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Eighteen ways to reduce bloating

Quick fixes are not always effective for some causes of bloating. However, people who have frequent bloating may find that certain lifestyle changes can tackle the causes and reduce bloating over time.

People can use these simple steps to try to prevent bloating in the long-term:

8. Increase fiber gradually

Share on PinterestIncreasing fiber intake may help to treat bloating.

Eating more fiber helps to prevent constipation and bloating. Most people in America do not get enough fiber, with only 5 percent of people meeting their recommended daily fiber intake of 25 grams (g) for females and 38 g for males.

However, it is important to bear in mind that eating too much fiber or increasing fiber intake too quickly can cause even more gas and bloating. People may notice adverse effects from eating more than 70 g of fiber a day.

When increasing fiber intake, it is best to start slowly and increase the intake over several weeks to allow the body to adjust to this change in the diet.

9. Replace sodas with water

Fizzy, carbonated drinks contain gas that can build up in the stomach. The carbon dioxide that makes soda and similar beverages fizzy can also cause bubbling and bloating in the stomach.

Sugars or artificial sweeteners in the diet can also cause gas and bloating. Drinking water eliminates these issues and helps to treat constipation as well.

10. Avoid chewing gum

The sugar alcohols in gum can cause bloating in some people. Swallowing air while chewing also may lead to bloating and gas pain. People can use ginger mints or peppermints to freshen their breath instead.

11. Get more active every day

Exercise helps your body move stool and gas out of the colon and may make bowel movements more regular. Exercise also releases extra sodium from the body through sweating, which can help to relieve water retention.

It is vital to drink plenty of water before and after exercising to stay hydrated, as dehydration can make constipation worse.

12. Eat at regular intervals

Many people experience bloating directly after a big meal. It is possible to avoid this by eating several smaller meals each day, which can help to keep the digestive system moving.

Swallowing food quickly can introduce air into the digestive tract. Drinking from a straw can also lead to people swallowing more air, which in turn leads to gas and bloating. People who have bloating should avoid using straws if possible and try eating slowly to avoid swallowing air during meals.

13. Try probiotics

Probiotics are good bacteria that live in the intestines. Taking a probiotic supplement may help to regulate the colon bacteria that can produce gas and cause bloating.

14. Cut down on salt

An excess of sodium causes the body to retain water. This can cause a swollen and bloated feeling in the belly and other areas of the body, such as the hands and feet.

15. Rule out medical conditions

In some cases, bloating may result from a medical condition. To get rid of this bloating, a person may need help from a doctor to diagnose and manage their condition.

Inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, may cause people to experience bloating. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), can also cause this symptom.

Gynecological conditions, such as endometriosis and ovarian cysts, can also cause pain, swelling, and feelings of bloating in the abdominal area.

People with these symptoms should discuss them with a doctor, who will also want to know about any relevant family medical history and other medical conditions. The doctor may order diagnostic tests to look for any problems. These may include an X-ray, ultrasound, colonoscopy, or blood tests.

16. Consider a low-FODMAP diet

FODMAPs are a type of carbohydrate that occurs in many different foods. A 2012 review article of multiple studies concluded that a low-FODMAP diet might improve symptoms in at least 74 percent of people with IBS. Typical symptoms include bloating, flatulence, and abdominal pain.

17. Keep a food diary

Food intolerances are responsible for many cases of bloating. They can lead to excessive gas in the digestive tract.

Bloating is common in people who have lactose intolerance and are unable to digest the lactose sugar in dairy products. Autoimmune intolerance to gluten, known as celiac disease, is another potential culprit.

For people whose bloating happens after meals, keeping track of food and drink intake for several weeks should help to determine whether specific foods are responsible.

The American Academy of Family Physicians offer tips for keeping a food diary and provide a template for people to get started.

18. Look at supplements and medications

Some supplements, such as iron, can cause constipation and other symptoms of indigestion. This can increase bloating. Potassium, on the other hand, may reduce bloating by helping to balance the body’s sodium levels.

Medications may also cause side effects that affect GI function or cause indigestion. If this happens, a doctor or pharmacist can suggest alternatives that are more gentle on the digestive tract.

Simple Ways to Eliminate Stomach Bloating

Either your jeans shrank or your belly grew, and chances are it’s the latter. You’re exercising and eating right, so what’s up with the bloating? Sometimes the culprit is obvious (hello, hormones and last night’s burrito!), but other times your healthy habits are the cause.

Read on for five surprising reasons your belly can balloon-plus advice on how to get rid of belly bloat ASAP.

Belly Bloat Cause #1: Downing Fluids Before Your Workout

It’s important to drink plenty of fluids when it’s hot out to prevent dehydration, especially when you exercise. Also, steadily sipping water encourages healthy digestion by keeping food moving through your system, says Christie Achenbach, R.D., a dietitian in Destin, FL, who specializes in exercise nutrition. But chugging too much water before your workout makes your belly swell.

The belly bloat Rx: To avoid that sloshy, overfull feeling, drink about 16 to 24 ounces of water one to two hours before exercise. That should allow plenty of time for your body to absorb the needed fluid and eliminate the rest, says Eamonn Quigley, M.D., a gastroenterologist at Houston Methodist Hospital. Then top off your tank with another 8 ounces about 15 minutes before you head out, and sip regularly during your workout to make sure you’re fully hydrated. (Related: I Drank Twice as Much Water as Usual-Here’s What Happened)

Belly Bloat Cause #2: Fueling Up with Sports Gels and Beans

Those gooey, chewy nibbles give you a much-needed boost when your energy is flagging during a workout or a race. The problem is that most of them deliver a quick dose of carbs in the form of fructose and/or maltodextrin, two forms of concentrated fruit that many people have trouble digesting. “Some studies show that up to 50 percent of people in the United States can’t digest fructose without GI discomfort,” says Kristi King, R.D., a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Even if you’re not one of them, gobbling gels and jelly beans can still make you bloated and gassy. “Most exercisers consume these products as fast as they can, which means that the sugar gets dumped from the stomach into the small intestine quickly, and that can cause cramping, bloating, and diarrhea,” King says.

The belly bloat Rx: Start with a half pack during a workout and wash it down with a few swigs of water to dilute the carbs and help your body absorb them. If you still have problems, try eating a banana or some orange slices instead; they’re both fairly low in fructose, so they’re easier to digest.

Image zoom Photo: Getty Images / Carlo107

Belly Bloat Cause #3: Eating Too Much Fiber

“Many women make drastic changes to their diet when it’s bikini season,” says Tamara Duker Freuman, R.D., a nutritionist in New York City who specializes in digestive disorders. “If you’re used to lower-fiber meals and you suddenly start eating a lot of fruit, salads, and bran cereals, you’re going to be significantly bloated.” That’s because you don’t have the right bacteria in your gut to help digest the increased amount of fiber. We all have trillions of bacteria in our intestines, which help us process the food that our stomach and intestines have a hard time breaking down, Dr. Quigley says. “When undigested food reaches your colon, bacteria feed on it and produce gas,” he explains. The type of bacteria that’s in your gut is determined in part by what you eat, and some sorts produce more gas than others. Without the right kind, fibrous foods, which are typically slower to digest, linger in the gut even longer, giving bacteria plenty of time to munch away and create gas. Not only that, but “everything from energy bars to yogurt is fortified with fiber these days,” says Joy Bauer, R.D., 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 may cause gas and bloating when consumed in large quantities.”

