Banish post-holiday bloating with these 7 easy tips
I'll be the first to admit that I definitely indulged a little too much over the holiday season. All that coquito, wine, and pernil lead me to pick up a couple of pounds. Now that the parties are over and I'm back at the office, I'm feeling more than just a little bloated, if you know what I mean. So before you decide to hit the gym, here are few simple tips that will help you banish the bloat.
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1. Slow down while eating. I don't know what it is about holiday parties that makes me feel the needs to gulp down my food. Have you ever noticed that whenever you eat quickly, you suddenly feel a pain in your chest? That's because eating fast increases the amount of air your swallow. Take it easy, eat slowly, and have small bites.
2. Avoid the salt. Sodium is one of the biggest belly-bloating culprits. Why? Because salt causes your body to retain water. Avoid salty foods, including processed canned foods or microwaveable meals. Instead stick to fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and meats. Use herbs and spices (think home-made sofrito) to season your meals instead.
3. Have bananas. Whenever I'm feeling particularly bloated, my abuela always tells me to have a banana. The potassium found in bananas helps lower your body's tendency to retain salt and water.
4. Drink water. One common cause of bloating is dehydration, believe it or not. By keeping your body hydrated and increasing the amount of water in your body you can flush out bloating. Make to sure to have at least 6 full glasses of water a day, and incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables that contain water into your regular diet.
5. Move your body. Sitting at a desk all day can definitely contribute to bloating. Try taking a 10 minute walk after lunch. This will not only help you to digest your meal better, but the air bubbles that pass through your digestive system (that ultimately cause bloating) will disappear quicker.
6. Exercise. Because I suffer from on and off gastritis, I'm always struggling with bloating. One of the ways I fight it is by doing exercises that focus on my abdominal area, like pilates or yoga. They both improve digestion, which eliminates water retention, bloating and constipation.
7. Have less dairy. Even if you're not lactose intolerant, too much dairy at once can cause bloating. Try to split your dairy intake throughout the day and choose good dairies like Greek yogurt or cheddar cheese.
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