Burping, Gas & Bloating, what do they mean?

Frequently as people transition to the natural diet there is a period of digestion issues as the fast digesting fruits run into the constipation caused by a cooked foods diet.  In most people, this digestion issue passes in 1-2 weeks and fermentation is never an issue again.   But for some people, fermentation continues to be an issue and it can be potentially problematic, leading to chronic symptoms and dramatic weight loss.    In fact, fermentation is one of the biggest reasons that people lose excessive weight when eating the natural diet, or transitioning to the natural diet.   Fermentation can also lead to chronic fatigue, overeating, itchy skin, rashes, and extended periods of symptoms which might be written off as “just detox”.   

You should not experience burping, gas or bloating at all if eating correctly.  These are disease conditions and troubleshooting is required to correct them.   

Burping, Gas & Bloating are not normal and are a sign that what we are eating is not properly digesting.   The gas that creates burping and farting is from fermentation inside of the digestive tract.  Just like the bubbles that form in a bottle of champagne or beer from fermentation, the same process occurs in our digestive tract.  If we are fermenting that means we are producing alcohol in the digestive tract and poisoning ourselves.  

If a person experiences gas on the natural diet, a few things could be causing the issue:  

1.  Drinking water with a meal or too soon before or after.  

2.  Overeating.  

3.  Not properly chewing foods.  

4.  Not following proper food combining rules.   

5.  Eating too quickly.  

6.  Eating while stressed or upset.  

7.  Eating too early or too late.

8.  Eating unripe or overripe fruits.

9.  Eating melons or grapes when the digestion is not primed.  

10. Drinking smoothies or juices.

11.  Eating cooked foods which constipate, followed by raw foods that are high in sugar and digest quickly.  

Let’s first talk about why each of these factors can lead to fermentation, then we will discuss why fermentation creates symptoms and weight loss and last we will talk about how to fix fermentation issues if they are occurring.  

1. Drinking water with a meal or too soon before or after.  

Drinking water dilutes the digestive juices impairing digestion.   Our digestive juices need to be at full strength for proper digestion.   Do not drink water with your meal or for at least 1 hour after a meal.  For denser foods give 2-3 hours.   Drink 15 minutes before your meal, while preparing your meal to allow the stomach to empty the water before digestion. 

2. Overeating.  

If we put more food into our stomach than our stomach can handle the food will sit and ferment rather than digesting.   As we transition from a cooked foods diet our digestion will be weak.  Start with smaller meals spread 2-3 hours apart and naturally over time you will work your way up to large meals less frequently.   Most people need to start with 5-6 meals a day to reach adequate calories and eventually most people find that 2 large meals or 3 medium sized meals works best for them long term.  Don’t try to rush getting to 2 meals a day.  Let your digestion improve gradually.   

3. Not properly chewing foods.  

You have probably heard the saying “Digestion begins in your mouth”.  I like to say, “your stomach doesn’t have teeth, chew your food!”   We should be chewing our foods to a liquid before swallowing.  Decades of eating cooked foods that are soft and require little chewing create a habit of not chewing thoroughly.  It takes some attention when we are eating to retrain this habit.   When you eat, try to focus on eating and not being distracted by some other task.   

4. Not following proper food combining rules.   

Some foods digest well together and others do not.  Knowing how to properly combine your foods to avoid poor digestion is key.   We will have another post specifically on food combing.  

5. Eating too quickly.  

When we eat quickly we are often not adequately chewing our food and we are putting food in the stomach faster than our full signal can keep up.  When we eat slowly and deliberately we can better hear when our body is full and avoid overstuffing the stomach.   

6. Eating while stressed or upset.  

When we are in a state of emotional upset or stress our stomach shuts down.  It wants no food.  If we eat when we are upset or eat to soothe our emotions we nearly always ferment our foods because our digestion is sluggish.   When upset, avoid reaching for food and instead try taking a walk or going out into nature and letting yourself process the source of the upset before eating.  

7. Eating too early or too late.  

Digestion ramps up starting around noon, if we eat earlier than that we will have sluggish digestion that can cause the food to not digest fast enough.  If we eat when our digestion is sluggish the fruits, especially high sugar fruits are very likely to ferment.   If you must eat before noon choose a low sugar food – berries, salad, savory fruits like tomatoes to avoid the fermentation.  We will have another article on the ideal eating window and the 3 cycles your digestive system moves through each day that explains the importance of keeping our meals between 12 noon and 8 pm.  