The belly bloat Rx: Make your belly fiber-friendly by building up a tolerance gradually, adding 5 grams or fewer from fruits and veggies every week until you reach the recommended daily 25 to 35 grams. “Some people have a really hard time with beans, while others have more of a problem with broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables,” Freuman says. “Start by upping your fruit and vegetable intake at just one meal so you can keep track of what causes the most problems. Over time, your gut bacteria population will reach a new ‘normal’ baseline, and your body will adjust to the volume of gas they produce without experiencing discomfort.” Scan labels for inulin, which is also called chicory root extract or chicory root fiber. “If it’s the first ingredient listed, the food contains quite a bit of it,” says Freuman. Avoid it to avoid bloat.

Belly Bloat Cause #4: Popping Vitamins

Many supplements contain additives and fillers, King says. Common ones include lactose or wheat-a problem for those who are lactose- or gluten-intolerant-and sugar alcohols like mannitol or xylitol, which are notorious bloat culprits because they tend to be slower to digest than other carbs, giving intestinal bacteria plenty of time to feast on them and produce gas.

The belly bloat Rx: Look for a multivitamin with a short ingredient list that contains few difficult-to-pronounce words (they’re often indicative of additives and fillers) and avoid any that list sugar alcohols, lactose, or gluten, which may also be called wheat germ, food glaze, food starch, or hydrolyzed vegetable protein-if they’re listed at all. “Supplements aren’t regulated by the FDA, so all their ingredients may not be noted on the label,” King explains. A safer bet: Get your daily dose of vitamins and minerals by eating a variety of whole foods. (Related: Are Dietary Supplements Really Safe?)

Belly Bloat Cause #5: Snacking On Protein Bars

“These bars often contain whey-protein concentrate or milk protein concentrate, which causes bloating in people who have trouble digesting lactose,” Freuman says. Others are made with soy protein concentrate, which can be gas-inducing because it’s a bean product and contains indigestible, fermentable carbs in addition to protein. (Related: Is it Healthy to Eat a Protein Bar Every Day?)

The belly bloat Rx: Look for bars with proteins that are typically easier to tolerate, like nut or rice proteins or whey protein isolate (as opposed to concentrate), which contains a higher percentage of pure protein and less lactose than other forms. “You may pay a little more, but it’s worth it,” Freuman says.

Bonus Tips to Get Rid of Stomach Bloat Fast

  • Eat a banana every day. The potassium it contains helps prevent bloat. “When potassium is low, the body retains extra sodium and holds on to water,” says Bauer. Other potassium-rich foods include tomatoes; mushrooms; dark leafy greens, like spinach and Swiss chard; and fish like salmon and halibut.
  • Try probiotics for bloating. Sometimes bloating can be caused by an imbalance of the bacteria in your intestines, especially if you have been taking antibiotics to treat, say, a urinary tract infection or sinus infection, explains Sita Chokhavatia, M.D., a gastroenterologist at Valley Health System in Ridgewood, New Jersey. Probiotics can help restore the bacterial balance, but not all brands have proven that they work: Bifidobacterium infantis is the only probiotic for bloating that studies show relieves GI symptoms a Northwestern University review found. Dr. Chokhavatia recommends trying a two-week course to see if it helps. (Try
  • Spoon more yogurt. In related news, seek out those specific probiotic strains in yogurt if you prefer to eat your dose. Check labels to find one that contains bifidobacteria. “Some studies show that these bacteria can reduce flatulence and bloating,” says Dr. Quigley. (Fage Total Greek Yogurt and Activia both contain bifido.)
  • Contract your abs. “Many people aren’t actually bloated at all; they’ve just developed a habit of relaxing their abdominal muscles and contracting their diaphragm, which makes them look and feel bloated because their stomachs are sticking out,” says Brennan Spiegel, M.D., an associate professor of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Learn to contract your abs instead. Imagine someone is about to punch you in the gut, and pull your belly button in toward your spine. Practice contracting your abs for five to 10 seconds several times, being sure not to hold your breath. Once you get used to the feeling, remind yourself to do it periodically throughout the day so that it becomes a habit, and you won’t look or feel as bloated.

  • By Ginny Graves

What is bloating?

Bloating can be described as the feeling that there is an inflated balloon in the abdomen. It is a commonly reported symptom and is sometimes associated with distension, or the visible increase in the width of the area between your hips and chest (abdominal girth).

Both bloating and distension cause discomfort, and sometimes pain, and have a negative impact on the quality of life for some individuals. The symptoms may be linked with other gas related complaints, such as burping or belching (eructation), swallowing air (aerophagia), and passing intestinal gas (flatulence).

Learn more about controlling intestinal gas

Frequency of reporting of abdominal bloating in individuals with FGIDs
– IBS: 23%-96%
– Functional dyspepsia: 50%
– Chronic constipation: 56%

Some people with functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs) and motility disorders frequently experience bloating, distension, or both as symptoms of their conditions. There is also something called functional bloating, which is fullness and or/distension of the abdomen, not associated with changes in bowel movements.

Causes

While researchers have proposed several different explanations for bloating and distension, there is no conclusive answer as to why the two symptoms occur.

Possible reasons for bloating and distension include:

  • Too much gas in the intestine
  • Abnormal levels of bacteria in the small intestine (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth – SIBO)
  • Imbalance of microorganisms that usually live in the bowel (dysbacteriosis); sometimes the result of taking antibiotics
  • Food intolerance
  • Increased perception and sensitivity to what is happening in the digestive tract
  • Increased curvature of the lumbar region of the spine (lumbar lordosis), which decreases the capacity of the abdomen to hold gas

These tests include:

  • Stool analysis
  • Blood workup
  • Abdominal x-rays
  • Barium swallow
  • Small transit follow through
  • Barium enema
  • Gastric emptying tests
  • Esophageal, antroduodenal, or anorectal manometry
  • Colonic transit studies
  • Breath test
  • Upper endoscopy
  • Colonoscopy with biopsies

Learn how to prepare for tests

Individuals can help their physicians by describing their complaints as accurately and concisely as possible. With regard to bloating and distension, here are some important questions to ask and details to tell your health care provider (keeping track of the things that trigger your symptoms is a good way to discover the answers):

Did you know that Spanish and some other languages don’t have a word for “bloating”? People use the words “swelling” and “inflammation,” or describe it as “feeling pregnant.” Using the balloon analogy can be the most helpful. Let your doctor know exactly whether you have the sensation of having a balloon in your abdomen (bloating), the truly visible increase in your abdominal girth (distension), or both.

Things to Ask your Doctor:

  • Am I bloated?
  • Am I distended?
  • Am I both bloated and distended?

Things to Tell your Doctor:

  • Is the symptom located in the upper or lower abdomen?
    Is it in a concentrated area?
  • Is your bloating or distension associated with burping?
  • Do you experience nausea or vomiting?
  • Is the symptom associated with pain in your abdomen?
    Upper or lower?
  • Does the bloating or distension relate to passing gas or a change in your bowel habits (diarrhea, constipation, or alternation of both)?
  • Are your symptoms related to food? Which ones?
  • Do they occur right after eating?
  • Do your symptoms increase during the day or improve during night hours?

Medications and other therapies

Some medications and other treatments have been found to help ease the symptoms of bloating and distension. Your doctor may talk to you about some of these options, depending on your symptoms and other health related considerations.

Antispasmodics: These can relax the muscles of the bowel and provide relief. Examples include dicyclomine (Bentyl) and hyoscyamine (Levsin) in the United States and otilonium bromide or pinaverium bromide available in Latin America and some countries in Europe and Asia and a combination of pinaverium bromide with simethicone (Alevian Duo) in some Latin America countries.

Learn more about antispasmodics

Probiotics: These dietary supplements contain live bacteria that help balance out the existing bacteria of the intestines. Some that include a relatively low level of probiotic bacteria are available over the counter or in yogurt varieties. Other options include Bifidobacterium infantis 35624 for individuals with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in general, and Bifidobacterium animalis DN-0173 10 for patients with IBS with constipation (IBS-C).

