There’s nothing worse than finishing a meal only to realize the evidence is showing in a slightly bulging stomach. And it’s not only after a big Italian meal that we experience a pasta belly. Even seemingly healthy meals make us feel like we’re about to blow a button. ALOHA Expert and Certified Wellness Coach Nadya Andreeva specializes in digestion and broke down exactly what’s happening, as well as tips for eating without the swelling.
1. Don’t drink cold beverages during meals.
“Stop drinking anything cold with your meals,” says Nadya. “If you have cold on top of it, it takes a lot more effort for your body to digest. The blood vessels constrict in your stomach muscles and makes the whole digestion process a lot slower.” Instead of an iced tea or cold soda, Nadya suggests drinking a hot herbal tea or room temperature water with a slice of lime.
2. Stop snacking.
You’ve probably heard many times that you should eat five small meals a day instead of three big ones to keep your metabolism running, so you burn more calories. Nadya is not a fan of this advice as it doesn’t give your body the time it needs to digest. “Your stomach is still processing what you’re eating, and the result is bloating.”
Another result from too much snacking is a lack of energy. “Most women are eating five or six times a day, and the body uses up 60 percent of energy trying to digest.”
3. Stay away from dry foods.
Nadya advises everyone to keep away from dry foods, like chips (“Even kale chips”) and nuts that aren’t soaked in water first. “Your colon will dehydrate, which leads to bloating.”
Other foods to avoid include any type of cheese (we know, we know), soy, corn meal and deep water fish like shellfish and shrimp.
Read more: Healthy Lunch Ideas from Pinterest