You’re going to the beach, planning to wear a new dress or off on a date – but there’s one thing making you feel uncomfortable and lethargic: a bloated stomach. Sound familiar?
Bloating is very common amongst women, and just plain annoying! However, with a bit of health advice it is usually very easy to combat. We’ve spoken to weight loss expert Bonnie Taub-Dix, author of “Read It Before You Eat It” to get the low down on what causes bloating and which foods you should avoid! Read on and get ready for a flat stomach!
CK: Hi Bonnie, is it a myth that carbs cause a bloated stomach?
Bonnie: It’s best to include carbs in your every day diet, but those coming from fruits, veggies and whole grains are the best. For some people, high fibre foods may be bloating, like bran for example, but they are so important for good health. Start slowly and increase your portions as you need to – although this may cause some bloat early on, drink plenty of fluids and soon you’ll see that fibre helps to beat bloat!
CK: What are the effects of wheat on bloating, many people tend to struggle with this?
Bonnie: Wheat and carbs are not necessarily the problem, but like any other food – too many carbs could be the problem as when we eat them, we have a tendency to overdo it. One main dish of pasta is like eating 5 slices of bread. Picture what that looks like in your stomach – not to mention the trimmings!
CK: Should we reduce our salt intake even more around our periods to reduce water weight?
Bonnie: Be careful not to overdo salty foods – salt attracts water like a magnet making you feel puffy. Although you may crave salt around this time – proceed with caution or that swollen feeling will make you feel like you created another troubling symptom.
CK: How can we stop vegetables and fruit making us bloated?
Bonnie: Not all veggies are gas-producing, but unfortunately, some of the healthiest ones are (like broccoli, cauliflower, Brusselssprouts, eggplant, melon, grapes.). The key is to have smaller quantities of these types, perhaps mixed with other veggies (like spinach, carrots, zucchini). This way, you will still meet your daily requirements and feel full without feeling stuffed.
CK: What are your top foods to eat for a flat stomach?
Bonnie: Water, water and water! The best way to be sure that food is not “hanging out” in your intestines is to wash them out of your system. Water has the bonus side effect of being great for your skin too.
CK: What are your top foods to avoid for a flat stomach?
Bonnie: Frozen yogurt is notorious for creating bloat. Watch out for carbonated beverages too, even if they don’t have calories as the bubbles can make you feel gassy. Don’t forget to read labels carefully; foods made with sugar alcohols can cause you to feel very uncomfortable. Most of these end in the letters ‘ol’ like sorbitol.
CK: Aside from crunches, what other lifestyle changes can we do to get a flat stomach?
Bonnie: Eat slowly, don’t chew gum and don’t drink through a straw. It might also be a good idea to try and eat smaller meals and snacks instead of loading up at mealtime. Smaller portions may bring less of that bloated, ready-to-burst feeling. You can also try a mug of chamomile, ginger, peppermint or anise tea after a meal. These are all tummy-relieving!
Take on Bonnie’s advice and you should be feeling svelte in no time and ready to show off that flat stomach! Here are some dresses in spring’s summery shades, to flaunt your gorgeous curves! Enjoy!
Special Thanks To: Bonnie Taub-Dix, MA,RD,CDN, author of “Read It Before You Eat It” and weight loss expert in New York. Her website is betterthandieting.net and you can follow her on twitter @eatsmartbd or on Facebook: http://tinyurl.com/bonnietaubdixfacebookfanpage