Bloated belly crampin’ your style? Try these flat tummy tips.
Ah, bloating—the unwelcome, uncomfortable belly full of gas that can make you feel like a not-so-hot air balloon. If excess gas is cramping your style (and giving you cramps), give these tips a try and kiss your puffy tummy goodbye.
Eat and sip slowly. Slowing down at mealtimes can not only help you eat more mindfully (and maybe even lose weight!), but it can also help you swallow less air, which helps reduce bloating.
Kick the salt habit. Salt encourages your body retain water, which can cause you to look and feel puffy. For optimal health (and a flat tummy), the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends no more than 2,300 mg of salt a day. (People with high blood pressure, heart failure, or other health issues might need to consume even less.) Read food labels to watch for sneaky sodium, like in processed, frozen, or canned foods.
Be mindful of gas-producing foods. Certain foods, like beans, broccoli, or brussels sprouts, are packed with vitamins and minerals, but they can also cause gas. Eat them slowly or take an anti-gas OTC product that contains the enzyme alpha-galactosidase (Beano) or simethicone (Gas-X) beforehand.
Avoid bubbly drinks. Fizzy drinks—like soda, champagne, or beer—are fun, but they’re also full of air bubbles which can lead to bloating. Sip water or unsweetened tea instead.
Say “no” to foods labeled “sugar-free.” While sugar-free chocolates and cakes may seem like a dieter’s dream come true, the sugar alcohols they contain can lead to bloating. If you’re craving something sweet, you’re better off having a small treat made with real sugar—but watch those portions.
Pump up the fiber. A high-fiber diet has many benefits, like reducing the risk of obesity, heart disease and diabetes, but it can also help tame your tummy woes by moving things along and keeping your digestive system healthy. Try this high-fiber berry chia smoothie bowl.
Sure, it’s annoying, but remember that occasional gas is perfectly natural. If you’ve given these tricks a try and you’re still bugged by the belly bloat, check with your doctor. You may have food allergies or intolerances.
Probiotic Bacteria Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM and Bifidobacterium lactis Bi-07 Versus Placebo for the Symptoms of Bloating in Patients with Functional Bowel Disorders. Chapel Hill, NC: 2015. (Accessed on November 6, 2017 at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4372813/)
Eating, Diet, & Nutrition for Gas in the Digestive Tract. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, 2016. (Accessed on November 6, 2017 at https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/gas-digestive-tract/eating-diet-nutrition)
Irritable bowel syndrome: What helps—and what doesn’t. National Library of Medicine, 2016. (Accessed on November 6, 2017 at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0072599/)
Get the Facts: Sodium and Dietary Guidelines. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2017. (Accessed on November 6, 2017 at https://www.cdc.gov/salt/pdfs/sodium_dietary_guidelines.pdf)