Just when you were feeling slim, you suddenly feel like you swallowed a balloon. Your stomach feels tender and protrudes like you’re pregnant. As a guy, this should alarming, to say the least.
Obviously, you know you are not “with child,” so what gives? We hear the ladies constantly complaining about feeling bloated, but the bros? Not so much. Yet, we have all been there, with that gassy gut that makes us feel like Chris Pratt before he became a beefcake.
You can avoid feeling like you have an air mattress around your abs by following some practical advice to get rid of bloating.
YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT
You don’t have to ditch the good stuff in your fridge to cure bloating. Just try to be more mindful of what you put in your mouth — even foods and drinks that seem “innocent” can be the culprits causing bloating. Here are some common causes:
As WebMD suggests, lay off the fizzy drinks. “Even diet ones can cause gas to get trapped in your belly.” Sorry Diet Coke addicts, but your habit is pure hell for your waistline. Switch to plain water or tea, and you will beat the bloat. Yes, this means you may have to say goodbye to your favorite beer. You’ve never heard the term “wine belly,” have you?
Gum-chewers beware. Your breath may be minty-fresh thanks to your wad of chewing gum, but your gut is growing because you are swallowing air as you chew. Switch to carrying mints or brush more frequently. Unfortunately, blowing bubbles isn’t impressive anymore.
Salt makes food taste good, but the sodium wreaks havoc on your stomach. Check the labels on pre-packaged foods and season with herbs and spices. You’ll notice the “deflategate” of your gut. No Tom Brady required.
Love beans? Sure, they are super healthy and tasty too, but we’ve all heard the old saying...they make you fart. Same goes for brussels sprouts and cauliflower. You’ll feel the bloat ‘till it escapes out your backside.
Sugar-free foods made with artificial sweeteners may be low-cal and still satisfying, but sugar alcohols like sorbitol cause bloating. As Healthline explains, “They may cause digestive problems in high amounts. The bacteria in your large intestine digest them and produce gas.” Not as sweet as thought, huh?
MORE TIPS TO TAME YOUR TUMMY
Eat slowly. Mowing down your food is not only rude to your tablemates, but your tummy will take revenge too. Perhaps you’d be better off eating smaller meals throughout the day than three huge ones. A big meal isn’t always a “Happy Meal.” Be sure to include foods with probiotics like yogurt or kimchi. Try cutting carbs a bit too, but still include whole grains and eat plenty of fruits and veggies.
Check with your doc. You may be lactose- or gluten-intolerant, or have some other medical conditions or a digestive issue like IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), or an allergy you’re not even aware of. There are meds and treatments that can help, or you can avoid foods like dairy products that make you feel “fat.” Talk to a dietitian or nutritionist for details.
Now that you know how to get rid of bloating, give these tips a try and you’ll notice less belly bloat. The abdominal pain and pressure will be a thing of the past, and you’ll no longer feel like you’re carrying a beach ball.