Learn more about probiotics

Rifaximin: This antibiotic is only slightly absorbed and can be used for short periods of time. Usually it is used (off-label) to lessen bloating in people with IBS whose symptoms do not include constipation, or in those with small intestinal bacterial overgrowth.

Prokinetics: These are medications that improve the time it takes for food to travel through the digestive tract. Some prokinetics have been shown to improve bloating. A person’s age, health and other considerations must be taken into account for these therapies and availabilities vary from country to country.

Learn more about prokinetics (also called promotility agents)

Antidepressants: These drugs affect receptors in the gut and in the brain. Given in lower dosages than what is used to treat depression, they have been shown to help alleviate bloating and distension. For example, citalopram (Celexa), an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor), has been shown to help improve bloating in individuals with IBS. Amitryptiline (Elavil), a tricyclic antidepressant, is commonly used to treat pain and discomfort, as well as diarrhea, and may be helpful for bloating.

Other options: Medications that increase fluid content in stools, lubiprostone (Amitiza) or linaclotide (Linzess) for example, may also be used.

Psychological therapies: Treatments including hypnotherapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy can be useful and help with symptoms and mood.

Low FODMAP diet: Working with a doctor or registered dietitian to determine a diet low in FODMAPs is an option for alleviating bloating and distension symptoms. FODMAPs are shortchain carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed in the small intestine and rapidly fermented by bacteria in the gut.

Foods that are rich in FODMAPs include:

  • Fruits such as mangoes, apples, pears, avocados, blackberries, and plums
  • Dairy products like cow, sheep, and goat milk, as well as yogurt, ice cream, and soft cheeses including cottage cheese, cream cheese and mascarpone
  • Honey
  • Vegetables and legumes such as asparagus, bell peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, eggplant, onion, garlic, baked beans, kidney beans, and lentils
  • Sweeteners like sorbitol and maltitol (frequently used in gum and other candies)

Learn more about the low FODMAP diet

Conclusion

Bloating and distension are both very common, for the general population and for those with FGIDs and motility disorders. Either of the two may be very bothersome to individuals that are experiencing the symptoms, as well as challenging to those trying to treat them. There is not a conclusive cause for bloating or distension, nor is there a universally effective treatment. With the help of a physician, individuals can find different treatment options that may help alleviate their symptoms.

For specific guidance regarding personal health questions, we advise consultation with a qualified healthcare professional familiar with your particular circumstances. Be sure to thoroughly discuss treatment options and the use of any medications for treatment with your physician. When prescribed a medication, disclose the use of all other drugs or supplements (whether prescription or over-the-counter) with your physician.

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IFFGD is a nonprofit education and research organization. Our mission is to inform, assist, and support people affected by gastrointestinal disorders.

Our original content is authored specifically for IFFGD readers, in response to your questions and concerns.

If you found this article helpful, please consider supporting IFFGD with a small tax-deductible donation.

Adapted from IFFGD publication #262 by Max Schmulson, MD, Professor of Medicine, National Autonomous University of Mexico-UNAM, Mexico City, Mexico, Published in Digestive Health Matters Vol. 22 No. 1

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The bloating you experience after eating could mean a number of things ranging from gas to lactose intolerance or even overeating, so I consulted an expert, Gerard Mullin, M.D., an integrative gastroenterologist at Johns Hopkins Medical Center in Baltimore. He told me that bloating and distension after eating can result from unbalanced overgrowth of bacteria in the small bowel. Dr. Mullin also said that bacterial fermentation of food produces gas that can increase waist size several inches after a meal.

This condition, known as SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), occurs when there are a lot more bacteria than normal in the small intestine, especially when the excess bacteria are more like those that are normally found in the colon (aka the large intestine). The colon contains more than one billion bacteria per milliliter of fluid, compared to fewer than 10,000 bacteria per milliliter of fluid in the small intestine. Symptoms of SIBO include the bloating and distension you describe, plus flatulence, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.

Fortunately, this condition can be easily diagnosed with a test called the lactulose hydrogen breath test. Before testing, you have to fast for 12 hours. At the start, you blow up a balloon with a single breath of air. Then you eat a small amount of lactulose or glucose (sugars) and blow periodically into a balloon every 15 minutes for three hours or more. Although there are some limitations to this test, in all likelihood it can tell you whether your symptoms are due to SIBO. If so, the treatment is antibiotics in conjunction with specific probiotics for a week or two.

Dr. Mullin suggests consulting a physician who is aware of the connection between your symptoms and SIBO.

Andrew Weil, M.D.

Why you are so bloated – top causes and how to treat them

Whether it’s a bout of holiday tummy, heartburn after a heavy meal, or just occasionally feeling bloated, trouble with your digestive system is one of the top five reasons we visit our GP.

Figures show 70 per cent of people suffer regularly from belly woes, with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), acid reflux and plain old constipation three of the most common causes.

Not many of us are comfortable with talking about our bowel issues, whether it’s food baby related or something more serious which delays us getting help.

It can help to know what is the cause of your bloating – though remember nothing replaces a GP’s advice.

Here are common causes and how to get rid of a bloated stomach.

What are the symptoms of a bloated stomach?

1. Irritable bowel syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome can be painful (Image: Getty)

Could be the cause if: You’ve been bloated on and off for a long time and have also experienced symptoms including pain, constipation and/or ­bouts of diarrhoea.

A common bowel condition, IBS is a functional disorder, which means there’s nothing wrong with the structure of the bowel itself, but the way the gut works is abnormal.

Peter Whorwell, professor of ­medicine and ­gastroenterology at the University of Manchester, says: “We think the gut is over-sensitive in IBS sufferers so its normal ­processes cause the symptoms.”

Bloating is one of the most ­disruptive side effects of IBS. Some women go up a couple of dress sizes and even need different clothes ­depending on whether or not they are ­bloated.

For many, it tends to worsen ­towards the evening, so it can ­disrupt your social life.

There’s no cure for IBS, but you can ­manage the symptoms.

“Cutting out cereal fibre eases symptoms by between 30% and 40% in the majority of ­sufferers,” says Professor Whorwell.

This means avoiding ­wholemeal bread, oats, muesli, digestive biscuits, cereal bars and all breakfast cereals other than Rice Krispies, but white bread, cakes, cream crackers and most biscuits are fine.

Try doing this for three months to see if it helps. Probiotics may also ease symptoms – Holland and Barrett stock these chewable probiotic tablets .

You can also try Activia yoghurts, as the probiotic strain they contain has been shown to help IBS – Sainsbury’s has packs of 4 Activia yoghurts.

You could also try a ­supplement such as BioCare Acidophilus (£21.27 for 60 capsules, on Amazon ), and it’s worth seeing your GP.

Doctors can prescribe medication for you, such as anti-spasmodics, laxatives and ­anti-diarrhoeals.

“There’s no problem taking ­laxatives and anti-diarrhoeals in the long term if you have IBS,” adds Professor Whorwell.

2. Flatulence

Could be the cause if: You are ­passing a lot of wind, but don’t notice any other symptoms.

We all experience flatulence from time to time – it’s perfectly normal to do so up to 15 times a day – and ­sometimes you may not even notice that you are doing it.

While there’s no medical definition of excessive flatulence, if it’s ­bothering you and makes life ­awkward or feels ­uncomfortable, there are steps you can take to reduce it.

Try cutting down on foods that are high in ­non-absorbable carbs. ­Common culprits include beans and pulses, broccoli, cabbage, prunes and apples, and foods containing the sugar ­substitute sorbitol.

