Exercise regularly -- even a 10-minute run a day will help -- and manage stress. Doing so will help keep your digestive system running like clockwork.
Robert Hughes has been a writer since 2009, contributing to "The Daily Telegraph." He has also worked as a community nutritionist for a sports rehabilitation facility in the United Kingdom. Hughes holds a Bachelor of Science in nutrition and a Master of Science in human nutrition.