When you’re battling a bad case of bloating, it can be hard to stay focused. Everyone has been there. Your pants feel tight, your abdomen tightens and you might even feel some stomach pains or unusual growling. About 10 percent of people say they experience the symptoms of bloating regularly.
Bloating is usually tied to what you eat. While beans and broccoli are a great part of a long-term weight-loss goal, they can actually be part of the problem in the moment. Eating large meals, rich and fatty foods and eating too fast also all add to the risk of bloating.
If you’re one in ten Americans who experience this discomfort, there are a few simple changes you can make that may help.
Sip on Water
Everyone knows you need to get enough water to stay hydrated, but water helps you from becoming constipated? Water helps keeps things moving and may also help keep you from overeating during your next meal.
Just 15 to 20 minutes a day will help keep your digestive tract moving smoothly. Do whatever activity you enjoy — walk around your office building during lunch or even take a stroll around the block at night. Just keep exercise as part of your daily routine.
Drink some coffee
There’s a reason why your morning cup of Joe sends you straight to the ladies room. Caffeine stimulates the colonic muscle contractions similar to the ones activated after eating a large meal. So if you’re feeling bloated, drink a cup and wait a while. That just might help.
Eat dinner earlier
Eating dinner earlier, and at a consistent time of the day, is a good way to avoid starting the next day with a feeling of bloating. Eating earlier gives your body enough time to digest your meal before you hit the sheets.
Step away from the Bubbles
Seltzer waters, sodas and bubbly cocktails are all culprits of belly bloat. Those innocent little bubbles can wreck havoc on your digestive system and make you feel extra puffy. Seltzers aren’t as bad as sodas in terms of overall health, but they’re equal players when it comes to your digestive tract. As for liquor, limiting your intake is best, and stay away from anything sugary or bubbling.
Hit the Yoga Mat
A 2015 study found that doing a combination of poses that require breathing, stretching and twisting can help alleviate bloating. A few approved poses include triangle pose, cobra pose, and yes, savanna.
Drink Peppermint Tea
Peppermint naturally relaxes the muscles in the intestines. It’s a great trick for short-term relief, reports the Mayo Clinic.
Most drinks are served with straws, but resist, pop off the top and drink directly from the cup or glass. Straws can cause excess air to get trapped in your stomach.
Eat the good stuff
Snacking on high water content fruits and vegetables like cantaloupe, watermelon, and cucumbers can give you belly a low calorie flush.
Beware of Salt
Stay away from high sodium foods like TV dinners. Any food with high sodium content can retain water and add to your bloat. Sprinkle pepper or other spices on your food instead of salt, sauces and and seasonings (that usually contain salt).
Eat more oatmeal
Start your day with oatmeal a few days and see how you feel. Oatmeal is rich in fiber, easy to prepare, and perfect on-the-go. Just make sure you’re not overloading it in sugar.
Downside your dish
No one is saying to restrict your daily calories, but eating smaller portions at a time can help you feel more energized and less bloated because your body isn’t trying to digest a ton of food all at once.