Weight gain, bloat and gas are all factors that can attribute to a not-so-flat stomach. Exercise and proper nutrition are necessary to get rid of excess fat around your belly; however, there are a few eating strategies to get rid of bloat due to water weight and gas. Following these nutritional tips will help reduce belly bloat, giving you a flatter stomach in just a few short days.
Avoid Gassy Foods
Pass on gas-forming foods. Most everyone knows to steer clear of fatty foods to help avoid gas, but vegetables can also be a culprit. Broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and even lettuce can cause gas buildup in the intestines. To help flatten your stomach, avoid all gas-forming foods and choose foods that are easy for the body to break down and digest like bananas, citrus, yogurt, eggs and rice.
Lower Carb-to-Protein Ratio
Lower your carb-to-protein ratio. The way you combine your foods can have a direct impact on your digestive system. Eating hard-to-digest complex carbohydrates with hard-to-break-down proteins can cause a major gas effect on your stomach. Potatoes, rice and bread are all complex carbs that need an alkaline environment for proper digestion. Proteins such as lean beef, turkey, chicken and fish need an acidic environment to break down properly. When you combine these two types of foods, it is very hard on the digestive system and can cause excess air to trap in the intestines, causing gas bloat. To get a flat stomach, eat your proteins with easier-to-digest carbohydrates like asparagus, zucchini, squash and tomato.
Skip the Salt
Skip the salt. Eating foods high in sodium and adding table salt to your food causes your body to retain fluid. Water-weight retention makes you appear puffy, especially in the stomach. According to the Mayo Clinic, the main source of sodium in the average person's diet comes from processed foods. If you love the salty over the sweet, pick foods that are fresh and have natural sodium levels to curb your cravings. Carrots, cucumbers and cantaloupe are some foods that will help satisfy salt cravings without packing on fluid retention.
Stay hydrated to keep your belly flat. Fluid retention, water weight, is caused by not drinking enough water. Also, by replacing other beverages with water, you cut out unwanted calories, caffeine and sodium, which cause bloat and weight gain. To prevent water retention, drink a minimum of eight 8-oz. glasses of water a day. When combined with soluble fiber in your diet, water also softens stool, helping to prevent constipation.
READ MORE: What Does Fiber Do for Your Body?
Having difficulty drinking enough water? Add a few slices of fruit for some flavor.
Skip the Extras
Excess air in your digestive system leads to gas and bloating. Treats such as chewing gum and carbonated beverages should be avoided if you experience bloating. Chewing gum causes you to swallow more frequently, allowing more air to be swallowed. Sugar alcohols present in some sugar-free gums can also cause gas. Carbonated beverages automatically deliver extra air into your digestive system as you drink, which may also make it harder for you to keep your tummy flat.