Feel gassy? Like you've gained 10 pounds in the past two days? Most likely, bloating is to blame.
Fortunately, you can avoid that puffiness for good by taking a few simple precautions.
1. Cut back on sugar-free gum
... and candies and other foods containing artificial sweeteners like sorbitol and aspartame, which aren't digestible and trigger bloating, says Dr. Christine Gerbstadt, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
2. Don't eat and run
When you eat in a hurry, you swallow a lot of gas-producing air. Chew food well, with your mouth closed, and sip straight from a cup instead of from a straw.
3. Watch the raw veggies
Prone to puffiness? Raw produce can be tough for your body to break down, leading to bloat. Cooking vegetables makes them easier for your stomach to handle.
4. Don't freak out
Stress hormones speed up everything in your body, including your digestive system. The result? "You may experience gas and diarrhea, which can cause bloating," says Kristi King, a registered dietitian and a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Her suggestion? When you're anxious, get up and go for a stroll to move bubbles out of your tummy and ease your nerves.
5. Get tested
Chronic bloating and gas can be caused by lactose intolerance (sensitivity to the sugar found in milk) or fructose malabsorption (sensitivity to fructose, a sugar found in fruit juice, table sugar, and high-fructose corn syrup). Your doctor can diagnose either with a simple breath test.