Feeling like you’ve suddenly turned into the Michelin woman is the opposite of fun. Whether you’re actively trying to lose weight or are pleased with your current physique, bloating can completely throw you off. In the worst case scenario, it might send you into a panicked thought spiral about whether you’ve actually gained as much weight as your favorite skinny jeans would have you believe. In short, you probably haven’t.
“Bloating and actual fat gain feel the same, so it’s easy to confuse the two,” says Abby Langer, R.D. “But they really aren’t—fat is different from gas and water, which are what often contribute to bloating, and fat comes onto your body much more slowly.” So when you feel like you’ve ballooned overnight, or even over the span of a few days, you can usually chalk that up to bloating instead of true weight gain. Now that you have that reassuring bit of information, one question still remains: is there any way to cut down on bloat ASAP? Luckily, the answer is yes.