8. Eating unripe or overripe fruits.

Unripe fruits are difficult to digest simply because they are not ripe and not meant to be eaten.  Unfortunately, due to the nature of our food system many fruits are picked unripe so they can be shipped long distances.   When shopping for fruits look for what’s on sale that week, frequently stores will put on sale the fruits that are coming ripe because there is an abundance of them and they need to sell them quickly. also look for climacteric fruit which will ripen on the counter even if they are picked  unripe at the tree

9. Eating melons or grapes when the digestion is not primed.  

Melons and grapes and other high sugar fruits our quick to ferment in our system. If we eat them first thing in the morning when our digestion is not warmed up and not moving as efficiently as it should the high sugar in these fruits can ferment very quickly causing “melon belly” or “grape belly“ fermentation symptoms.    if you’re eating before noon or your digestion feel sluggish skip the melons and other high sugar fruits and go for some thing slower digesting like bananas or savory fruits.

10. Drinking smoothies or juices.

When we cut fruit it starts to break down as it is exposed to the air. When we put food into a blender or a juicer we are creating thousands and thousands of little cuts and this causes the fruit to break down much faster. If you’re going to have a smoothie make a small smoothie and drink it quickly and remember to chew your beverages to get the saliva starting the digestion process. But ideally we should be predominantly avoiding smoothies and juices. Smoothies and juices are frequently fermented and also tend to lead to plaque on the teeth for the same reason.  

11.  Eating cooked foods which constipate, followed by raw foods that are high in sugar and digest quickly.  

When we are transitioning from cooked foods to raw foods it can be a challenge to manage the slow and sluggish digestion of cooked foods.   Frequently the body cannot eliminate cooked foods in a timely manner so they ferment themselves, but even more often the slow and sluggish digestion of cooked foods causes traffic jams in our digestive system when combined with a fast digesting fruit meal eaten afterwards.    The best option is to eat fruits early in the day and leave any cooked foods for the evening meal.   But even having cooked foods in the evening followed by fruit the next morning can result in fermentation if the cooked foods are very slow moving.    Fruit needs clear pathways.   High sugar fruits especially need clear pathways.   If you have eaten a cooked meal the night before its best to skip the high sugar or watery fruits and instead go with a salad, savory fruits or low sugar fruits like blueberries or other berries that will not ferment as easily.  Also keep in mind that cooked foods dehydrate us and dehydration causes constipation, so if you are eating cooked foods keep the water intake high to avoid getting clogged up!

Why Fermentation Leads to Symptoms and Weight Loss

Food is only useful to the body if it can be assimilated without an excess burden of waste. Health is not about the nutrient density of your food but the usability of your food.   Eating 500 calories of fruit that is fermenting in your digestive tract just results in the body rushing that food out of the system with little to no gain and with a loss of energy.   If you are consistently fermenting your fruits your body will be consistently rushing the food through and weight loss and muscle lose will be the result.    

As Herbert Shelton points out, “It has often been said: “You are what you eat.” More appropriately, this should probably be: “You are what you digest and assimilate.” Man eats everything. He considers himself an omnivore of the first order. Roots, nuts, tubers, seeds, eggs, blood, milk, fish, fowl, and fruit have all appeared on man’s plate. One culture eats worms and gnats with relish. Another culture considers decaying animals a delicacy. Man has practiced cannibalism both in the past and in the present. And so man brags: “I can eat anything. I have an iron stomach.” It is true that man’s physiology allows him to eat almost anything that does not immediately kill him… It is a mistake to assume, however, that the body can digest and assimilate everything that passes between our teeth, or that foods doing no immediate harm will not eventually cause problems. Consequently, most of what man eats is for naught, because much of the food eaten by the average human being is totally unsuitable for his digestive physiology.” 

Whether we are eating foods that are suitable or stuffing the body with useless food like substances we need to be able to digest and assimilate what we take in.  When we eat cooked foods we create a backlog of waste and cellular debris from the useless materials being a burden to our body.   But when we ferment our fruits we create alcohol and this alcohol can cause as much distress to the body as a cooked food meal.  

Below is an excerpt from John Tilden explaining why fermentation is problematic and keeps us in a state of disease.  


Food enters the stomach and bowels, and then it is subjected to the action of solvents preparing it for absorption into the blood; after absorption it is further acted upon by the blood itself, which, in a true sense, is one of the most important digestive organs, for it refines the food elements and prepares them for cell digestion, the very last digestive process completing the metamorphosis of food into living tissue.

From the beginning to the ending of this process–from the chewing of the food, its solution and absorption into the blood, the transformation that takes place in the blood, as it is carried by the circulation to the lungs where it becomes oxygenated and decarbonized–is a subtle scheme of interorganic exchange of products; the blood being not only a common carrier, but a purifying and refining organ.

