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Foods That Make You Look Pregnant

Foods That Can Make You Look Pregnant

We are excited to share one of our fave stories from Shape here on FitSugar.

Over the weekend, I saw a photo of a female celebrity (who is in a relationship with a male celeb) leaving a café with the caption, "Baby bump?" and I had to refrain myself from shouting out loud, "Come on, can't a girl eat without the world thinking she's having a baby?!"

The truth is having a perfectly flat stomach all the time just isn't normal. After you eat or drink, food and liquids naturally expand your stomach and intestines, so at least a little "bump" is inevitable every single day. So if you regularly get stalked by paparazzi or you have family members who are anxiously awaiting news of a new addition, here's the lowdown on when you might get mistaken for being pregnant:

See which foods may make you look pregnant after the break!

The Best and Worst Foods For Flat Abs

After a Gassy Meal
Some foods naturally produce gas, which expands in your GI tract like air in a balloon. Beans, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, onions, and dairy (if you're lactose intolerant) are notorious examples. So if your lunch or dinner plans involve a stir-fry or black bean soup, you might not want to wear a form-fitting dress.

Ask the Diet Doctor: Is Diet or Exercise Best For Losing Belly Fat?

After Enjoying a Carbonated Drink
I adore sparkling water and all-natural seltzer, but the fizzy bubbles created by carbonation are gas, which can temporarily get trapped in your belly, leading to a poochy look. So if you want to keep your midsection looking a little flatter, stick with plain old H2O.

The Worst Drinks For Your Body

After a High-Volume Meal
When fully expanded, your stomach can hold about six cups of food, the equivalent of about six baseballs worth (talk about expansion), and some of the healthiest meals can be pretty bulky.  For example, a salad made from two cups of baby mixed greens dressed with a few tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and a squeeze of fresh lemon, topped with a half-cup cooked, chilled red quinoa, a half cup chickpeas, and a quarter of a sliced avocado clocks in at over three cups in volume, but it's a perfectly balanced slimming meal with fewer calories than a cheeseburger, which is much more compact. Bottom line: the degree of postmeal belly expansion has no correlation to how a meal impacts your health or your weight.

After Some Not-So-Healthy Habits
A few other less-than-healthy habits can also lead to belly bloat, including smoking, chewing gum, eating too fast, and skipping meals. Each causes you to gulp excess air, which can fill up your GI tract and lead to belly swell.

Just know that it’s normal for your belly to expand and deflate throughout the day or from day to day. And on days you want to minimize this as much as possible, avoid the above culprits, choose smaller portions of healthy foods spread out throughout the day, slow down when you eat, and stick with plain water. While some of those celeb baby bump rumors may turn out to be true, most are just normal anatomy and physiology at work.

Do you struggle with postmeal bloating or have you ever been asked if you’re pregnant after simply eating lunch? Please share your thoughts or tweet them to @cynthiasass and @Shape_Magazine.

Cynthia Sass is a registered dietitian with master's degrees in both nutrition science and public health. Frequently seen on national TV, she's a Shape contributing editor and a nutrition consultant to the New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Rays. Her latest New York Times best seller is Cinch! Conquer Cravings, Drop Pounds, and Lose Inches. To get the latest health, fitness, beauty, and fashion news, follow @Shape_Magazine on Twitter.

Image Source: Thinkstock
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VivaciousBlossom VivaciousBlossom 4 years
Thank you for posting this!! I've been struggling with this exact problem for a few weeks now. I've lost weight so I'm relatively thin & some days I have a nice flat belly that looks good in my form fitting dresses or tight tank tops & lately I've had SUCH a pooch that I have to wear baggier clothes. I just started a food diary to figure out what the heck is making me bloated & I really think it's all the seltzer I drink. Although, I eat a lot of broccoli & I had no idea it caused bloat until I read this article, so thank you for the head's up!!
SaraNoH SaraNoH 4 years
I can't drink water without looking mega prego... thanks CF, I love you too.
karinacocina karinacocina 4 years
thanks for this article! i'm realitively skinny and in shape so when i eat anything I feel like i look 3 months pregnent......ugh my mom always points it out. could it always be the food i'm eating or could there be other causes?
onlysourcherry onlysourcherry 4 years
Chipotle burrito should be its own category on here.
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