These tend to be digested very slowly and can release small amounts of sulphur gas while they pass through the gut.

Nutrition consultant Ian Marber says: “Eat food slowly and ­remember to chew. Without chewing, food is more likely to pass into the gut partially broken down and there’s a ­higher chance it will ferment and produce gas.”

Be aware that, ­occasionally, an underlying health condition – ­including those that are listed here – could also be causing flatulence.

If the problem persists you can use Activated Charcoal Saver Pack here, or Sage Leaf tablets.

3. Coeliac disease aka gluten

Could be the cause if: You often feel tired; you’ve lost weight for no ­apparent reason; you are suffering from ­abdominal pain.

Coeliac disease is an adverse ­reaction to gluten, which is found in wheat, barley and rye and all foods containing them – everything from pasta and bread to pies and some gravies and sauces.

It is an autoimmune ­condition where the body mistakes substances in gluten for a threat and attacks them, leading to damage to the surface of the small bowel, which then ­affects your ability to absorb nutrients from food.

It used to be mainly ­diagnosed in children, but it’s now known people can go undiagnosed into middle age.

If you have these ­symptoms, see your ­doctor and ask to have a blood test for coeliac disease. ­National Institute for Health and Clinical ­Excellence guidelines state that anyone with bloating and other IBS-type symptoms should be tested for it.

If you’re diagnosed, you’ll feel better once you start avoiding all foods ­containing gluten.

For more information about it visit www.coeliac.org.uk.

(Image: GETTY)

4. Hormonal fluctuations

Could be the cause if: You are ­premenstrual or in the early stages of pregnancy.

During pregnancy, and just before your period, levels of the hormone progesterone are raised.

This can slow down gut motility or movement, which means food passes more slowly through the body, leading to bloating and possibly constipation.

You can beat the bloat. Exercise can help improve gut motility and walking for 30 minutes a day could be enough to make the difference.

Remember to also drink plenty of fluids and eat lots of fruit, vegetables and whole grains to avoid constipation.

5. Ovarian cancer

Could be the cause if: Bloating is persistent and you have other ­symptoms such as a perpetual ­feeling of fullness and abdominal pain.

The symptoms of ovarian cancer tend to be quite vague, which is often why it’s diagnosed late when it’s harder to treat, so it’s important to be aware of potential signs. It’s important to go to your doctor rather than self diagnosing.

Target Ovarian Cancer chief ­executive Annwen Jones says: “Key symptoms are bloating that is ­persistent rather than coming and going and increased abdominal size. Look out for ­persistent and frequent abdominal pain, ­difficulty eating and urinary symptoms.

“It’s unlikely your symptoms are caused by a serious problem, but it’s important to be checked out.”

Find out more online by visiting www.targetovariancancer.org.uk.

6. Non-coeliac gluten sensitivity

Could be the cause if: The same as coeliac disease, but may also include joint pain, muscle cramps, leg numbness, weight loss and chronic fatigue.

A newly identified condition, NCGS occurs when you have the ­symptoms of coeliac disease caused by a sensitivity to gluten, but no antibodies show up in blood tests and the gut lining looks normal.

Gastroenterologist Dr Kamran Rostami estimates that for every person with coeliac disease there may be seven with NCGS – that’s up to seven million people.

Not all doctors believe NCGS exists as a separate condition – and there’s no diagnostic test for it yet.

7. Learn your triggers

Knowing what sets off your tummy flare-ups can help reduce their frequency. Buscopan IBS Relief has created a free ‘food diary’ app which can help you identify your food and stress triggers. You can download the app at .

8. Lower stress levels

“Research shows stress can go straight to your stomach, which is why anti-depressants are used for some people with resistant IBS symptoms,” says colorectal surgeon Mr West. “Other drug-free methods are worth trying first, such as hypnotherapy, relaxation techniques and looking at ways to manage your stress day-to-day.”

9. Boost your good bacteria levels

Starting your day with a daily probiotic drink or supplement can raise your gut’s good bacteria level, which can keep your digestive system healthy and could help ease any discomfort. Try Healthspan Super20 Pro (£16.95, from healthspan.co.uk ).

10. Eat early to avoid heartburn

Acid reflux tends to strike at night when you’re lying down, so avoid eating later than 8pm. Try sleeping with an extra pillow to help reduce the backflow of acid and taking a tablet such as Nexium Control (£6.99, from chemists) which blocks acid production.

11. Up your fluid intake

When it comes to fighting constipation, eight glasses of fluid a day can help by flushing waste out of your system and reducing water retention. And the good news is any liquid will do. “We used to think it had to be water, but we now believe any drink, even tea and coffee is fine,” says Mr West.

12. Try the low FODMAP diet

Only recently devised, this has helped many people with IBS, although it’s quite restrictive and can be difficult to follow. It involves avoiding foods – in particular fruit and veg – that contain fermentable sugars known as FODMAPs. These feed the bad bacteria in your gut, releasing the gas that causes uncomfortable bloating, stomach pain and diarrhoea for some. FODMAP foods includes onions, garlic, cauliflower, apples and cabbage. But make sure you get the advice of a registered dietitian first to ensure you don’t miss out on important nutrients.

13. Eat less sugar

Sugar gets the blame for a lot of things, and disrupting gut health is one of them.

“It isn’t known exactly why sugar can lead to an imbalance of beneficial bacteria and non-beneficial bacteria, and bloating, but it’s worth keeping as a treat,” explains Jeannette Hyde.

But don’t replace sugar with unhealthy sugar substitutes.

“Artificial sweeteners, such as those contained in diet drinks, have been shown to cause an unbalance of bacteria in animals, so may be worth avoiding if you want a flat tummy,” warns Jeannette.

Try to reduce the amount of sugar by cutting back on fizzy drinks and sweets. It’s still good to have these from time to time as a treat, however, in excess they can cause digestive issues.

14. Fast for at least 12 hours

“Having a fasting stretch of 12-14 hours between dinner and breakfast can promote weight loss and encourage beneficial bacteria to thrive in the gut which can improve metabolism and balance hunger hormones,” says Jeannette.

“It’s easy to do if you are eating nice and early – say 7pm for dinner and then just having water between then and a 7am breakfast the next day.”

15. Eat a rainbow of fruit and veg

(Image: Getty)

“Often when people have chronic bloating they become nervous of many foods and cut out lots that contain fibre,” says Jeannette.

“For long-term gut health, it’s vital to include lots of different vegetables and some fruit.”

We all have about a kilo and half of bacteria in the digestive tract, mainly in the colon.

“For good health, your colon needs to be thriving with lots of different types of bacteria, and the way to promote it is to feed the bacteria with many types of fibre-rich foods.”

Beat bloating in a week

Nutritional therapist Natalie Lamb has outlined a seven day plan in order to help with bloating. Here are the seven steps:

  1. Start taking a multi-strain probiotic.

  2. Use apple cider vinegar before each meal to support digestive function.

  3. Reduce simple sugars and refined carbohydrates.

  4. Start eating more fibre.

  5. Drink cups of homemade bone stock or including it in soups and stews.

  6. Leave legumes to soak well overnight. It will ease their digestion if they cause you bloating.

  7. Relax more. Stress is known to reduce the levels of beneficial bacteria in the gut.

For a more detailed outline of the seven day plan, click the link below and look into creating your own food diary.

When should I worry?

Although most digestive issues are down to uncomfortable but not life-threatening conditions such as IBS or heartburn, some symptoms can indicate more serious conditions such as bowel cancer – especially if you’re over 50.

