Sure, eating three helpings of pie won’t do your waistline any favors—but neither will eating three helpings of broccoli. Here’s why: Certain foods are known bloat offenders, which means they’ll increase puffiness and make you appear heavier than you are, says Stephanie Middleberg, R.D., of Stephanie Middleberg Nutrition in New York City. These are the four food items to watch out for the most:
Broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale—this season’s trendiest greens are also the biggest stomach puffers, thanks to their high fiber content. Enjoy a small serving since they’re so healthy and filling—but stop after that, particularly if you’re trying to fit into a tiny holiday party dress later.
Salty Processed Products
A handful of chips, a serving of canned soup, cold cuts…if you got it from a bag or a box, it’s probably loaded with salt, which causes you to retain water and resemble a blowfish. Steer clear of these offenders as much as possible so as not to exacerbate bloating.
Those bubbles that make soda so refreshing? When you swallow them, you’re basically swallowing air, which finds its way to your stomach and abs and causes temporary muffin top. Stick with water to avoid developing a food baby (or should we be calling it a soda baby?).
Artificial Sweeteners and Diet Foods
Generally speaking, your body doesn’t agree with fake food products—and these in particular can leave you feeling gassy and puffy. Problem foods and ingredients include sugar-free gum, sucralose, aspartame, frozen yogurt, and any product that has lots of unrecognizable items on its label. Indulge in the real stuff—it tastes better, and so long as you consume it in moderation (and as part of a healthy diet), it shouldn’t affect your waistline.
PUBLISHED: NOVEMBER 26, 2013 | BY ESTHER CRAIN
Women’s Health Magazine