What’s worse than going to work on Monday morning? Opening your closet, grabbing your favorite pair of slacks, and realizing that you can’t even zip it up. Your belly’s swollen so much, making you look (and feel) like a fat beached whale.
Bloating is a common problem. It can be triggered by many causes, from fluid retention to a bad case of gas. Here are some ways to deal with bloating, so you can get it under control—and your body back into your favorite clothes.
Bloating tip # 1: Eat a banana.
Bananas are rich in potassium, which can help regulate your body’s fluid levels. Other potassium rich foods are tomatoes, nuts, and spinach. Mangoes also have a lot of potassium, but are unfortunately high in sugar as well. So if you’re on a weight loss program, keep your portion small. Our best anti-bloating vegetable, however, is asparagus. Not only does it contain potassium, but it has an amino acid named asparagine that can even cause your body to flush out extra fluids.
Bloating tip # 2: Don’t eat gum.
Gum makes you swallow extra air (and can even cause wrinkles—check out our article on surprising wrinkle-causing habits). Other culprits are drinking through a straw and smoking. You may also want to avoid talking a lot while you’re eating.
Bloating tip # 3: Don’t eat carbs after 6 p.m.
Some starches found in bread and noodles can trigger fluid retention. We’re not saying that you should cut off all carbs, but don’t eat them anywhere near bedtime if you don’t want to wake up with a swollen tummy.
Bloating tip # 4: Avoid carbonated drinks.
Not only are sodas packed with empty calories that will end up right on your hips, the air in the drinks could make you feel gassy and as swollen as a balloon. You’re better of drinking water or coconut juice, a diuretic which will also help you release excess fluid.
Bloating tip # 5: Avoid artificial sweeteners
Sugar substitutes, particularly those that contain sorbitol, has been linked to diarrhea and gas. If you have a tendency to get bloated, get real sugar instead. If you’re on a weight loss program, just use very small amounts of sugar, or go for the healthier brown sugar.
Bloating tip # 6: Drink milk
Bloating often occurs right before you get your period. It’s one of the symptoms of PMS. So if you know you’re due in a couple of days, combat PMS symptoms by taking calcium rich foods like milk, and a magnesium supplement (about 200 to 400 milligrams). Some women also say that Midol contains mild diuretics, and can also help with menstrual cramps.
Bloating tip # 7: Take yoghurt
Yoghurt contains probiotics or good bacteria that can help alleviate bloating, constipation and diarrhea.
Bloating tip # 8: Exercise.
Even just 20 minutes of exercise a day will help your digestive tract (preventing constipation and gassiness). Plus, you sweat off the extra fluids. You can try these crunches which will help prevent bloating and tone your abdominal muscles too.
Photo from webmd.com