Undoing belt after meal.

Hi SD,

I always wanted to know if this cliche is a real thing. After a big meal, characters undo their buttons/belts and their bellies flop out. They sigh in relief, having “room.” This implies that one’s gut protrudes noticeably after a lot of eating, a notion I find difficult to stomach.

Does one’s waistline or tummy truly expand so much after a large meal, so much so that it may make pants uncomfortably tight? It is certainly something I have seen people do, but I am not sure if it helps or if it is a symbolic gesture more than anything? Does bloating have to do with it?

Fight my ignorance, please!

Well, I certainly have done it.
I have a flat stomach, and if I really gorge myself, loosening my belt makes a big difference.

Recent discussion on the topic.


That depends on the couture, I think. Blue jeans seem to have the beltline below the (male) belly, so yeah, there’s no point in loosening other than to show off your gluttony. In a formal suit, I can sense the waist getting even more uncomfortable after a rich business dinner.

That food and drink has to go somewhere. Take that volume of food (and liquid), just imagine it just placed inside, things bulge out somewhere.

Also a belt may hold the gut a bit up, so that food can’t naturally fill the belly area. Loosening the belt would allow things to settle down and out, and be more comfortable.

I have small hips so I cinch my belt tight. I often loosen it a notch after a meal. Of course if I am at home it’s sweat pants all the time, no need to.


Google “food baby”.

It’s a real thing. I experience it daily, even when my meals are moderate in size. I have discovered that anything with lots of carbs will make me bloat. Raw veggies also do a number on me. Last year, I ate a salad for lunch each day for a couple of months. I had to stop because I was tired of looking six months pregnant. Not even Beano helped.

If you’ve never done it, you’ve never REALLY eaten! :stuck_out_tongue:

Seriously though, I’ve seen even really skinny people loosen their belts after a heavy meal. Despite what most people think, the stomach is way higher than the belly, located just below the lungs. But it can expand a lot and push down on the intestines which are roughly where you wear you belt. Though for me, my belt is between my non-existent hips and the permanent baby bump I carry around. :cool:

I’ve always worn my belt under my belly. Putting it up any higher just seems like it’d be uncomfortable.

I have personally never done it or observed it happen.

I assume it is more likely to happen when people wear tight pants to begin with? I don’t tend to wear my pants that tight.

Since this will mostly get anecdotes, let’s move it to IMHO.

General Questions Moderator

I have certainly done it after Thanksgiving dinner or other large meal if I happen to be near the limit for my current wardrobe. Having lost some weight recently, it wasn’t necessary last Thanksgiving. And I would never do it in public, only among family.