Consultant general and colorectal surgeon Mr Nick West advises: “See your GP immediately if you experience any of the following ‘red flag’ warning symptoms:

  • A persistent change in bowel habit (constipation, diarrhoea or both)
  • Any lumps or bumps around your bottom or stomach
  • Bleeding from your bottom
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • New and persistent bloating should always be checked in women over 45 to rule out ovarian cancer

Real life cases

We sent four readers with persistent tummy troubles to see Mr Nick West, consultant general and colorectal surgeon at Spire St Anthony’s Hospital in Surrey, for a thorough examination to investigate their problems.

(Image: Adam Gerrard/Daily Mirror)

I get so bloated I look pregnant

(Image: Adam Gerrard/Daily Mirror)

Hannah Lewis, 36, is a model, who is single and lives with her eight-year-old son in Ascot, Berks.

Abdomen exam: Normal

Diagnosis: IBS

Hannah says: I’ve suffered from excessive bloating for more than 10 years and can look pregnant after eating certain foods .

I also get terrible stomach cramps, constipation and severe flatulence. My GP hasn’t offered much help.

Some days my tummy is so bad I don’t want to go out. If I have an important event to attend, I either don’t eat at all or just eat crisps which don’t cause me to bloat. I’ve tried over-the-counter medicines, but none have helped much.

Mr West’s assessment: Hannah has classic IBS symptoms. Her mother apparently suffered from it and it can run in families.

I reassured her it isn’t associated with a higher risk of any other more serious conditions.

Treatment for Hannah is all about symptom control, as her bloating gets worse with certain foods including roast dinners and curries.

I’ve advised her to avoid these and keep a food diary to spot other triggers.

Following a low FODMAP diet, avoiding gas producers like onions, broccoli and apples, can improve IBS.

I only have a poo once a week

Michelle Nixon, 37, of Morden, Surrey, works for a medical device firm and is a married mum of two.

(Image: Adam Gerrard/Daily Mirror)

Abdomen exam: Normal

Diagnosis: Chronic constipation

Michelle says: I’ve suffered from constipation for as long as I can remember and only open my bowels once every seven days.

I’ve tried several laxatives, which do help me go to the loo more often.

My diet is fairly healthy, although I probably don’t drink enough fluids during the day and my exercise levels could be better. The problem does worry me.

Mr West’s assessment: Michelle has no ‘red flag’ symptoms that could indicate cancer.

Her weight and appetite are normal and she has no family history of bowel conditions.

She simply has idiopathic chronic constipation, due to a sluggish digestive system.

It would be worth having a blood test to check her thyroid levels, as constipation is a classic sign of hypothyroidism when the body doesn’t produce enough of the thyroid hormone.

The prescription laxative Dulcolax can help her. Exercise is also important, as is drinking plenty of fluids.

I just can’t stop myself burping

Angie Chace, 66, is a retired accounts supervisor from Portsmouth, Hants.

(Image: Adam Gerrard/Daily Mirror)

Abdomen exam: Normal

Diagnosis: IBS – with further tests recommended

Angie says: For the past three years, everything I eat or drink makes me burp, with pain and discomfort behind my sternum.

Recently I’ve had a very bloated stomach and find both these symptoms get worse with foods such as onions, broccoli and bread. My bowels have never been regular.

Mr West’s assessment: Angie doesn’t smoke, chew gum, drink fizzy drinks or take boiled sweets – all of which can raise gas in an abdomen.

It may be her burping is due to acid reflux. I would recommend checking for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and hiatus hernia with a gastroscopy.

Her bloating symptoms sound like IBS – but because of their recent onset and her age, an ultrasound scan to rule out ovarian cancer would be wise.

My stomach pains last days

Edson Chace, 74, is a retired credit manager from Portsmouth, Hants.

(Image: Adam Gerrard/Daily Mirror)

Abdomen exam: Normal

Diagnosis: Reflux disease or hiatus hernia – requires further tests

Edson says: I suffer from excessive burping about an hour after eating, which started around 10 years ago, but has got worse recently.

I also get bouts of tummy ache which can last several days. I take Omeprazole (which reduces acid levels) every day or I’m in considerable pain.

Mr West’s assessment: Despite his discomfort, Edson’s had no change of bowel habit, which is reassuring.

But he’s in a higher risk age group and, given his previous history of reflux symptoms, I’m recommending he has a gastroscopy (a camera sent down into the stomach via the mouth) to see if he has gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

This occurs when stomach acid flows back into the oesophagus causing heartburn.

Or it could possibly be a hiatus hernia – when part of the stomach squeezes up into the chest through an opening in the diaphragm, causing stomach acid to flow back up.

Jovana Rikalo / Stocksy

Feeling like you’ve suddenly turned into the Michelin woman is the opposite of fun. Whether you’re actively trying to lose weight or are pleased with your current physique, bloating can completely throw you off. In the worst case scenario, it might send you into a panicked thought spiral about whether you’ve actually gained as much weight as your favorite skinny jeans would have you believe. In short, you probably haven’t.

“Bloating and actual fat gain feel the same, so it’s easy to confuse the two,” says Abby Langer, R.D. “But they really aren’t—fat is different from gas and water, which are what often contribute to bloating, and fat comes onto your body much more slowly.” So when you feel like you’ve ballooned overnight, or even over the span of a few days, you can usually chalk that up to bloating instead of true weight gain. Now that you have that reassuring bit of information, one question still remains: is there any way to cut down on bloat ASAP? Luckily, the answer is yes.

1. Swap all other beverages for water.

It may sound counterintuitive, but drinking a lot of water won’t blow you up, says Langer. Your body often holds onto water so as not to get dehydrated, but if you’re constantly knocking back bottles of H2O, that gives it permission to flush out some of its stores. “Make sure you consume water consistently throughout the day,” says Langer, who recommends drinking around 1.5 liters per day. It’s not just that water trumps all other beverages in terms of hydration—the bubbles in popular carbonated liquids deliver air straight to your gut, and you might have a hard time processing dairy-based options. The result either way? Your body feels like a distended gas factory.

Paramount Pictures / via Tumblr2. Avoid sugar alcohols.

Foods that are comprised of sugar alcohols, which are technically natural sweeteners, can still turn you into a roly-poly version of yourself. “These sweeteners—xylitol, mannitol, and sorbitol to name a few—are used in everything from gum to energy bars,” says Langer. “They play serious games with your gastrointestinal tract and can lead to gas, cramping, bloating, and even diarrhea if you eat too much of them.” Those unpleasant symptoms are a hint that it’s hard for your body to fully break these sweeteners down during the digestive process. There’s also the fact that they tend to be present in lots of foods that are highly processed, which just compounds the digestion problem.

3. Pay attention to your fiber intake.

Fiber is key for staying healthy. It keeps your digestive system chugging along smoothly and helps you feel satiated for longer, which is a plus if weight loss is what you’re after. The issue is when you go from eating very little fiber to taking in way too much, like when you’ve decided to overhaul your eating habits in an effort to get healthy. “Overdoing the fiber when you’re not used to it can make you really bloated,” says Langer. Too much fiber can be tough to digest and create gas, both of which might puff you up. Langer recommends aiming for between 20 and 25 grams of fiber per day and drinking a lot of water along with any fibrous food to help your body digest it more easily.

4. Choose your fruits and veggies wisely.

Pretty much everything in the produce aisle is fair game health-wise—obviously whatever you find there will probably be better for you than the wares in the frozen food section. But certain fruits and vegetables can still make you feel as plumped up as pufferfish. Fruit like cherries, peaches, grapes, and mangoes can bloat you even though they have also have plenty of awesome nutritional benefits. “These fruits are healthy, but they naturally have a lot of sugar or sugar alcohols,” says Langer. When you’re trying to shrink down to your usual size, stock up on fruits like blueberries, strawberries, cantaloupe, and oranges, which have less sugar content. They also happen to be packed with water, which can help with the debloating action.

