Sit-ups, planks, leg lifts—these moves that can help tone and tighten your tummy in the long-term. But sometimes you want a flatter belly, you know, this weekend, whether because you’ve got a form-fitting dress to squeeze into, or it’s your bestie’s bachelorette party at the beach. In that case, your need to know the foods that cause belly bloat, and avoid them at all costs—or at least until the weekend’s over. Keep scrolling to find out which bloat-inducing foods to temporarily nix.
Fruits like apples, bananas, cherries, peaches, and pears, contain a sugar called fructose, which is difficult for many people to digest. While one apple or banana may be fine, if you end up consuming more fructose than your body can digest, it’s broken down by fermentation, which unfortunately causes bloating and gas in the large intestine. Apples and bananas are two of the highest fructose fruits out there, so stay away from those two in particular when you’re focusing on immediate flattening.
Canned soup: It’s a wondrous, convenient, inexpensive way to warm up and feel full on a cold, winter night. The downside to soup is the insanely high sodium content. Sodium causes the body to retain more water— your body is trying to dilute the salt, leaving you with that distended water balloon feeling in your belly. Skip the soup, or make sure it’s a low-sodium version.
Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, brussels sprouts, and cauliflower contain raffinose, a sugar that is difficult for the body to break down and that causes gas in the process of digestion. Though they’re super-healthy foods, you only need to skip them for a few days, when you can replace them with less bloat-causing alternatives, like cooked spinach.
The sugar in milk (aka lactose) is tough for the body to digest and can cause a full, tight, feeling in the tummy, along with unpleasant gassiness if you’re the least bit intolerant. Especially bad is foamed milk, like the kind used in lattes, thanks to the combination of lactose and air bubbles involved. This creates gas, belching, and discomfort. Just remember Mugatu’s famous line from Zoolander: When his assistant hands him a latte, he spits it out screaming, “Are you not aware that I get farty and bloated with a foamy latte?!!!!”
Baked beans are notorious bloat-creators, for the same reason as cruciferous vegetables: They contain raffinose sugars that cause intestinal gas. Though you probably know to steer clear of baked beans when a beach day is on the horizon, the same goes legumes like peas and lentils, and even edamame.
Even if you’re an all gluten, all the time kind of person, wheat isn’t an easy food for the body to digest. In the process of breaking down wheat, gas is produced in the large intestine causing many people to get an uncomfortably swollen stomach. Refined, white carbohydrates will also spike your insulin levels and trigger increased fat storage in your midsection. Try going gluten-free if you’re a few days away from a bathing suit to give your stomach a flat chance.
Heavy starches like potatoes cause gas and water retention. Worse still is the fried version (no French fries!), because the high-fat oils delay the stomach from emptying, increasing your sense of fullness in your belly—not to mention the sodium content.
Which of these bloat-causing foods most surprised you? Sounds off below!