No matter how many abdominal crunches you do—you will never have a perfectly flat and chiseled tummy all the time!
In fact, it’s natural for your tummy to go from flat in the morning (after a night of fasting) to a pleasant bump after you’ve consumed your morning coffee and bowl of cereal. Eating or drinking solid food and liquids will forever make your stomach and intestines inflate—it’s just a natural fact of life that everyone deals with!
However, for some of us, healthy foods, like dairy products, those that contain carbonation (i.e., sparkling water), wheat, and the more hard-to-digest veggies—such as beans, broccoli, cabbage, and onions—make us gassy during the digestive process. And these digestive struggles often cause your gastro-intestinal (GI) tract to inflate, which makes your midsection adopt that cute little Buddha bump.
And of course there are those “not-so healthy-habits” that we’re all guilty of. Poor habits like smoking, chewing gum, or skipping a meal then scarfing food down like an animal, will all cause the intake of excess air and trigger that same GI tract swelling.
But don’t fret! Each and every one of us feels the belly bulge on a daily basis; especially when we eat a spicy or sodium-rich meal for lunch!
The good news is that when you bloat (which is inevitable) there are 5 tried and true methods to blast your abs back to flat in no time:
1. Drink lots of water
Drinking water or herbal tea will flush excess sodium and water out of the digestive tract!
2. Prevent bloat with probiotics
High doses or lengthy rounds of antibiotics can strip your intestines of good bacteria, which aid digestion. Luckily, you can show your intestines some love by replenishing the system with a follow up dose of probiotics after taking antibiotics.
3. Cut the carbs
Eating a carbohydrate-reduced diet following a carb-rich meal (i.e., one rich in breads, rice, pasta, potatoes, and other grains) will help banish painful bloat. A meal rich in leafy green veggies and protein will force your body to rely on the carbs it’s already stored for energy.
4. Take digestive supplements
Beans, beans, the magical fruit contain carbohydrates called oligosaccharides, which can be difficult to digest. If you typically suffer carb bloat after meals, an over-the-counter alpha-galactosidase supplement, like Beano (taken before meals), might provide some relief.
5. Ditch the dairy
If you’re lactose intolerant, your body isn’t able to effectively breakdown the dairy sugar (or lactose) and you’ll inevitably bloat. If you suspect you’re lactose intolerant, avoid dairy and substitute alternatives like soy, rice, or almond milk.