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Diet Diva
Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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Baby Bump or Beans?

Ok, confession time. Each week when I go to my local supermarket, the first thing I do is read the celebrity magazines. It kills me to admit it, but I love seeing who’s wearing what (did you know ankle boots are really in right now?), who cut or dyed their hair, if baby Suri has been spotted yet, etc. But one magazine trend that’s been driving me absolutely bonkers is the baby bump watch. Practically every week there is a photo of a female celeb with a giant arrow pointed at her tummy and the caption, “Baby on the way?” I mean, come on! Can’t a girl eat a burrito without the world thinking she’s pregnant?

Having a perfectly flat stomach all the time is not normal. Food and liquids take up space inside the stomach and intestines and that means expansion (think of an empty balloon vs. an inflated one). And some foods are naturally gas producing, leading to extra bloating (beans, broccoli, soy, nuts, and dairy if you’re lactose intolerant). A few other dietary habits can also lead to gas build-up and belly bloat: smoking, chewing gum, drinking through a straw, carbonated beverages, eating fast (otherwise known as scarfing your food), and skipping meals. They all cause you to take in excess air which can get trapped in your system (ugh - not fun!).

So, whether you’ve got paparazzi stalking you or not, some tummy expansion after eating is inevitable. That said, there are a few things you can do to beat bloat: 1) avoid the above culprits, 2) eat condensed versions of healthy foods such as cooked vegetables versus raw, 3) eat smaller portions throughout the day, and 4) sip water all day long instead of guzzling. Or, you can just wear baggier clothes (thank goodness empire waists are still in ladies)!
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About the Author


MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N

Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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