As for vegetables, cruciferous ones like brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower are loaded with raffinose, the same compound that produces gassiness when you eat beans, says Langer. What is gas but air trapped inside you, inflating you way more than you’d like and popping up at the least convenient moments? To get your vegetable fix while avoiding any potential troublemakers, nix the cruciferous ones and aim for veggies that have high water content, like cucumber and zucchini.

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Eating healthy and working out are the keys to a strong, flat tummy. However, you can also flatten your tummy in just a few hours by focusing on a few simple tricks to lose the bloat.

Bloat can cause us to feel uncomfortable and our clothes to fit funny. Luckily, we can get rid of it faster than plain old weight gain.

With these 6 tips, you’ll lose the bloat and your skinny jeans could be fitting great in just a couple of days.

This post may contain affiliate links; view our disclosure policy here.

What Causes Bloating?

According to U.S. News and World Report’s Health section, belly bloating — or the sensation we feel when our stomach’s feel distended or gassy — can be caused by a variety of factors.

Some reasons you bloat include:

  • overeating
  • lack of sleep
  • food allergies (gluten, lactose intolerance, etc)
  • indigestion
  • PMS

If you’re confident it’s not an undiagnosed condition, then bloating is usually a side effect of diet or constipation.

6 Ways to Lose The Bloat In Hours

1. Drink Water

Water helps flush out toxins and hydrate your body which your belly desperately needs during the holidays, traveling, or after a hard workout.

On top of that, dehydration can lead to constipation and bloat which create the big belly and uncomfortable feeling.

Remember, if you feel thirsty–you are already dehydrated. Drink before your mouth gets dry.

While drinking water sounds simple, we do have 2 additional tips. Mixing lemon juice into your water can help flush out excess fluids because the lemon acts as a natural diuretic.

Another tip is to ditch a straw. Drinking from a straw allows us to swallow more air which leads to belly bloat.

2. Sip on Tea After Eating

In our research, peppermint, ginger, and green tea all were ranked high in helping you lose the bloat.

University of Maryland Medical Center found sipping on peppermint tea calms the muscles of the stomach and improves the flow of bile, which the body uses to digest fats.

This is especially helpful with the holidays after all of the dressing and pie we eat.

I like Celestial’s Peppermint Tea after dinner. Livestrong does suggest to not drink mint teas if you suffer from GERD or a hiatal hernia though.

Controlled studies have shown that green tea contains certain polyphenols, or plant-based antioxidants, that help break down fat, thus helping to lower your cholesterol level and BMI.

Drink a cup in the morning to get your metabolism going or with your meals. Here is an affiliate link to a genuine green tea that I really like.

If you like this post, you might also like: Lose 10 Pounds in 2 Weeks Through A Healthy Diet – 5 Easy Tips

3. Limit the Soda and Cocktails

Soda has added natural or artificial sugars which can bloat our system. Plus the bubbles are adding air to our stomach. So it’s best to skip them for a flat stomach. This includes soda water as well because of the carbonation.

Also, alcohol and cocktails should be avoided.

Alcohol is dehydrating and the bubbles and sugars in cocktails also add to bloating. In addition to bloating, the mix of dehydration and sugar can make us look tired and actually older.

Stick to 1 and then sip on seltzer with fresh fruit or Kombucha. (Check out 4 Top Cocktails for Your Waistline)

4. Look for Foods Rich with Probiotics

Probiotics are bacteria living in our digestive tract.

They can help reduce bloating, optimize digestion, improve immunity and add a nice glow to your skin.

You can get your probiotics into your diet through Shakeology, organic yogurt, kefir, fermented foods, or even a probiotic supplement.

If you have a sensitivity to dairy, it’s best to skip yogurt and dairy products as they will also cause stomach issues.

5. Eat Clean / Unprocessed Foods

Eating clean may sound impossible (especially during the holidays), but small changes can make a big difference.

Focus on eating clean 90% of the time while indulging in your favorite foods 10%.

Your diet doesn’t have to be restrictive or complicated; you just want to avoid processed foods and add in foods with little to no ingredients.

The rule of thumb: Clean foods either come from the ground or have a mother.

There are few foods which can help you lose the bloat as well!

To lose the bloat, you should eat:

  • Bananas
  • Almonds/Nuts
  • Asparagus
  • Water-based foods like watermelon, celery, and cucumbers

You should also avoid:

  • White onions
  • artichokes
  • corn
  • broccoli
  • cauliflower
  • kale & raw spinach
  • mushrooms
  • protein bars
  • gum
  • artificial sugars

Related: Your Guide to Popular Artificial and Natural Sweeteners

Stress can be another reason for our bellies to get out of whack and lead to bloating.

Getting enough sleep and taking up a weekly yoga or stretching class will help your body recover from any stress.

Sound silly?

When we are stressed out, our bodies let off cortisol which leads to belly bloat and later on even weight gain. Take time for you with a morning routine or a self-care routine.

Also, an Epsom salt bath is also been shown to help.

It can also be dehydrating though so ask your doctor beforehand and limit to once a week unless they say different.

It’s said Epsom salt can help detox the body and remove excess water.

If you like this post, you might also like: 9 Ways to Whittle Your Waist While You Work

What are your tips to lose the bloat?

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5. Spit Out The Gum

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Not only does chewing gum cause you to swallow tummy-bloating air, many gums also contain sugar alcohols and artificial sweeteners like sorbitol and xylitol that can cause bloat. If you have to have something to chomp on, go for an organic variety like Glee gum or Simply gum instead. They’re still low-cal, but they don’t use those sweeteners that’ll make you puff up. If that makes you cringe, then you’ll definitely want to see the 40 Most Horrifying Things Found in Food!

6. Skip the Protein Bar

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You probably don’t think “beans” when you unwrap a protein bar, but a lot of them include protein isolate derived from soybeans—something many people find just as gas-inducing as the musical fruit. Like other beans, soy contains oligosaccharides, sugar molecules that the body can’t break down entirely. With nowhere to go, these oligosaccharides hang out in the where they ferment, causing gas and bloating of the stomach.

7. Pile on the Cilantro

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Research shows that cilatnro’s unique blend of oils (specifically, linalool and geranyl acetate) work like over-the-counter meds to relax digestive muscles and alleviate an “overactive” gut. A study published in the journal Digestive Diseases and Science found that patients with IBS benefited from supplementing with coriander (also known as cilantro) as opposed to placebo. Cilantro is just one of the 25 Best Foods That Beat Bloat!

8. Have Some Dark Chocolate

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You don’t need to tell us twice! But the catch is that the chocolate has to have a cacao content of 70 percent or above. Chocolate-loving microbes in the gut convert the candy into anti-inflammatory compounds, researchers at the American Chemical Society found. When the cocoa reaches your belly’s digestive juices and enzymes, it’s feasted on by your belly’s good gut bugs, which ferment it into anti-inflammatory compounds. Bingo: You lose belly bloat.

9. Eat Several Teeny-Tiny Meals

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To keep your metabolism revving throughout the day, focus on small, protein- and fiber-packed snacks or small meals every 3 to 4 hours. You will not only burn more calories eating a series of smaller meals, but also avoid the afternoon crash and end of the workday slump. (Make sure to eat that first protein-packed meal; skipped breakfasts leave many of us grabbing for more food than we really need.) Use your smartphone or computer to remind you of these intervals. An apple with peanut butter, some nuts and berries, hummus or yogurt all make great go-to snacks. Speaking of peanut butter, find out What Happens to Your Body When You Eat Peanut Butter!

