The Real Difference Between Bloating And Belly Fat

We've all had those days when it feels like our favorite pair of jeans are fitting a little tighter than usual. Before you immediately assume you've put on some extra pounds around your midsection, there could be another explanation for why your waistband is suddenly tighter. First off, your jeans could be newly washed. Or perhaps you're a little bloated. You'll likely know right away if your jeans are fresh out of the dryer or not. What is harder to tell is if you're dealing with bloat, or some true extra pounds. Luckily, there are a few ways you can quickly find out which issue you are dealing with.

Firstly, Lifehack recommends taking a good look in the mirror and seeing if the swelling in your stomach is not the only place on your body that looks "swollen." In other words, if you're noticing your clothes are starting to feel tight in other places and not just around your waist, then it may due to weight gain. You may also try to gently press on your lower belly. If it feels spongey, then it's likely extra weight. If it looks or feels tight and firm, then you're most likely battling bloat.

Constipation, gas, and certain foods can cause bloating

You can also take note of any other out of character symptoms you may be experiencing in order to identify the cause of a tighter waist band. Healthline claims that if you're constipated or are extra gassy, then these may be signs that you're bloated. You're more likely to bloat if you have recently eaten an extra fibrous meal like a bowl of beans or an array of dairy products.

Another way to tell the difference is to be proactive. Healthline suggests sipping on some herbal tea. If your jeans end up feeling looser, then you're likely dealing with bloat over belly fat.

Another way to find out if you are dealing with a bloated belly or belly fat is to drink some water. "When we are dehydrated we tend to hold on to any water we can. So drinking more water helps us to flush out stored water," says Amy Shapiro, a registered dietitian and founder of Real Nutrition to Byrdie. "The more you drink the less bloated you'll be. It will also flush out excess sodium which holds on to water," she explains.

If you're bothered by the recently discovered bulge around your belly, you can be proactive in diminishing this unwanted discovery. But before you take the most effective type of action, you can use one or more of the above ways to find out if you are dealing with weight gain or a bloated belly.