Health Review 

Flat Belly 101

Sammy Pappas is a co-founder of Dietitians of Palm Valley, registered dietitian and certified personal trainer. Pappas enjoys blogging about nutrition, fitness, and wellness.

Calling all women! Do you ever feel bloated after you eat or drink? You are not alone! Depending on your current lifestyle and eating habits, you could be expanding your stomach region by 6 inches over the course of your day. Follow these tips to minimize the bloat and maximize your confidence.

Salt. Salt shakers, frozen/ processed meals, salt-based seasonings, & fast foods are loaded in sodium.  When you take in a large amount of sodium, you will temporarily retain water, causing you to gain 2-4 pounds of water weight! Skip the salt shaker & try to keep your sodium intake to 1500-2300 mg/ day.

Carbonated Drinks.  Both diet and regular carbonated drinks will lead to bloat for the day.  The fizz from the drinks will trap air in your stomach leading you to look puffy in the middle region.  Replace your diet coke at lunch with water with lemon/lime or cucumber which both detoxify you further!

Sugar Free Foods. Many people are sensitive to sugar alcohols found in artificially flavored food and drinks. It is recommended, for health purposes, to limit artificial sugars to 2-3 servings/day.  For bloat purposes, limit artificial sugars to 0 servings/day! This includes sweet-n-low, Splenda, truvia, nutra-sweet, and equal.  Read food labels, anything ending in –ol may be a culprit (mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol, etc.)

Gas Forming Foods.  Although healthy, gas forming vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, onions, and beans can blow up your intestines like a hot air balloon.  Before hitting the beach, stick with veggies with less roughage.

Air.  When using a straw, chewing gum, or sucking on hard candy, we take in extra air.  This air can become trapped in our stomach, leading to hiccups in some, stomach bloat in others!

For more flat belly tips, contact Dietitians of Palm Valley!