Preventing (gasp) bloat

Avoid bloating for the remainder of the party season with a few diet switch ups. We all know excess salt shows up in strange places as bloat (waistline, under eyes, fingers, and ankles), but there are other foods that can cause that same stuffy feeling. Even some of the healthiest foods can create problems. So think moderation or if you're sensitive, temporary elimination of the following foods in the next few days for your best party look: Salt - it naturally attracts water, causing retention. Excess carbs - stored with water in the muscles for back up fuel. Unless you're prepping for a significant activity, cut back. High fiber raw foods - More volume than their cooked version means fuller stomach, longer digestion time. Gassy foods - even the healthy guys like broccoli, cauliflower and beans cause bloat. Artificial sugars - especially sugar alcohols found in low cal desserts. Yes, you save calories, no your body can't digest them so they hang around undigested until they pass. Fried foods - digest slower, plus usually are served up with extra salt. The perfect storm. Spicy foods - can cause irritation which translates to gas and bloat. Carbonated and high acid drinks - alcohol, soda, coffee, fruit juices can cause irritation. Gum chewing - Air is swallowed with every chew. Clean your breath, then spit it out.

Extra calories are everywhere this week and next. Be a little selective, drink some extra water, throw in 30 minutes of exercise and you can reduce bloating and feel more confident in that cute little party dress.