10. Eat Slowly So You Don’t
Gulp Air

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When you finally get home after a long day, you’re totally famished — we get it. But that doesn’t mean you should scarf down your dinner in a hurry. Eating too quickly causes you to swallow excess air, which can lead to uncomfortable gas and bloating. Slowing down the chewing with your mouth closed, on the other hand, can have the opposite effect. Fight off the urge to vacuum your entire meal by snacking on something like a small piece of fruit or an ounce of nuts on your way home. Then, after you’ve settled in, sit down and have a leisurely supper.

11. Swap Your Happy Hour Drink
for Lemon Water

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When people retain fluid, they tend to skimp on water because they think it will make their bloating worse. Since water retention is the body’s way of holding onto fluid so it doesn’t dehydrate, the opposite is true. Drinking lots of water (and skipping dehydrating booze) signals the body that it no longer needs to hold onto every last drop to stay hydrated. Lemons are a natural diuretic, so adding them to your glass will speed up the process. (Not a lemon fan? Whip up a glass of detox water instead.)

12. Skip the Straws

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Just like sucking in air by inhaling your meals can cause you to feel puffy, sipping through a straw can cause you to take in extra air and experience a bloating.

13. Seriously, Only Drink
Water or Tea

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As much as we love the benefits of coffee and hate soda, they’re both no-no’s when trying to shrink your bloat, fast. “Fluids, specifically water, are absolutely key for optimal digestion,” says Isabel Smith, MS, RD, CDN, registered dietitian and founder of Isabel Smith Nutrition. “Consuming beverages that are high in sugar or caffeine can not only be dehydrating, but in some cases can add to excess calorie intake, too.”

14. Find Fiber; Lose White Flour

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Foods made with white flour like white bread, white pasta, and white rice are relatively low in fiber and may cause you to get a little, uh, backed up. Choosing whole grains can help with this,” says Smith. A simple switch from white bread to whole wheat or from white rice to brown will keep things moving along smoothly.

15. Don’t Eat Anything Greasy

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Foods that are high in grease or are really fatty, like a McDonald’s breakfast, can cause gastrointestinal upset. While some fats are great for your gut, like omega-3s found in fish or nuts, these fats don’t interact with your body the same way. Stuff like fast food often contains high levels of unhealthy fats like saturated and trans fatty acids that cause an inflammatory response in the body, meaning your body wants it out!

16. Hold Off on Any Alcohol

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Alcohol can directly damage the digestive tract and research has also found it to mess with the good bacteria in your gut. If you really can’t avoid it, always try to match one glass or serving of alcohol with one glass of water.

17. Take a Stroll

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Instead of lounging around after supper, head outside for a 15-minute nighttime stroll—it’s a great way to get things moving again when you are feeling backed up and bloated. And if you regularly experience constipation, consider making walking part of your nightly routine. And if you tend to toss and turn, check out these tips for how to get better sleep.

18. Sip On Ginger Tea

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Inflammation, often brought on by spicy foods, dairy and chemical additives, may be to blame for your puffy tummy. According to numerous studies, ginger, traditionally used to ease stomach pain, blocks several genes and enzymes in the body that promote bloat-causing inflammation. If you prefer the taste of chai tea, typically made from a blend of cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and ginger, that may also do the trick— but may be less potent. Not a fan of ginger or chai? There are plenty of other teas that make great bloating remedies.

19. Cut Out Dairy

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Dairy can be very bothersome to the belly, because many adults naturally produce less of the necessary digestive enzyme lactase as we get older. If you consume dairy products pretty regularly, try cutting them out for a few days and see how your body reacts.

20. Add Bacteria to Your Belly

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Studies show that overweight people have a higher percentage of “bad” bacteria in their bellies. To keep the fat-causing bugs at bay, you need to eat a variety of foods that support the healthy bacteria—the kind found in the bellies of slim people. Kefir, kombucha and bone broth are examples of probiotic-rich foods that help you lose weight by aiding digestion. Add 2-3 servings of these probiotic-heavy foods to your weekly food plan.

21. Eat Dinner Early

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Fasting: it’s the slim-down secret of models and celebrities. But for those of us who’d like to actually enjoy our lives, it’s not exactly an appealing prospect. But here’s a secret: You actually fast every night, while you’re asleep—that’s why the call the first meal of the day “break fast.” The longer you can stretch out that period of fasting, the fewer calories you’ll take in and the more time your body will have to heal itself. (Digestion takes a lot of work!). Cut off food intake by 7pm or 8 pm at night, and delay breakfast a little further into the day. Make sure you have at least 12 hours between your last meal tonight and your first meal tomorrow. You’ll give your digestive system time to recover, and deflate your belly quickly.

22. Break Your Fast with Protein

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Once you have awakened your digestion, start your day of eating with a burst of protein. We all get distracted or busy through the day, but a high-protein start will prevent surprise mid-morning or early afternoon energy crashes that leave us reaching for sugar, caffeine or a carbohydrate load for a quick boost. Add a morning protein shake or smoothie or a breakfast of eggs and nut butter waffles. The goal: don’t leave the house without first loading up on at least 15 grams of protein.

23. Eat Dandelion Greens

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Dandelion greens are great for when you’re feeling “flat belly-focused weeks.” They’re gentle diuretics that help combat excess water weight.

24. Eat Honeydew, Pineapple
and Papayas

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Honeydew melon has a diuretic property that fights water retention, and pineapples and papayas contain enzymes that aid digestion and break down proteins that usually cause bloat.

MORE FROM EAT THIS, NOT THAT!

50 Best-Ever Weight-Loss Secrets From Skinny People

MELT UP TO 10 POUNDS IN ONE WEEK!

DON’T MISS OUR BEST-SELLING NEW DIET PLAN, The 7-Day Flat-Belly Tea Cleanse! Test panelists lost up to 4 inches from their waist! Available now for Kindle, iBooks, Nook, Google Play, and Kobo.

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How many times were you trying to squeeze into tight jeans or little black dress? When it comes to losing weight and abs toning, we all look for a prompt solution here and now.

Even if you follow a healthy diet and do exercises, a bloated belly can be a surprise. The best way is to identify what causes bloating and eliminate the triggers that lead to a balloon belly:

  • water retention,
  • constipation,
  • food allergies,
  • individual food intolerances,
  • fizzy beverages,
  • excess salt or sugar,
  • insoluble fiber in the diet,
  • hormonal changes.

Balancing your digestive system and boosting metabolism can help to manage the discomfort of bloating and flatten your stomach in less than 24 hours.

The following tips and tricks may help you to stop bloating fast:

1. Make Detox Tea

Drink Ginger Lemon Warm Tea the first thing in the morning to wake up the inactive digestive system, eliminate your food, and turn on metabolism.

Drinking Ginger Detox Tea throughout the day is the essential part of The 7-Day Flat Belly Tea Detox so that you debloat quickly and lose up to 10 pounds within one week.

2. Try Cinnamon Tea

If you like the taste of Chai Tea with the flavor of cinnamon, black pepper, cardamom, cloves, and ginger, that may also help you get unbloated fast. Strong anti-bacterial properties improve digestion and fight bacterial infections.

Also, you can use traditional spices for mulling wine in tea bags to suppress appetite and promote the feeling of fullness. The lemon adds pleasant, refreshing flavor and zero calories to your tea.

Choose your recipe of the Flat Belly Detox Tea here.

3. Enjoy Green Tea

If you are not fond of ginger or chai, there are many other teas that you can use as an instant bloating relief.

From ancient times people know that inflammation caused by spicy foods, dairy, and stress, can be the real reason for your bloated belly.

