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10 Flat Belly Tips

Stomach feeling fat? Here's how you can beat bloating to look and feel better.
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3. Don't Eat Too Fast.

Eating quickly and not chewing your food well can cause air swallowing that leads to bloating, says Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, author of The Flexitarian Diet.

So slow down and enjoy your food. Your meals should last at least 30 minutes. Also, keep in mind that digestion begins in the mouth and you can decrease bloating just by chewing your food more, Blatner says.

There's another benefit to slowing things down. When you take your time to thoroughly chew and taste your food, your snack or meal becomes more satisfying. And studies have shown that if you eat more slowly, you may end up eating less.

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."

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