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Distended Belly

I had this issue before I went raw despite the fact I didn’t eat processed sugar, carbs, gluten (no bread, no pasta – nothing) and no soy. My belly is still pretty distended despite the fact that I’m actually losing fat all over. The fact that I’m losing weight make my belly distention look even worse. If I don’t hold it in, I look pregnant.

I know part of my problem is posture and the rest is digestion though my digestion has been pretty regular for the past 6 months so I don’t know what it could be.

As far as diet, I tried to cut back on fats and nuts to see if some of my belly will go down. I tried a low-fat, low-protein raw diet for about two days I felt so spacey, headachy, tried, irritable and dizzy, I had to eat ½ of avocado to feel normal again.

I tried just eating green smoothies and fruit for a day and I felt like a bottomless pit. When I get hungry, I tried eating a green smoothie of fruit and it fills me up like water, but an hour later, I’m insanely hungry again: hunger pangs and a headache. I go through so much food that way. I can eat ½ avocado or a young coconut and it will last me for 2 hours most of the time. I don’t eat much nuts at all.

What could the distention be? How can I get rid of it?


  • Have you tried an herbal parasite cleanse? I know alot of people who have lost their bellies after a parasite/colon cleanse ( even 1 raw person )

  • No I havnet tried it yet…I need to look into it. Thanks for the tip!

  • you could also try doing a colon cleanse. I am starting mine tonight. I use oxypowder (www.oxypowder.com). It is, in my opinion, the best product out there!

  • I have this exact same problem and I’ve done quite a few colon and parasite cleanses. My intuition tells me that this area will be the last to go because it’s protecting my organs while they heal.

  • I have had this problem for a long time and have done many colon cleanses, etc. I recently went to a chiropractor who through muscle testing found that I was allergic to all corn products. Because I had been eating corn and my body couldn’t digest it, it had caused a lot of toxicity in my gall bladder and I had started to have gall bladder pain. He gave me an herb (fringe tree) extract to clean it out of my system and I stopped eating corn and my stomach has gone WAY down. It is amazing. I have always had some distention but never as bad as in the last four months so I am grateful to have found something that helped.

  • That interesting – I dont eat corn or grains at all for that matter right now, but I am allergic to gluten prior to going raw. When I stopped eating them (year and a half ago) my stomach went down some. I will look into doing cleanses. I already started the parasite cleanse yesterday…

  • Linda, I just ordered the oxypowder but am feeling a little frightened with it and I have not even got it yet. Can you explain a little about it. The part about sharp hook like things to scrape your intestines, does that do any damage to your intestines? Have you done this before? Does it really help with bloated bellies? I have been eating really healthy for some time and mostly raw (this is my second attempt) for a about month or so now and doing really good with it mostly because I really enjoy the recipes on this site. I also have relaxed a bit and eat mono meals. I think my good eating habits over the past several years caused me to have hardly any detox symptoms at all. A mild headache here and there, a little fitgue, and a few trips to the bathroom but that’s about it. I hope you can tell me more about your experiences with this stuff. Hope to hear from you, or anyone else that has used this oxypowder. Thanks!

  • my son had this same problem and i treated him for parasites and his distention has gone away. his skin also became much clearer, not that it wasn’t nice before, and he was noticably happier and friendlier.

  • Donna,

    Don’t be scared!!! You’ll be fine! I have used Oxypowder for 6 different cleanses and I have never had any pain or discomfort for any of them. You will have watery gaseous stools but unless you have some serious parasites, I highly doubt you will have any pain whatsoever. I am actually on day 3 colon cleansing w/ Oxypowder as we speak. I’ve been having 2-5 watery stools per day. No pain. Just a little gas ;)

    I think the sharp hooks they are referring to are the “teeth” of parasites latching onto your intestinal walls. Oxypowder oxidizes the environment in your intestines to break up compacted fecal matter. Oxidation also creates an unhospitable environment for parasites. You might feel uncomfortable if you have a large population of mature parastites but based on what you’ve told me, I think you should be just fine.

    I love this stuff and would never reccomend it if I didn’t think it was the best! I hope this helps!


  • Thanks Linda for the pep talk, I still am only going to try a couple of pills instead of 4. I’m such a worry wort. How is your cleanse going? Do you drink the apple cider vinegar like they recommend? You said you’ve done this 6 different times, do not do a maintenance dose and last question, do you need to do something so your not removing the “good bacteria” Thanks again for the info, this really does sound like a quality product. I have read some far out stuff on other sites where people ended up in the hospital and really bazaar stuff coming out of them. It’s nice to be able to discuss this with people who have tried the products. Thanks again!

  • Where fat is distributed on the body is determined by many factors, the biggest of which is genetic predisposition. If your stomach was the first place where fat started to accumulate long ago as your body became unable to eliminate all the waste that was being generated by your old diet, then it will likely be the last area to slim down. As the rest of your body becomes slimmer, your stomach may seem bigger than usual by comparison. It’s not really “distention” – it more appropriately falls into the category of optical illusion.

    The symptoms you experience when you stop eating fats are normal for new raw fooders but they are not normal for healthy human beings. They are the body attempting to cleanse and heal itself from past dietary abuses. New raw fooders often find it impossible to eat low fat if the symptoms are very pronounced, as it sounds like they are for you. I was borderline “hypoglycemic” when I ate cooked food and wasn’t able to eat low fat for 3 years after going 100% raw. I still lost weight, but I didn’t get rid of my tummy until 5 months after I stopped eating fats completely. My tummy was always a problem area. Even when I was teaching aerobics 5 times a week I’d still occasionally get asked if I was pregnant. Btw, I no longer get those very unpleasant symptoms that would formerly only go away if I ate fats, even if I eat only fruits and greens for months at a time. This is further evidence that they are a sign of toxicity and are not “hunger”. If you’re interested, I have an essay on my website where I talk about this topic in great detail. It’s here: http://www.rawschool.com/emotionaleaters.htm.

