You thought you were being super healthy by opting for a salad and a side of veggies for lunch. But now — with just two hours until you need to be in a leotard and rehearsing your upcoming comp routine — your stomach is distended and you feel gassy and ready to pop.
Whether your body bloats after chowing down on leafy green veggies or you find yourself feeling puffy right before you get your period, there are ways to ease those familiar, uncomfortable feelings. Embrace these tips from registered dietitian Kim Hoban.
1. Opt for water.
“Skip carbonated beverages and sip on water instead,” says Hoban. “The bubbles in those fizzy drinks release CO2 in your stomach, leading to bloating, fullness, and sometimes cramping.”
2. Avoid sugar alcohols.
“Watch out for sugar alcohols,” says Hoban. “They’re often found in sugar-free products, and they aren’t completely digested, so they ferment in our intestinal tract, causing that uncomfortable bloating and gas pain.”
3. Skip the straw and ditch the gum.
“Both of these habits cause you to swallow extra air, which can contribute to bloating,” says Hoban.
4. Slow down.
“It can be hard not to practically inhale your food, especially when you’re hungry,” says Hoban. “But slowing down at mealtime and letting your body process what you’re eating can prevent gas and bloating.”
5. Bust a move.
You may be tempted to skip class on behalf of your bloated belly, but don’t! “Exercise — whether it’s gentle yoga, walking, or an intense HIIT class — stimulates blood flow and gets things moving so you don’t get backed up,” says Hoban.