Bodybuilding pics often defy belief, but many people will relate to fitness buff Michelle Middleton's now-viral photo series.
The bodybuilder shared a series of before-and-after photos on her Instagram that demonstrate how significant bloating caused by eating certain foods can be for some people. She explains in her post that the bloating can happen within minutes.
A figure competitor from Oregon, Middleton has amassed over 100,000 Instagram followers from her fitness-related posts. Earlier this week, she decided to share a post revealing the effect specific foods have on her body. The culprits? Yogurt, protein powder, apples, pears, watermelon, broccoli, cauliflower, and asparagus.
"When I I say I'm bloated... I'm bloated," Middleton's post began, explaining that she does posts like this every now and then and people are continually surprised at how visible her bloating gets. "Yes I get bloated and it happens when I eat certain foods. I pretty much know which foods are going to do it but sometimes I will eat it anyway."
While the transformation is dramatic, Middleton felt that an earlier post (below) was misleading. She eventually updated her "before" image on the far right because it originally showed her with defined ab muscles; the image above was taken more recently.
"So while I appreciate the feature, the pics shown are not in the same timeframe," she told her followers of her initial post. "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."
Middleton also recommended that her followers speak with a doctor if they are experiencing similar bloating, saying that it might be worth getting an allergy or food sensitivity test.
"Be mindful of what you're eating," she suggested. "If you notice you're bloated, be aware of what you just ate. Keep a mental note 'til you narrow down the culprit."
She added that following a "low-FODMAP" diet could help reduce avoid bloating. FODMAP stands for Fermentable, Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides And Polyols, which are a chain of carbohydrates that are often poorly absorbed by the small intestine.
But it may not all be down to diet; it could be how, not what, you eat. Making these minor changes may also help ease the dreaded belly bloat.