4 Foods To Avoid: What Will Make You 'Big, Fat And Bloated'

June 4, 2012 2:33 PM EDT | By Amanda Remling
Salt
Step away from that salt shaker! Salt causes water retention which could make your look bloated. (Photo: Wikipedia)

Bikinis, crop tops and tanks. It's the time of year to be showing off that hot body you've been working on, but consuming a few items can make it look like you were a couch potato all winter. Don't let the daily yoga, morning jog or night-time crunches be all for nothing. Here are four items to steer clear of this summer to keep your stomach flat and beach ready.

Salt

How many times does your mom have to tell you to lay off the salt? It's an easy habit to throw salt onto absolutely anything, but in the summer months, a salt-free diet leads to a happy pool side body.

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Salt causes the body to retain water, which makes your stomach swell. While your body does need to intake sodium daily (2000-2500mg), people generally go way over the necessarily daily amount. According to BodyBuilding.com, French fries and potato chips are "loaded with unnecessary amounts of sodium." Other salt heavy foods include Chinese food, processed meats, ketchup and soy sauce.

If your only problem is being a little too trigger happy with the salt shaker, BodyBuilding.com suggests replacing salt with ginger, black pepper, chives, Ms. Dash, hot sauce or even garlic.

Carbonated Drinks

You probably already know that consuming carbonated beverages like soda, beer and even champagne can make your bloated. The sugar and carbs found in these drinks cause your stomach to expand.

Women's Health Magazine suggests dropping the carbonated drinks and turning to old faithful....water. Drinking eight glasses of water a day can stifle hunger and flush "waste products your body makes when it breaks down fat for energy or when it processes metabolism." If water is too boring then try drinking low-fat milk or green tea (which also helps protect your skin from UV ray damage).

Cutting back the alcoholic drinks in the summer may seem impossible, so if you really can't make yourself put down the glass, then try drinking in moderation. Women's Health Magazine suggests limiting yourself to two or three alcoholic drinks a week. (P.S. think about how happy your wallet will be when you cut back!)

Refined Carbs

Bagels, breads and muffins, oh my no! White flour is packed full of refined carbs, which can increase insulin levels and cause fat to get stored up in your gut. Cookies, cakes, cupcakes and donuts are all major (delicious) culprits in building up that gut.

Livestrong.com has an easy suggestion to still eat the foods that you crave though. The words "whole wheat" or "whole grain" mean anything to you? These grain based foods are not refined carbs. Pasta and white rice are also nasty culprits in increased gut fat, but the good news is that wheat alternatives exist.

Look out for labels that say: wheat flour, stoned wheat, cracked wheat, 100% wheat, or multi-grain.

Chewing Gum

Now this is one that shocked me. According to Cosmopolitan magazine, chewing gum "makes you gulp in extra air, creating a tummy pooch." Believe it or not, it is the sugar-free brands that are the major offenders. The sugar-free chewing gum brands generally use artificial sweeteners. These artificial sweeteners can upset the digestive tract.

If your using the chewing gum as a way to freshen up your breathe, try chewing on actual mint leaves. Besides freshening up your breathe, LiveStrong.com also notes that mint leaves have other benefits, like soothing the digestive system and relieving stomach pain.

Mint can also alleviate fluid retention, "allowing for water weight loss," explains LiveStrong.com. Jackpot!

If chewing on leaves seems a bit barbaric to you, you can add the leaves to tea or any other cold drink to add flavor.  Mint leaves can be found in your fresh herb section at your local grocery store.



 

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