If you want to fight belly fat, burning calories and fat through cardio — especially interval training — is your best bet. Bloating, on the other hand, is its own beast, and you can't feel like you're rocking your bathing suit if your belly is superpuffy. Luckily, there are easy ways to reduce bloating so that you can show off that tummy you've been working so hard to get.
- Put this down: Not only is too much sodium bad for your heart, but it will also cause you to retain water — and not just in your belly — so stop yourself the next time you reach for the salt shaker. Extra sprinkles aren't the only way we consume too much sodium. Limit high-sodium foods such as hot dogs, cottage cheese, bacon, soy sauce, and chips.
- Sip this: When you're belly is bloated, filling up on water seems like the last thing you want to do, but it helps prevent bloat in two ways. When you're not drinking enough fluids, your body retains water to prevent dehydration. So sipping nature's beverage can actually reduce water retention. Drinking water also prevents constipation, which is another cause of a bloated belly. Also include foods with high water content such as watermelon, celery, grapefruit, and cucumbers.
- Limit this: Some foods such as beans, broccoli, pears, onions, and carbonated drinks create more gases in your body than others, so limit these foods. Dairy can also cause some people gassiness, so if this sounds familiar, hold the milk, ice cream, yogurt, and cheese, and look for dairy-free alternatives.
- Eat this: Fiber helps everything move through the intestines more quickly, which prevents constipation and bloating. If you're not accustomed to eating enough fiber, then slowly add more and more fiber to your diet — go too fast, and you'll feel even more bloated than before. Include berries, avocado, kiwi, beans, whole grains, and other high-fiber foods in your meals and snacks every day.
- Slow down: One small cause of bloating could be that you're swallowing too much air when you're scarfing down your meals; this is why some of us get the hiccups when eating too quickly. Slow down when you eat, and really chew your food.
- Get tropical: Eating pineapple can ease bloating too. This tropical fruit is high in the enzyme bromelain, which helps break down protein and eases digestion, helping to banish the bloat. Here's a bloat-fighting smoothie recipe to try that's made with pineapple.
- Get moving: Daily physical activity can also prevent constipation, so aim for 30 minutes a day.
- Cheers to this: Alcohol is another cause of bloat since it causes dehydration, which as mentioned above, can lead to water retention. For your health and your belly's sake, stick to one alcoholic beverage, and follow it with a huge glass of water.