Green tea has strong properties that speed up metabolism and increase fat-burning rates. Drinking green tea during the day in between meals maximizes the antioxidant and nutrients absorption.

According to many studies, Green Tea is used to ease stomach pain, block bloat-causing inflammation, lower risks of infections and other chronic diseases.

4. Take an Epsom Salt Bath

A detox bath is a natural way to cleanse your body from toxins. Epsom salts are composed of magnesium sulfate and work wonders for detoxification, controlling inflammation, and pulling retained water out of your body.

Just dissolve a cup or two of Epsom salts into your warm bath. You can add two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar as well to boost your weight loss program and feel refreshed.

Essential Oils are great for balancing metabolism and endocrine system. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oils to your bath and relax for 30 minutes.

To avoid dehydration, drink water before getting in the bath, sip some water while you are in the tub, and don’t take more than two or three baths per week.

5. Eat a Banana

Bananas are rich in potassium, vitamins, and minerals. Bananas regulate water balance in your body to stop belly bloating.

Green bananas contain starch, which acts like soluble fiber and slows down the digestion of sugar from foods.

Bananas are also low in calories and can be used as a weight loss friendly snack.

6. Avoid Foods High in FODMAPs

Probably, you’ve noticed that even though you eat a real food balanced diet, some foods including fruits and vegetables make you feel bloated or fat.

That’s because these foods are very rich in short-chain carbohydrates, which are dissolved by gut bacteria in the colon, generating gas in the process. The more you eat them, the more bloating can occur.

Avoid foods like

  • Beans,
  • Lentils,
  • Carbonated Drinks,
  • Wheat & Rye,
  • The cruciferous vegetable family,
  • Onions
  • Barley
  • Dairy Products
  • Apples
  • Garlic

Check our article The Benefits Of A Low-FODMAP Diet to find out our suggestions on what to eat instead.

7. Through Away Chewing Gum

According to a Clinical Nutrition study, many chewing gums contain sugar alcohols and artificial sweeteners (Sorbitol, Xylitol) that are not absorbed by your body and can cause discomfort and bloating.

If you need an alternative, there are many organic gums like Glee gum that are low in calories and do not contain sweeteners that make you fat and bloated.

8. Skip the Protein Bar

As with fiber, protein has its benefits in a diet, and it does help to lose weight. A protein bar is excellent when you need something to grab and go.

However, just because protein bars are a convenient snack doesn’t mean they are an anti-bloating snack. Many protein bars are derived from soybean protein and can cause digestive issues, gas, and bloating of the stomach.

Try to eat more nutrient-dense whole-foods with low indigestible sugars (oligosaccharides) so that the body could absorb it entirely.

9. Protein Powder Power

Take note if you experience problems with digestion when consuming whey protein. In case you experience bloating, stomach cramps, and diarrhea, it can be you are among those people who have lactose intolerance.

Try switching to a non-dairy protein powder, such as rice, egg, or hemp protein.

10. Coriander Spice

Coriander is one of the most useful Indian spices that help stimulate the digestion process. Added coriander seeds to your dishes and enjoy an aromatic spice, which at the same time will act as soothe digestive agent.

11. Garam Masala Tea

If you need to debloat in just one hour, try a traditional Indian herbal tea with
fennel and cumin seeds to help you get the fastest relief of all indigestible build-up in the system that causes bloating and fat belly.

Boil in 1 liter of water one teaspoon of cumin, coriander, and fennel seeds each for 10 minutes in hot water. You can add coriander seeds as well. Let it cool and drink in small portions. Two glasses should be enough to stimulate immediate digestion.

12. Indulge Yourself With Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate can help how to get rid of being bloated due to the chocolate’s anti-inflammatory compounds.

Cocoa in dark chocolate stops your body’s gas production, and its prebiotic qualities increase your ‘good’ bacteria in the gut. Make sure it is 75% cocoa or more.

13. Control Portion Size

Overeating can lead to bloating and indigestion because excess food puts a lot of pressure on the digestive system, cannot be absorbed, and bacteria cause a lot of gas.

14. Spinach vs. Brussels Sprouts

Some cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, and kale can cause bloating, while spinach, dandelion greens, and lettuce can ease water retention and reduce bloating.

Combining spinach, lettuce, dandelion greens, and banana in a smoothie is the best way to get rid of bloating overnight.

15. Collagen

When you’re bloated, consume foods that will soothe your gut and help successfully digest your food.

Collagen heals your digestive tract and increases your ability to absorb critical nutrients in the intestines.

Hydrolyzed collagen powder supplements and bone broth are the best sources of collagen.

16. Try Fermented Foods

Probiotics from fermented foods help your body digest and absorb food. The most friendly bacteria is lactobacillus. It breaks down dissolvable carbohydrates.

The byproduct of fermentation is lactic acid that furthermore, stimulates the release of enzymes and digestive juices to prevent ‘bad’ gas-producing bacteria from overgrowing.

A tablespoon of raw sauerkraut and kimchi are excellent sources of probiotics.

17. Pineapple, Honeydew Melon, and Papaya

Pineapples are rich in bromelain, an enzyme that supports protein absorption and soothes the digestive tract. A smoothie made of pineapple, papaya and honeydew melon reduce water retention and provide anti-bloating catalysts.

18. Asparagus

Believe it or not, asparagus is an excellent source of potassium. It helps to get rid of water bloat and balances your digestive process.

Asparagus has natural diuretic properties. Eat it alone, in salads, roasted or grilled. Make sure you drink plenty of still water to support its features.

19. Magnesium

Magnesium is a natural muscles relaxer that helps release gas and get rid of bloating emptying your gastrointestinal tract.

Most of us are lacking Magnesium due to a poor nutrient diet and constant stress. Try magnesium citrate (a saline laxative) to reduce constipation.

Start with 300 – 600 mg of magnesium citrate per day to stimulate a bowel movement. Usually, it takes one hour for magnesium citrate to kick in.

20. Massage Your Belly

To get rid of gas, experts suggest you try massaging your belly in circular motions and the direction of your gastrointestinal tract. It may sound surprising, but it works even with infants!

21. Move Your Body

Fight belly bloating by taking a walk or jogging for just 15-20 mins a day. Although it might be hard to move your body, you need to release excess food from your digestive tract.

Just several rounds of twisting yoga poses or a long walk can help to get rid of the bloated feeling.

22. High-salt foods

Similar to alcohol, high-salt foods cause water retention, foods build-up, and excess gas in the GI tract.

Avoid processed and packaged foods and use pink Himalayan salt to spice your food. Unrefined sea salts contain mineral electrolytes that offer many health benefits.

23. Dandelion Root Tea

One of the best anti-bloating drinks is Dandelion Root Tea. It gently soothes intestines causing a mild laxative effect. Also, it naturally shed excess water from your body and help you lose.

24. Lemon Water

The quickest way to get rid of bloating is to debloat your belly with water — actually, water with lemon.

Your body holds fluids when you are extremely dehydrated. So, drinking water is the first step on the way to get rid of water weight and bloating. Lemon juice is beneficial for your health because it:

  • releases bile from your liver,
  • improves nutrient absorption,
  • keep food moving through your GI tract,
  • helps flush excess water,
  • is rich in vitamin C.

Squeeze some fresh lemon juice in a glass of warm water or tea to speed up the de-bloating process.

25. Fasting 16/8

Try intermittent fasting to fight bloating and flatten your belly. Give your digestive system a break of 14-16 hours to digest and reset till your next meal.

You naturally fast every night and have your ‘break-fast’ in the morning. Take your last meal by 9 p.m., and delay breakfast till lunch the next day. It will help you quickly get rid of a bloated stomach in 24 hours.

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Getting rid of bloat

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