Any diet that promises you something in just a week is probably too good to be true. However, a lot can happen in a week, especially if your main problem is that you’re bloated.
Many dieters mistake bloating for fat. Likewise, many despair, thinking that their effort is not paying off when, in fact, there are simple solutions to beat the bloat once and for all.
Read on to learn why you bloat and 4 simple food swaps you can make to get the flat stomach you want in as little as one week.
3 common reasons for bloating
While food allergies, sensitivities, and other factors can cause bloating unique to you, there are other, more straightforward reasons for bloating. These reasons include:
- Overeating − overeating can easily cause discomfort.
- Eating rich/fatty foods − fat takes longer to digest than protein or carbohydrates so you’ll feel fuller for longer.
- Eating too fast − if you eat too fast, you aren’t chewing food thoroughly. This means you’re taking in more air as you take bites, and may overeat. These factors can all cause discomfort.
Besides how you eat and the general content of what you eat, certain foods are likely to cause bloating. By recognizing these foods and making simple swaps, you can avoid this problem and beat your belly bloat for good.
4 swaps for the flat belly you’ve always wanted
Some simple swaps at mealtimes are an easy way to flatten out your stomach.
1. Add fiber to your diet
Constipation and other digestion-related problems distend your stomach. The simplest way to combat this problem is with an added fiber boost to your diet. The idea is to kickstart your digestive system early in the day, which will help it function at optimal levels during and after each subsequent meal as well.
There are two kinds of fiber you should add to your diet when you want to flatten out:
- Insoluble fiber − insoluble fiber includes food like seeds, fruit skins, brown rice, and wholegrain bread. Insoluble fiber doesn’t absorb water and plays a key role in weight loss by making you feel full and encouraging regular bowel movements, preventing constipation (which can cause bloating).
- Soluble fiber − soluble fiber includes food like oatmeal, nuts, beans, apples, and berries. Soluble fiber absorbs water and forms a gel-like mush in the digestive system. This mush protects against heart conditions and diabetes, promotes weight loss, and helps regulate bowel movements.
The primary difference between the two forms of fiber is how the body breaks them down and reacts to them. However, both work together to pull water into the colon and expedite the digestive process. This will reduce bloating and make you feel lighter.
The simplest way to swap out fiber-deficient (i.e. processed) food for fiber-rich food is to eat more whole foods. Nuts, beans, fruit, rice, and other healthy options are all great choices you can reach for throughout the day.
2. Eliminate sodium from your diet
Sodium is known to cause water retention. And, because many individuals salt their food while cooking and then again at the table before eating, it should come as no surprise that millions of dieters around the world consume more than twice the recommended amount of sodium.
The simplest way to eliminate sodium from your diet is to carefully measure the salt you add, either while cooking or at the table. More importantly, you should never add more salt after cooking. Doing so can interfere with your cravings and compromise your diet. You should also check the labels before purchasing food at the store. Processed goods, especially frozen meals, may contain more than half of your recommended daily intake of sodium.
3. Add potassium to your diet
Potassium and sodium are two chemicals that control the amount of water in your body. If you eat too much sodium, your tissues will retain water. Taking in more potassium is the best way to correct the imbalance.
Eating foods that are rich in potassium is the simplest way to rebalance your system. This includes whole foods such as a baked potato with the skin, a medium banana, a medium orange, or even just half a cup of cooked spinach.
Please note that potassium supplements will not have the same effect as potassium itself. In fact, potassium supplements typically cause a build-up in the body, and this can cause heart problems, including heart attacks. So it’s best to get potassium from whole food sources rather than through supplements.
4. Eliminate sugar alcohols, candy, and soda
Sugar alcohols, candy, and soda cause problems for different reasons. For example, sugar alcohols − typically found in flavored water and other low-carb or sugar-free foods − feed bacteria in the large intestine. When these bacteria ferment the alcohol, gas and diarrhea are likely to follow.
On the other hand, candy and soda, which involve sucking actions and sipping through a straw, introduce air into the body. This can also happen if you chew gum or eat or drink quickly.
Choosing flat drinks over carbonated drinks and eating slowly (and preferably eating less sugar) is a simple way to fix this problem. You may also want to avoid sugar alcohols like sorbitol, mannitol, and xylitol.
There are no quick fixes for a flat tummy, but food swaps will help
If you feel regular discomfort, it’s likely that your tummy isn’t flat due to bloating, not belly fat. By making the simple changes above − reducing sodium in your diet, increasing your fiber and potassium intake, and reducing your intake of foods known to cause bloating − you can easily banish your bloat and enjoy the flat tummy you’ve been working for.
Once you take steps to get rid of your belly bloat it’s important you continue on your fat loss journey, too! If you need a boost, PhenQ is a comprehensive supplement that won’t only help you lose fat, but will also give you an energy boost, suppress your appetite, and otherwise support your weight loss goals!
So what do you have to lose (other than the bloat and more belly fat)?