Bloating—whether it’s a subtle ughh feeling after a heavy meal, or a pregnant-looking belly after eating a triggering food, is a pretty common health complain. So common, in fact, that we’ve gathered tips and expert insight on how to combat bloating, here, here, and here. Oh, and here. So, when bodybuilder and Instagram star Michelle Middleton shared a before-and-after photo demonstrating just how certain foods can cause her body to bloat, it went viral. Middleton who has amassed more than 100,000 Instagram followers who are drawn to her fitness posts, shared the image, revealing how certain foods can cause her stomach to bloat. The culprits? Yogurt, protein powder, apples, pears, watermelon, broccoli, cauliflower, and asparagus. “Yes I get bloated and it happens when I eat certain foods,” Middleton explained in the caption, going on to explain that whenever she speaks about her bloating, people are always surprised by how visible it is. Because yes, this fitness buff is only human, and she’s going to eat all the yogurt regardless of the consequences. “Earlier I had Greek yogurt and I got bloated within a few minutes but the bloat only lasted for a few hours and now I’m back to normal,” she wrote. Middleton’s before and after is all too real for women who deal with bloating, and her followers have been quick to comment in support. “I look exactly like this when I’m bloted [sic]! Lol” wrote one Instagram user. “Ohhh this is me… and I am vegetarian, so basically I am bloated all the time,” commented another.
Obviously, the transformation in this picture is dramatic, but Middleton made it clear the two pictures weren’t taken on the same day. In a later post, she cleared up the confusion: “The pics shown are not in the same timeframe,” she explained to her community, adding: “I just wanted to clarify to the new followers that the last pic is from my prep in the late summer. So yes I do get bloated but I don’t magically lose 15 lbs and have abs.” She also recommended that anyone who is experiencing similar bloating should make an appointment to chat with their doctor for a food sensitivity test. “Be mindful of what you’re eating,” she also suggested, recommending to make note of the foods that might trigger bloating for you. “If you notice you’re bloated, be aware of what you just ate. Keep a mental note ’til you narrow down the culprit.” Middleton is also a recommendation of a diet style called “low-FODMAP,” to help relieve bloating. For the uninitiated, FODMAP stands for Fermentable, Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides And Polyols, which are basically a chain of carbohydrates that some people’s small intestines struggle to absorb.