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10 Flat Belly Tips

Stomach feeling fat? Here's how you can beat bloating to look and feel better.

4. Don't Overdo Carbonated Drinks.

The fizz in carbonated drinks (even diet ones) can cause gas to get trapped in your belly, Blatner says.

Instead, drink water flavored with lemon, lime, or cucumber. Or just reduce the number of fizzy drinks you consume each day. Try some peppermint tea for a soothing beverage that may help reduce bloat.

5. Don't Overdo Chewing Gum.

Chewing gum can also lead to swallowing air, which can cause bloating.

If you've got a gum habit, alternate chewing gum with sucking on a piece of hard candy or eating a healthy, high-fiber snack like fruit, vegetables, or lower-fat popcorn.

6. Watch Out for Sugar-Free Foods.

"Many of my patients suffer from bloating because they consume too much sugar alcohol in artificially sweetened foods and drinks," Blatner says. And that can lead to bloating.

Experts recommend consuming no more than 2 or 3 servings of artificially sweetened foods and drinks per day.

7. Limit Sodium.

Highly processed foods tend to be high in sodium and low in fiber, both of which can contribute to that bloated feeling, Jensen says.

Get in the habit of reading food labels, Blatner advises. When buying processed, canned, or frozen foods, shoot for no more than 500 mg of sodium per serving in any product -- or a total of 1,500 to 2,300 mg of sodium per day. Look for labels that say "sodium free," "low sodium," or "very low sodium."

8. Go Slow with Beans and Gassy Vegetables.

If you're not used to eating beans, they can cause that gassy feeling. So can the cruciferous family of vegetables, such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower.

That doesn't mean you should give up on these super-nutritious, high-fiber vegetables.

"Don’t be nervous about beans," Blatner says. "Just work them into your diet slowly until your body adjusts to the compounds that can initially cause gas."

Or, you can take an anti-gas product, which can help reduce gas from beans or vegetables.

9. Eat Smaller Meals More Often

Instead of three big meals per day, try eating smaller meals more often. This can keep you free of the bloated feeling that often follows large meals (think Thanksgiving). Eating more frequently can also help control blood sugar and manage hunger.

So go for five to six small meals each day, but make sure the quantity of food and calories are proportionate to your needs. To create a daily meal plan that includes the recommended amounts of all major nutrients, visit the U.S. Department of Agriculture's MyPlate web site.

10. Try Anti-Bloating Foods and Drinks.

A few studies suggest that peppermint tea, ginger, pineapple, parsley, and yogurts containing probiotics ("good" bacteria) may help reduce bloating.

"These are safe foods that are good for you when used appropriately, so why not try them and see if they help you de-bloat?" Blatner says.

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