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8 diet tips to beat a bloated stomach

Photo: Getty Images / Carlo107

Either your jeans have shrunk or your stomach has grown and there is a risk this is the latter. You train and eat properly, so what about the bloating going on? Sometimes the culprit is obvious (hello, last night's hormones and burrito)!) But sometimes your healthy habits are the cause.

Read your stomach for five surprising reasons – plus advice on how to inflate the ASAP abdomen.

Belly Bloat Cause # 1: Pre-Workout Fluid Delivery

It is important to drink plenty of fluids in hot weather to prevent dehydration, especially during exercise. In addition, the steady swallowing of water results in healthy digestion by directing the food through the system, says Christie Achenbach, RD, nutritionist in Destin, FL, who specializes in sports nutrition but has too much trouble before training swells Belly on.

The belly is bloated Rx: To avoid this cloudy, overcrowded sensation, drink about 1

6 to 24 ounces of water one to two hours before training. This should give your body plenty of time to absorb the needed fluid and eliminate the remainder, says Eamonn Quigley, MD, a gastroenterologist at the Houston Methodist Hospital. Then fill your tank with another 8 ounces about 15 minutes before leaving and drink regularly during exercise to make sure you are well hydrated. (See also: I drank twice as much water as usual – here's what happened)

Bloat belly Cause # 2: Refuel with sports gels and beans

These sticky, chewing munchies give you one much needed boost when you need energy is displayed during a workout or a race. The problem is that most of them deliver a quick dose of carbohydrates in the form of fructose and / or maltodextrin, two forms of concentrated fruit that many people find difficult to digest. "Some studies show that up to 50 percent of people in the United States can not digest fructose without GI symptoms," says Kristi King, spokesman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Even if you are not one of them, smeared gels and jelly beans can still make you bloated and sultry. "Most athletes consume these products as fast as they can, which means that the sugar is quickly thrown from the stomach into the small intestine, which can lead to cramping, flatulence and diarrhea," says King.

Inflate the abdomen Rx: Begin with half a pack during exercise and rinse with a few drops of water to dilute the carbohydrates and help your body absorb them. If you are still having problems, eat a banana or some orange slices instead. They are both relatively low in fructose and therefore easier to digest.

Stomach Spit Cause # 3: Too much fiber

"Many women change their diet drastically when they're in the bikini season," says Tamara Duker Freuman, RD, a nutritionist in New York City specializing in indigestion. "If you are used to lower-fiber meals and suddenly eat a lot of fruit, salads and bran cereals, you will be significantly bloated." That's because you do not have the right bacteria in the gut to digest the increased amount of fiber. We all have trillions of bacteria in the gut that help us to process the food that's hard on the stomach and intestines, Dr. Quigley. "When undigested food reaches your large intestine, bacteria feed on it and produce gas," he explains. The type of bacteria in your gut is partly determined by what you eat, and some species produce more gas than others. Without the right type, fibrous foods, which are normally slower to digest, remain longer in the gut, allowing bacteria plenty of time to feed and produce gas. Not only that, but "everything from energy bars to yogurt is fortified with fiber today," says Joy Bauer, author of The Joy Fit Club: Cookbook, Diet Plan, and Inspiration . "It's a problem because they typically contain large amounts of inulin, a fermentable fiber that can cause gas and bloating in large quantities."

Inflate Your Belly Rx: Make your belly fiber-friendly by gradually building tolerance by adding 5 grams or less of fruit and vegetables each week until you reach the recommended 25-35 grams per day. "Some people have a hard time with beans, while others have a bigger problem with broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables," says Freuman. "Start by increasing your fruit and vegetable intake with just one meal to help you keep track of what causes most problems, and over time, your gut bacteria population will reach a new 'normal' baseline and your body will adapt to volume Gas they generate without feeling uneasy. "Scan labels for inulin, which is also called chicory root extract or chicory root fiber. "If it's the first ingredient, the food contains some of it," says Freuman. Avoid it to avoid bloating.

Belly Bloat Cause # 4: Popping Vitamins

Many supplements contain additives and fillers, says King. Common ones are lactose or wheat – a problem for those who are lactose or gluten intolerant – and sugar alcohols like mannitol or xylitol, which are infamous flatulence because they tend to digest slower than other carbohydrates, making gut bacteria abundant time, to enjoy them and to produce gas.

The belly is bloated Rx: Look for a multivitamin with a short list of ingredients that contains few hard-to-pronounce words (they often show additives to fillers) and avoid all sugar alcohols listed on this list, Lactose or gluten, which may also be called wheat germ, food glaze, cornflour or hydrolysed vegetable protein, if they are listed. "Supplements are not regulated by the FDA, so all ingredients may not be listed on the label," explains King. Safer's: Get your daily dose of vitamins and minerals by eating a variety of whole foods. (See Also: Are Dietary Supplements Really Safe?)

Stomach Spit Cause # 5: Snacking on Protein Bars

"These bars often contain whey protein concentrate or milk protein concentrate, which causes lactation in people who have difficulty digesting," Lactose says Freuman. Others are made with soy protein concentrate, which can produce gas because it is a bean product and contains both protein and indigestible, fermentable carbohydrates. (Related: Is it healthy to eat a protein bar every day?)

The belly is bloated Rx: Look for bars containing proteins that are usually easier to tolerate, such as nut or rice proteins Or whey protein isolate (as opposed to concentrate), which contains a higher proportion of pure protein and less lactose than other forms. "You can pay a little more, but it's worth it," says Freuman.

3 Bonus Tips to Quickly Dissolve the Belly

  • Eat a Banana Daily . The potassium contained in it prevents bloating. "When the potassium level is low, the body retains extra sodium and stays in water," says Bauer. Other potassium rich foods include tomatoes; mushrooms; dark leafy vegetables such as spinach and chard; and fish like salmon and halibut.
  • spoon more yogurt. Check the labels to find one that contains bifidobacteria. "Some studies show that these bacteria can reduce bloating and flatulence," says Dr. Quigley. (Fage Total Greek Yogurt and Activia both contain bifido.) You can also place a probiotic supplement like Align that contains it.
  • Minimize your abs. "Many people are not really bloated at all, they've just developed to loosen up their abdominal muscles and tighten their diaphragm, making them look bloated and drowsy because their stomach sticks out," says Brennan Spiegel. MD, Associate Professor of Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Learn to contract your abs instead. Imagine someone would punch you in the stomach and pull your navel toward your spine. Practice exercising your abdominals several times for five to ten seconds. Hold your breath. Once you get used to the feeling, remember to do it regularly throughout the day so that it becomes a habit and you do not look or feel so bloated.

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