 Before going farther, the meaning of decomposition and toxin poisoning should be explained.

More food is eaten than can be digested properly, or it may be that the combinations are wrong, and instead of physiological, enzymic fermentation–digestion–taking place, pathologic, or bacterial, fermentation takes place. The germs of fermentation–the bacteria or microbes, or organized ferment, that are everywhere–set up fermentation in carbohydrate foods, causing acidity; and decomposition in proteid foods, and putrescence is a product of this fermentation; any and all of which when absorbed, or taken into the blood, causes toxemia. Where there are enough digestive ferments–enzymes–the ever-present germs (bacteria) have no power to act. When man is prostrate with disease–with the evil influence of bacterial fermentation–then he should not eat; for his enzymic power (power to digest) is already overpowered by germs, and to feed under such circumstances is to encourage bacterial fermentation and toxemia. In acute diseases, from a common cold to pneumonia on to typhoid fever, feeding complicates and increases the mortality.

To recognize germs as man’s enemy is a mistake; if, they were enemies they would not quit him when he is prostrate and refusing to take “good nourishing food.” When germ action is continued in disease it is when food is forthcoming in quantities that exceed enzymic power. Wounds, ulcers, abscesses, etc., are kept from healing when the food intake is beyond enzymic control.

As a result of bacterial decomposition, toxin is formed, and when absorbed it poisons the system. Toxins are also taken in from without the body. Any poison generated in the body or out of the body, and taken in, causes toxin poisoning. Any stimulating drugs–namely, opium and its preparations, alcoholics, tobacco, coffee, tea–overeating, overwork, both physical and mental, overworked emotions, etc., all stimulate and intoxicate, which produces enervation, and this leads to toxemia by checking elimination.

Yes, I believe in germs (ferments, yeasts), and I believe in enzymes (ferment, a digestive yeast built by every organized being). I do not believe that the presence of germs has any more to do with causing disease than the absence of enzymes. Both these ferments are necessary to man’s health and well-being. The enervation brought on by toxemia checks secretion and elimination, causes constipation and retention of other organic waste, which, joined with the toxins of fermentation and decomposition, prepares man for the affections or the diseases he develops.”- Tilden

How to correct fermentation issues

  1. Keep meals simple.  Eat one fruit per meal or follow food combing rules for multiple fruit meals but keep the mixing to no more than 3 fruits per meal for best digestion.
  2. Drink your water!   Dehydration is the most common cause of constipation.  We should be having one elimination per day in the morning, shortly after arising.   If you do not go regularly in the morning before your first meal of the day then you are constipated.   If you are going multiple times per day then you have diarrhea.  
  3. Eat your salad greens!    Greens sweep the bowels clean and get rid of any slow moving old waste. 
  4. If you have eaten cooked foods, follow them with a salad and avoid eating high sugar fruits the day before.  
  5. Drink water 15 minutes before your meal and wait at least 1 hour after
  6. Eat within the noon to 8pm window.  If you need to eat earlier than noon stay away from the high sugar melons and grapes.  
  7. Chew, chew, chew!
  8. Make sure all cooked foods are high fiber.   Steer clear of dry food like breads and pasta which will cause severe constipation.  
  9. Stay away from melons until your digestion improves.   High sugar, high water content fruits require very strong digestion.  If your digestion is weak they will ferment quickly.  If you experience melon belly stay away from the melons for a while.  Only enjoy them in the summer at their peak ripeness. 
  10. Eat smaller meals.
  11. Only eat when calm and relaxed.  Focus on your meal.  Don’t eat distracted.  
  12. Fast – If everything is fermenting and being wasted there is no benefit to continued eating.   Fast and rest and allow the digestive tract time to heal then start with small, simple meals, chewed well and eaten calmly.  

Last notes, when our body is trying to clean and heal our body will turn off our appetite and force us to rest.  If we continue to eat during an active healing event, for example, when you have cold or flu symptoms, your body will ferment food rather than digest it because energy is being directed away from digestion and into cleaning.  Therefore eating when we have cold or flu symptoms will only extend our suffering.    

Have more questions? Want to get answers about your specific health issues or concerns? I offer consultations, learn more about them here: https://www.therawkey.com/consultations/

Ready to make changes but not sure how to begin? Need some motivation or accountability? Why not join our 30-Day Terrain Model Diet Support and Education Group? New Groups start on the 1st of every month! https://www.therawkey.com/the-natural-diet-support-group/

Eat fruit and be well my friends.