Let's face it: Bikini Season always sneaks up on us.
Whether you're prepared to show your rockin' bod on a boat or create a 'buddy system' with a pal to tell each other to suck in (guilty!), some foods are better to beat bloating.
Who better to ask real questions for real advice from a fitness model and a registered dietitian? Celebrity fitness personality and CEO of Cause Fitness Rachel Elizabeth Murray, and registered dietitian Mary Purdy share their expertise on maintaining a flat tummy in a bikini.
Why am I bloated?!
Mary Purdy, MS, RD: There is never truly one specific cause. It's going to vary from individual to individual. For many, it is related to some kind of food sensitivity/intolerance/allergy. If someone tends to rush through a meal and not chew, very often that compromises digestive function and can lead to bloating.
Rachel Elizabeth Murray, Fitness Guru: Bloating is usually a digestive issue, but can be caused by many different things such as dehydration, over-hydration, carb-intake and timing, diet, portion size, lifestyle, etc.
Which are the evil foods that make me bloat?
Purdy: It is totally individual. For many, it is dairy or wheat; that is what I find most common. For others it can be:
- High sulfur foods like broccoli, cabbage and brussels sprouts.
- Soy products
- Fructose from fruit in large amounts
- Processed fast food and high fatty foods
Murray: To avoid bloating, try to avoid things:
- Artificial ingredients
- Sugar alcohols
- Anything high sodium,
- Carbonated beverages,
- High carb meals (pancakes, bagels, pastries, etc)
- Foods hard to digest (red meat)
HELP! I am bloated and am boating tomorrow! What foods/supplements may help?
Purdy: Herbs and spices can help: ginger, mint, cinnamon, fennel seeds. Taking a digestive enzyme or some bitters in water can also help.
Murray: Avoid anything processed! Load up on lean proteins and diuretic veggies (Ex: White fish with lemon and asparagus with a spinach/celery/cucumber salad). Drink 3-4L of fresh, filtered water. You can get dandelion root supplements at natural health food stores to help get rid of excess water weight.
I'm thirsty! What should I sip on? And, yes, I mean alcohol.
Purdy: Not beer! Beer is likely a bigger bloat culprit because it is carbonated and contains wheat which is a trigger for bloating in some people.
Murray: If you're just trying to have fun with friends and look your best while doing it, I'd say stick with the clear (NOT flavored) liquors like vodka or tequila. If you must have a mixer, go sugar-free. You're pretty safe with soda water but note that it is carbonated.
The worst alcohol for bloat would probably be beer, flavored liqueurs/liquors (raspberry vodka, sweet tea, etc) and anything high-sugar (rum, whiskey, baileys, etc).
What foods should I be stocked up on for a slim stomach?
Purdy: Keep it simple - focus on REAL food: vegetables, fruit, plant based high fiber proteins like beans and lentils, nuts and seeds for health fats, and herbs and spices, and small amounts of whole grains.
Murray: Stick to lean protein, greens over grains, and tiny portions of healthy fats (almonds, olive/coconut oils, avocado). Protein has a higher 'thermic effect' (takes more energy to digest) and anything with high nutrient density will give you more 'bang' for your calorie 'buck' in terms of health, flat tummy, energy, beauty and wellness!