How to Eliminate Bloating

You’ve been eating right and exercising, doing all the things experts say you should do in order to lose fat and get healthy. But when you step on the scale, you get a nasty shock: you’ve gained 5 pounds! What did you do wrong?

Absolutely nothing. Everyone experiences unexpected weight gains from time to time. These are caused by water retention, also known as bloating. Bloating can be very discouraging to dieters, but it’s important to remember that the weight gain is temporary.

You can lose the water weight as fast as you gained it by following these simple rules:

Reduce your carb intake.

Carbohydrates give us quick energy, but they also make us retain water. When stored in the body, carbohydrates attract water. The end result is a puffier appearance, tighter clothes, and a few extra pounds on the scale.

To reduce bloating, eat fewer carbs. Note that this does not mean you need to eliminate all carbohydrates. Simply avoid sugar, starch, and any product made from refined white flour. Instead, eat protein, healthy fats, vegetables, and products made from ground flax seed. You will see a visible reduction in your bloating after one to two days.

Use up your glycogen reserves.

Carbohydrates are stored in our muscles as glycogen. Glycogen combines with water to puff muscles up and make them look larger. While this is desirable for competitive bodybuilders, the typical dieter doesn’t want to look any bigger than they already are. To do that, you’ll need to make sure you’re burning through those glycogen reserves.

The strategy is simple: eat fewer carbs and exercise more. Do a mixture of cardio exercise and strength training, and eat only protein and healthy carbohydrates, like fruits and vegetables, to fuel your workouts.

Drink more water.

Quick: make a fist. Do your hands feel tight and puffy? If you wear rings, do they leave deep impressions in your skin after you remove them? These are sure signs of bloating, probably stemming from dehydration. Water is a sure cure for this type of bloating.

When your body doesn’t have enough water, it starts to hold on to every bit of fluid it has access to. This causes the fluid to build up inside you, leaving you bloated and sluggish. To overcome this survival mechanism, you’ll need to drink a lot of water. How much is a lot? At least 64 oz over the course of a few hours. You can tell your dehydration is being corrected when you start to pass clear urine.

Cut out the extra salt.

Sodium is a necessary mineral, but a diet heavy in processed and fast foods (ie, the typical Western diet) provides far more sodium than is necessary or healthy. The human body requires only 500mg of sodium daily, but many of us routinely take in 6,000mg or more each day!

All of this extra salt can have a detrimental effect on your health and your waistline. Sodium acts as an irritant to your muscles and organs. In order to dilute this effect, your body will retain water. This is why excess salt consumption leads to bloating in so many people. To avoid this, eat as many whole, unprocessed foods as possible. Use potassium chloride as a salt substitute, and drink plenty of water to flush your system.

Caffeine: A quick and dirty trick.

Caffeine has both a laxative and a diuretic effect. Simply put, it makes you pass waste materials and fluids at a faster rate. If you need to look your best for a special event, but haven’t been able to lose the bloat, drink some coffee along with 64 oz of water. This should get things moving!

Remember that caffeine is simply a quick fix, and should not be used as a long-term weight loss strategy. This method will result in a loss of temporary water weight only. Go back to your healthy diet plan as soon as possible, and follow the preceding tips to keep bloating at bay.

Bloating can make you look and feel bad, but these tricks will help you fit into your skinny jeans in no time!