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By Hilary Sheinbaum
We’ve all been there. A special occasion or vacation is coming up fast, and the tight dress or bikini that was purchased in celebration is…. just not fitting as planned. Sigh.
It’s frustrating, yes, but first and foremost, our bodies bloat. It’s natural, and it happens — sometimes at inconvenient times.
Secondly, keeping in mind that you are human (and we are too), there are ways to minimize the bloat you’re experiencing. For this reason, we spoke to the pros about how to debloat within a matter of days to get back in a comfortable place.
Here are eight quick tips and tricks, encompassing both food and exercise, from two fitness gurus in New York City.
You want to decrease sodium intake to decrease water retention, says Brittany Watts, a certified personal trainer at Performix House. “Salt causes our body to hold on to water to prevent dehydration.”
Eat turmeric and ginger, suggests Watts. “Turmeric is a natural inflammation inhibitor and stimulates the gallbladder to create bile,” she says. “Ginger is also an anti-inflammatory and it naturally stimulates the body’s digestive enzymes and alleviates gas.”
Watts says it’s important to watch out for discomfort after eating specific foods. “Monitor if symptoms occur after consuming certain food containing lactose or gluten,” she says. “Eating food that you are intolerant to can lead to excess gas production.”
Fiber can help the weight loss process but it has other effects, too. “Sometimes eating high fiber foods may give you gas,” says Watts. “These foods can be great for dropping pounds, but can be uncomfortable to digest.” Avoid foods such as beans, lentils, broccoli, dairy products, and carbonated drinks.
There are a variety of brands and supplements to choose from! “Probiotics can help balance the bacteria in your gut and aid in the digestion process,” says Watts.
A good 30-minute cardio session can help your body move that gas out of your system and ease the discomfort of bloating, says Kory Flores, a certified personal trainer, and trainer at Rumble Boxing. “A brisk walk, jog, bike, or elliptical ride at moderate effort works wonders,” she says. And you can work out at home too. “Try a yoga flow or some core-focused exercises like sit-ups, Russian twist, mountain climbers to get your stomach stretching and compressing, and to get you de-stressing.”
Flores says her go-to de-bloat go-too is peppermint tea. “Not only is it super refreshing, but the analgesic properties in it can have you feeling better fast,” she says. “I also recommend ginger or dandelion. If your bloat comes from eating salty foods, more often than not your body is a little dehydrated and needs some water! Dehydrated cells cling to water with a vice grip, so make sure you’re giving your body what it needs.”
While some foods are incredibly healthy and nutritious, some can actually make bloating and gas worse. Avoid cruciferous veg like broccoli, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts,” says Flores. “Instead opt for some goodies that’ll help get your bloat packing its bags!” Her picks: avocado and banana for potassium, yogurt and kimchi for probiotics, carrots and artichokes for fiber, and cucumber for H2O.
Use these pro-tips and you’ll debloat in no time (well, 3 to 5 days, anyway)!