    The methods and substances that new raw fooders use in attempts to hasten the process of healing and cleansing just further burden the body. There are many good reasons to avoid colon hydrotherapy, for example, as I illustrate in my essay on that topic here: http://www.rawschool.com/colonics.htm. In addition, there are no substances that “cleanse” the body. The body only cleanses itself. The “gall bladder cleanse”, for another example, doesn’t cleanse but further pollutes the body, despite all the claims to the contrary. Here’s a link to a study that was published in The Lancet that examined the “gallstones” that were expelled by a woman who had done the cleanse: file:///C:/Documents%20and%20Settings/HP_Administrator/My%20Documents/gallstonecleansemyth.htm. It was found that the stones were composed of the substances in the cleanse itself, combined with naturally occurring chemicals in the body. So-called parasite cleanses, or any substance that purports to rid the body of something “bad” while leaving only the “good” is similarly bogus. Bacteria and parasites feast on waste. A diet of cooked foods, complicated raw recipes with spices, salt and other food flavorings or similar fare creates much waste in the body. It’s very difficult to come by information on parasites that is not either tainted by the medical belief system or its equivalent in “alternative” medicine. Nobody seems to want to talk sensibly and truthfully about the topic. But it seems to me that if there are parasites in the body, the only answer is to stop providing them with food. The undeniable truth is that any ‘remedy’ that claims to kill parasites also kills living human cells. Considering this, and the fact that in most cases people self-diagnose parasite ‘infestation’ based on very specious and sketchy ‘evidence’ in the first place, it seems wise to try to resolve the problem (if it even is a problem) in ways that don’t cause further harm to the body.

    The danger in using these methods is not only that they either potentially injure the body or further burden it with harmful, indigestible substances, but also that they impart in the user the idea that the “cure” has taken care of their problems, while the real causes go unaddressed. Fortunately, most often when people employ these practices they don’t do them in isolation – they institute dietary and other lifestyle changes that DO remove the cause of their problems. This would happen a lot quicker without the “cures”, however. When these people experience the health benefits of the positive changes they’re making, rather than giving credit to the body for healing itself, which is what’s really happening, they give credit to the treatments, substances and remedies they’ve used. This is a testament to the fine job the medical industry (allopathic AND alternative) has done of convincing us that health can be acquired by the taking of a remedy.

    You may have to be patient about losing your tummy bulge. In order to keep your cleansing symptoms (aka hunger) manageable, you may have to continue to eat fats for some time. This will slow down the process by which your body breaks down inferior, superfluous tissue reserves (aka fat), because the digestion of fatty foods is so labor-intensive for the body. The good news is that eventually your symptoms will not be so bad and you’ll be able to experiment with eating simper, and low fat, which is really the key to optimal healing.

    I hope this is helpful. If you’re interested in learning more about how to transition in ways that fully cooperate with your body, I offer coaching to transitioning raw fooders. Please see my website for more info.

    Nora www.RawSchool.com

  • Thanks for all of your advice and info!

    I started the parasite cleanse last week (the day I first posted about this) and it’s helped a lot in past several days. My stomach is definitely, noticeably flatter. It wasn’t flabby before, but it was more of a hardening like I was carrying a boiling ball. I’m also feeling a lot more energy, especially since I started listening to my body more when it comes to eating.

  • Donna,

    Starting off slow is probably a good idea.

    My cleanse is going great. I am taking 10 capsules each night. Watery gaseous stools, no pain. I don’t take apple cider vinegar, instead, I drink hot water w/honey, coconut oil and lime. After the cleanse is over I will supplement with power-dophilus and “Nature’s First Food” superfood from www.sunfood.com to restore healthy bacteria. You can check out my blog to read about my progress www.lindaintheraw.com

    Good Luck!

  • Nora,

    You make a lot of since to, and I know I have some fat in my tummy, I call it my snow banks, the very last to melt off. But my problem seems to be uncomfortable bloating. I do eat fat in my nut butters and I make the mayo with almonds and olive oil so I am getting fats. I had discussed this with a nutritionist once and she gave me “good” bacteria a probotic (sp) and I haven’t taken them in a long time. I just don’t understand how some days I can feel fine and my abdomin not in distress and then all of a sudden it’s crampy and bloated when there really hasn’t been much of a change in my diet. I will read your link though, sounds interesting.

    Linda, glad to hear your doing great, boy 10 capsules a night wow, but no pain that’s the biggie. I’ll read your blog to. Thanks again!

  • edited December 2015

    Hello everyone,I am very happy to be joined in this forum.I want to ask you people that, Is there any side effects caused by Parasite Cleansing?

    Thanks& Regards

  • rawnora: Your links for the emotional eating and colonics don’t work. Could you repost please? I am very interested in reading them as I am scheduled for a colon hydrotherapy session soon.

  • I have noticed that the raw diet on me has removed cellulite from the butt first. Before I would have said that I was a flat butt—O (in a non-attractive way). But since the fluid has released, I have a cute butt now. The lower tummy is going away slowly. It’s the last thing to go on me, but it is flattening. I’m happy because it never was flat. Praise be to veggies and fruit. (Bad, bad, bad dairy!)

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