It all starts with healthy breakfast choices, and follows through to lunch and dinner.
1. Don’t carbo-load at breakfast
Carbohydrates hold water in your body, which may make your belly bloat.
Plus, high-carb, high-sugar breakfast foods like bagels or cereal might fill you up initially, but you’ll probably end up searching for more food within an hour, says Alissa Rumsey, MS, RD, CDN, CSCS, spokesperson for the US-based Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
“Those digest pretty rapidly, and then your blood sugar spikes up and drops back down pretty quickly because they digest so fast,” she says.
That extra morning munching will likely add up to more calories and bloat than you would have had if you’d started with a more filling breakfast.
For more low-carb dieting tips, try these 15.
2. Choose Greek yogurt in the morning
Look for a brand of Greek yogurt that contains live and active cultures, which will promote healthy bacteria in your gut to prevent bloating.
Plus, the protein in the yogurt will keep you full. Beef it up with fiber-rich oats, berries, and chia seeds for an extra filling morning meal – just don’t go overboard if your body isn’t used to digesting that much fibre, says Jessica Crandall, RDN, CDE, spokesperson for the US-based Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
“If you’re not used to that amount of fibre it causes gas, but if you work up to it slowly, it promotes a healthy GI system,” she says.
Slowly add a little more fibre to your diet every day for a flatter belly, and increase your fluid intake to aid digestion and reduce icky symptoms like diarrhoea and bloating.
Here’s what else you need to know about the link between complex carbohydrates and fibre.
3. Add a dose of potassium
Sodium is a big culprit of bloat by causing your body to retain water, but potassium helps counterbalance that salt.
“By eating more potassium, you can help reduce bloating,” says Torey Armul, MS, RD, CSSD, LD, an Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokesperson based in the US.
Slice banana into your yogurt, or scramble up eggs with tomato and spinach, which are other good sources of potassium.
Did you know that potassium intake also helps relieve blood pressure? Eat more of this to get more of a potassium boost than any other fruit or vegetable.