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There are actually tens of different possible causes of belly bloating — from heartburn to celiac disease — but for simplicity’s sake, I’m only going to talk about the most common causes…and, more importantly, how to bust that bloat!
First, I want to debunk one persistent myth that bloating is the same thing as “water weight,” and that things like laxatives will purge away the bloat…NO!
Water weight is a real thing, caused by not drinking enough water, and also caused by excessive sugar, salt, and alcohol intake, because all of these things cause you to retain extra water in your cells. So, the way to get rid of water weight is by drinking more water, and by eating a pure, naturally low-salt and low-sugar HFLC diet!
Fair enough, right? But belly bloating is actually the buildup of trapped air/gas in your abdomen. (“Water weight” swelling can be seen in the feet/ankles, not the stomach.)
Trapped gas…that sounds gross and a little scary, right? Plus, all that trapped gas often makes your stomach hard in a not-abs way, plus it hurts! Don’t worry, there are abundant ways to get rid of bloating, and see your abs again (or for most of us, work toward that goal!).
Change Up Your Diet
Unfortunately, there are a lot of foods that can be the culprit, if you’re wondering why you’re bloated. Healthline.com recommends keeping a food diary. Then, see if you’re eating a lot of the following:
Now, I know you might be freaking out about those last two! And, please, do not throw out that kale salad just because of this! I only want you to be aware of what leads to gas in the stomach and therefore, a hard, swollen belly…
Plus, for veggies and beans, they actually only have a belly-bloating effect on SOME people, whose bodies don’t react well to FODMAPs, which are a certain type of carb that produces gas. Obviously, because it’s based on carb content, veggies aren’t nearly as bad of an offender as grains, anyway!
So, since you’re not about to toss your broccoli in the trash (the way you might have wanted to when you were little!) it’s more important to talk about about what foods GET RID OF bloating!
Exercise is another good way to get rid of bloating, since you’re “pumping the gas” when you pump iron (sorry, gross) by making digestion happen more quickly. Of course, drink lots of water during your workout to make this a double threat!
Even better, if you want to know how to burn calories through simple, easy strength exercises while you’re watching Netflix, check out my article here!