Nothing is worse than working hard at your weight loss goals, only to find you’re still left with a bloated gut or excess water weight. No amount of crunches can hold that stomach in, and nothing can take away your puffy face and ankles unless you commit to finding ways to help stop bloating. So, here are 7 tips to rid yourself unnecessary bloating, and get you looking and feeling better again:
1. Avoid Processed and Fried Foods
Processed foods, which include those with artificial sweeteners and transfats, can cause bloating because they have been morphed into foods that are not naturally found in nature. These types of foods are harder to digest, so the stomach works harder on them and the result is a gassy buildup. Fried foods, with their excess fat, also take a longer time to break down, so the result is the same.
2. Skip the Carbonation
Carbonated drinks contain a lot of air, so when you drink them, you end up swallowing that air and trapping it inside your belly. This alone will cause your stomach to puff out beyond its normal size. Add to that the fact that many sour carbonated drinks are acidic, and you are asking for trouble. Other acidic drinks – like coffee, tea, juice, and alcohol – can irritate your gastrointestinal tract. When this happens, your GI tract can swell and give you a very uncomfortable bloated feeling. If you find you react to acidic and carbonated drinks frequently, you should avoid them altogether.
3. Watch Your Salt Intake
High sodium foods cause you to retain more water – which leads to a more “all over” bloating than just one that is limited to the abdominal area. This particular problem does not always come with an easy-to-identify solution, because sodium may be found in a number of sources, like processed foods, carbonated drinks, spicy foods and even cheese products.
4. Stop Eating Fast
Eating too fast is a major facilitator of air and excess gas in the belly. When we eat too fast, we not only swallow air, which leads to immediate bloating, but we also don’t chew our food properly. When our food is not chewed properly, it leaves larger chunks that are harder for the stomach to digest. This ultimately leads to gas build-up.
5. Add Yogurt to Your Diet
The digestive system needs its “good bacteria” (probiotics) in order to function properly. This is because any kind of bacterial imbalance can help exacerbate any tendency to bloat, and restoring balance will alleviate the symptoms. Adding yogurt to your diet can help with your bacterial imbalance naturally, but if you don’t like yogurt, probiotics are available as a health supplement.
6. Consider the Lactose Intolerance Variable
Some people are lactose intolerant and don’t even know it. If you find that you are experiencing bloating after consuming dairy products, you very well may have that condition. If you do, then you should be avoiding dairy products altogether, and the problem should resolve itself on its own.
7. Avoid Gassy, Raw Veggies
Some vegetables cause more gas during digestion than others do, and eating them raw adds to the trouble. Veggies to avoid if you have bloating issues are broccoli, cauliflower, baked beans, lentils, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, peppers of all kinds, onions, and Lima beans. When you do eat these vegetables, try to eat them cooked to avoid gas buildup.
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