Bloating is one of those dreaded things which we all hate... but in recovery, its part of the process. Bloating is basically your body holding onto water whether its due to stress, hormones, excess salt or protection. In recovery when you first begin eating again your body bloats and it can take weeks to months for it to pass, I wish i could give you a miracle cure and tell you that drinking peppermint tea would help, but from what i have experienced and what ive heard, it doesnt work that way. Not with bloating in recovery (Though of course, its different from person to person!!!)
Bloating happens because when you restrict and your body goes into starvation mode your metabolism slows down. For people who have gone very long periods with little to no food they find that they cant actually begin eating food in the beginning of recovery because their digestive system is so messed up. So they need to drink supplement drinks and juice/milk etc
Your body first goes into shock, doesnt quite know what to do with the food and so accumilates water, mainly in the stomach area. This is also a form of protection for your organs. You can find that you can gain anywhere from 1-5kg just in the first week from all the water retention, but slowly the water will go away.
The bloating also happens because your digestive system works so hard as you need to eat so frequently and its not used to it. Its trying to figure out how to work again.... over time you will have to increase your calories as your body gets used to the amount you eat and no longer gains weight. Its reccommended to be up to about 2500+ some stage in recovery, this is because if you are continuously gaining weight eating say 1500kcal, then what happens when you reach a normal weight but still eat so few calories. So you need to keep increasing until you eat quite a large amount as this means you can then eat a normal amount when you are maintaining your weight.
The amount you gain on all depends on metabolism, height, weight, age, activity etc
You might find that you are very disproportionate... your arms are skinny but your stomach sticks out. Almost like the starving children you see in poorer countries. This is due to malnourishment and it will go away when you begin eating more and more frequently.
When your body becomes safer, gets enough energy and begins functioning properly you will see that the bloating will go away, or not be as much. However bloating is common at the end of the day.
Some bloat after gluten or lactose as they are slightly intolerant or if you have eaten alot of salt. But drinking lots of water can help to get rid of bloating.
When you are stressed, have your period, dehydrated or under eating your body also bloats. For me, i know when i undereat or am very stressed or about to get my period because then my body goes into major bloating for 3-5 days.... And no amount of peppermint tea, water, little salt helps. Though exercise can help get rid of bloating, as you sweat. But that is normal bloating and not recovery bloating.
The most important thing is to NOT panic and start eating less. That will make the bloating worse in the long run because then you just cause more damage to your metabolism and can cause irreversable damage.
Keep eating frequently, normally and enough. That is my best advice!!!
If you have pain then lying and resting and putting something warm on your belly can help. Also know that exercising excessively in recovery or beginning to exercise too much too early can cause bloating!!
Your body needs rest and to not stress!!
This post will now be the post i refer anyone to if they ask about bloating :) :)