We’ve all had days where we feel a lot like the Michelin Man. Certain foods can wreak havoc on our stomachs and cause rough bouts of bloating. Often, this comes with an with a decrease in energy that is less than ideal for our productivity.
A natural digestive ailment that happens when gas builds up in our intestinal tracts and stomach, that sensation of fullness and swelling is fairly common. But this look can actually affect our mood and self-esteem as our body bloats up as a reaction from the breakdown of gas.
If you have plans to take a beach trip or be part of a wedding party this spring but feel puffier than normal, don't give up hope -- it is possible to de-bloat in just a day.
It might sound odd to drink more water when you’re bloated, but hydrating can be an effective method in reducing bloat. In this case, caffeine is not your lifeline. When we don’t receive adequate hydration, our bodies cling onto excess water. This reaction produced by our osmoreceptors, or sensory receptors, causes bloating in the hands, face and feet — not to mention, body exhaustion. Drink loads of water -- swap beverages like coffee for water often as this aids in a quick de-bloat.
Don’t Chat While You Chow
Since bloat is the swelling of gas in the abdomen, if you eat while talking or in a rush, or even take big gulps through a straw, you’re actually increasing bloating by swallowing pockets of air. Nutritionists advise to eat slowly with your mouth closed, lose the straw and cut back on chewing gum. Gum is the number one way to swallow extra air and intensify the bloat.
Ice Your Face
After a night of drinking with friends, you might wake up to puffy chipmunk cheeks. But there are ways to hide the evidence of your festive antics from the night before and look like the darling Womanista you are. Since alcohol causes your face to look puffy from the pressure of trapped gas, icing your face de-bloats instantaneously. Concentrating on the puffiest parts, grab an ice cube, bag of frozen veggies or buy a water-filled mask you can refrigerate and place on the area for at least 10 minutes.
Cut Back on Salt
Foods that are high in salt not only amplify water retention, but also induce that undesirable belly bloat and puffiness. Cut back on salty snacks, canned soups and fast food. As a mineral commonly found in processed and packaged foods, sodium can affect more than your digestion. Besides bloating, over time it can put a lot of stress on your heart and health. Instead, read labels carefully and prepare home-cooked versions of the foods you love.
While all fruits are fair game and ideal for a healthy diet, a few can actually puff you up. Favorites like apples, pears, cherries and mangoes boast nutritional benefits but alo have a lot of natural sugar and sugar alcohols like fructose and sorbitol. These sugar alcohols are either metabolized very slowly in the body or indigestible. Alternatively, opt for oranges, bananas, watermelons, strawberries and blueberries. Not only do they help with flattening your tummy and reduce bloat, but they have less sugar content and are packed with water.
Pay Attention to Fiber Intake
While foods with high fiber content can help us feel fuller, longer, an immediate intake of fiber can be tough to digest for those of us who aren't used to it. This abrupt integration into your diet creates gas and puffs you up. Look towards soluble fibers that retain water in a helpful way and ease that gas. Cut back on high-fiber foods, whole grains and beans. As an alternative, integrate more natural diuretic fibers like cucumbers, zucchini, asparagus, spinach and quinoa — a food rich in de-bloating minerals with magnesium and potassium.