In the hours between getting up and going to bed, the belly can undergo waist altering machinations. The pants that zipped easily in the morning are putting painful strain on our tummies by midday.
We understand the consequences of eating a whole row of Oreos for lunch, but some days, even a diet based on Spartan self-control can’t prevent a gas crisis by midday.
Here are a few bloat dodging tips to get a flatter stomach for a special occasion. Most are safe enough for everyday use.
You may have a food allergy. Two common ones are wheat allergies and lactose (a sugar found in milk) intolerance. These can easily be confirmed by a doctor. If you test positive, then replace wheat with other whole grains and eat aged cheese and yogurt which have much less lactose than milk.
Don’t eat too fast and don’t chew gum. Speed eating and gum chewing cause you to swallow air which causes burping, bloating, and other uncomfortable side effects.
Chew your food. Digestion starts in the mouth. When we swallow the food without chewing it well, the stomach has to work harder, causing, you guessed it: bloating.
Don’t drink fizzy drinks with meals. Carbonation causes gas. Drinks that help eliminate gas and aid digestion include peppermint tea and ginger tea.
Cut back on artificial sweeteners. The ones known as sugar alcohols (Sorbitol, Xylitol, Mannitol, Maltitol, etc.) are particularly irritating to the stomach.
Watch for hidden sodium. It’s a major cause of water retention and bloating. Processed foods can hide huge amounts of sodium that we’d miss if we didn’t read the label. Look for 500mg or less per serving.
Even good foods cause gas. Beans, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower are some of the healthiest foods we can eat. But if you want a flatter stomach for an important occasion, avoid eating them the day of the event.
Don’t get too hungry. The longer you wait between meals the more likely you are to eat too much. Eat smaller meals more often.
What goes in must come out. Constipation is a major cause of bloating. Fiber, fluids and physical activity are the first thing to tweak. Women need at least 25 gms of fiber, 6-8 cups of water, and about 30 minutes of physical activity a day.