One of a woman’s worst enemies is bloating. It’s a sneaky side effect of too much sodium, that time of month, not enough water, and so many other random reasons. The feeling leaves you wanting to pull on a pair of your most comfortable sweatpants (you know, the ones with the bleach stains and that stay up by the thread of the tie that was once there) and an oversized t-shirt you’ve had since you played varsity sports in high school. Fortunately there are steps you can take to “beat the bloat” and avoid the feeling all together.
Leave high sodium foods off of your grocery list.
As tempting as that bag of chips is to go with the fresh made salsa you just tossed in your shopping cart, avoid it all together. Foods that are high in sodium are a huge cause of bloating and though they may be delicious, they should be consumed in extreme moderation. Checking the sodium levels of your food versus the calorie count will help tremendously with managing the bloat. Try adding low sodium foods to your grocery list to replace the foods you would normally get.
Drink more water.
This may seem like a broken record but drinking more water is one of the best ways to keep off bloating. When you are bloated, your body is retaining water and is more than likely storing the water it does have to keep hydrated. Make sure you’re drinking the recommended 8 glasses a day. If it’s hard, try making a challenge to drink more water with your friends or mark times on your water bottle to make sure you’re drinking water throughout the day.
Get that fiber.
Fiber is a huge help for reducing bloating because it helps your body process things more quickly by moving them through your intestines at a faster rate. No, you don’t have to add things that taste like cardboard to your diet. Instead eat things like fresh berries, avocados, kiwis, whole grains, etc…to your diet. These options are tasty ways to make sure you’re adding enough fiber into your diet.
Eat less food that creates gas.
You probably just cringed at the thought of foods that creating gas but it’s the hard truth. Dairy products, beans, onions, sodas or any carbonated beverage; are all known to create gas and can create discomfort and bloating. It doesn’t mean that you have to cut them out of your life completely but it would be wise to reduce your intake of them.
Put the cranberry vodka down.
As fun as it might be to go out with your friends and bar hop on the weekends, alcohol causes dehydration which causes water retention. Yes, this means drinking alcohol causes bloating. There’s a reason why bloating accompanies your hangovers and in turn can make you feel worse. If you plan on going out, make sure you drink a lot of water beforehand as it can help keep the bloat down as well as reduce your hangover.
Eat your bananas.
Foods that have a lot of potassium such as bananas, mangoes, spinach, nuts, etc… are all high in potassium. This mineral helps to regulate your body’s fluid which means it can prevent bloating. If you have trouble adding these into your diet, try making a smoothie with ingredients like bananas and spinach paired with soy milk and a few dates for sweetness.
Opt for mints instead of gum.
It’s easy to grab a pack of gum at the grocery store checkout counter because you want to have quick relief from bad breathe. Gum causes you to swallow air which gets trapped in your belly and in turn leads to bloating. Instead of getting gum to freshen up your breathe, purchase a tin of mints to keep in your purse or even a travel sized bottle of mouthwash. You’ll thank us later.
Eat less carbs in the evening.
When you eat at night, it’s easy to go for heavier carb-loaded options like breads and pastas. Eating them means that you are likely to retain water. Which means if you eat them right before bed time, you will more than likely wake up bloated in the morning. If you space out your dinner with a few hours before bed time, you should be in the clear.
Toss the artificial sweeteners.
Justifying the use of artificial sweeteners is easy when you see that they are zero calories. But apart from having the same effect of sugar and turning into fat more quickly, the sugar substitutes also create gas which means bloat-city. Try to use sugar in the raw or agave syrup to add a bit of sweetness to your coffee. If you absolutely need a sugar substitute, go for something like Stevia which is produced from an actual plant and is a natural substitute.
Take your vitamins.
When it’s about to be that time of month and your least favorite friend is coming to visit, make sure you’re taking the proper vitamins. By adding a magnesium supplement and calcium supplement into your diet, you are preparing your body for that dreaded week. The nutrients in these supplements are known to help with bloating as well as other symptoms during your period.