We are excited to share one of our fave stories from Prevention here on FitSugar!By Diana Kelly, Prevention
Need another reason to hate Mondays? Tight postweekend waistbands. Unless you spent the past two days living like a monk, the cocktails, movie snacks, and dinners out can all add up to one thing: belly bloat.
“If you wake up bloated on Monday morning, your weekend food choices are likely to blame,” explains Keri Gans, RD, author of The Small Change Diet. “In fact, overindulging for two days straight can easily cause a gain of three pounds. Fortunately, this weight gain is usually temporary and easy to get rid of in less than a week.”
Last week, we shared with you five easy tips to get a flat belly by Friday. Here are four more tips to help you debloat.
1. Hold the Hot Sauce
If you love four-alarm food, lay off the Tabasco, barbecue sauce, and garlic for a few days while debloating. Spicy foods stimulate the release of stomach acid, causing irritation. Give dishes a flavor boost with in-season fresh or dried herbs such as dill, basil, mint, sage, tarragon, and rosemary. You can also use curry powder or lemon or lime juice — all perfect with fish or chicken. Also, steer clear of black pepper, nutmeg, cloves, chili powder, onions, mustard, horseradish, and acidic foods such as ketchup, tomato sauce, and vinegar.
Use Prevention’s recipe finder tool to find tasty recipes seasoned with fresh herbs.
More ways to beat the bloat after the break.
2. Ditch Diet Foods
Avoid low-calorie or low-carb products containing sugar alcohols, which go by the names xylitol or maltitol and cause gas, bloating, and worst — diarrhea. And don’t reach for a stick of gum when you’re trying to quell that sugar craving. Instead, satisfy your sweet tooth by using a little maple syrup on your morning oatmeal or yogurt snack.
3. Get on the Wagon
Steer clear of alcohol for the next few days to maximize your body’s belly-flattening capabilities. Alcohol causes dehydration and may slow your body’s ability to eliminate that excess weekend waste, so if you had a little too much to drink this weekend, start chugging the H20.
It’s best to eliminate that occasional glass of wine, beer, or hard alcohol this week while you’re on a skinny jeans crusade — all are high-acid beverages that can irritate your GI tract and cause swelling.
4. Do Some Activity Every Day
A study from Spain's Autonomous University of Barcelona suggests that mild physical activity clears gas and alleviates bloating. That's because increasing your heart rate and breathing stimulates the natural contractions of the intestinal muscles, helping to prevent constipation and gas buildup by expediting digestion. Take a short walk after meals or pedal lightly on a bike at the gym to help relieve bloat.