Beat Bloat on Special Occasions

April 2, 2013

You can spend hours picking out the perfect dress, applying your makeup, and curling your hair, but if your tummy becomes distended, it will be hard to feel your best. Instead of skipping meals to feel skinny, choose foods that will keep belly bloat at bay. Personal trainer, certified nutritionist, and exercise physiologist Franci Cohen shares what to eat at or before three common outings.

Girls' night out: Don’t be afraid to have a large meal beforehand (ie: more than just a PB&J). If you are planning for an active night, whether dancing, bowling, or party hopping, you'll need the fuel. (Related: 6 Slimming Drinks) Whip up 4 oz of grilled chicken breast, ½ cup of cooked brown rice and lentils, and 1 cup of steamed string beans, suggests Cohen. This meal will fill you up without weighing you down, so you have all the energy you need for a night out on the town.

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Dinner date: Refrain from ordering a salad to make it look like you’re being healthy. All the veggies in the salad will actually cause your stomach to bloat more. Instead, order a fish dish with one side of grilled vegetables. “Wild Salmon is jam-packed with heart healthy vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids,” says Cohen. “If salmon is not an option, mackerel, sea bass, and lemon sole are all good options as well.” When choosing your side, you may want to steer clear of bloat-boosting cruciferous veggies (such as cauliflower, broccoli) in favor of grilled zucchini, asparagus, or carrots, which will keep your tummy tamed, says Cohen. Next time, try one of these 14 Date Ideas that Make You Move.

Luncheon: Avoid the temptation to skip lunch (in hopes of losing weight) and just grab an energy drink. Eating a well-balanced lunch is essential for boosting energy and productivity—it helps you power through that mid-day slump and keeps your metabolism active. Plus, the carbonation from an energy drink will make you more bloated then a light lunch would. “For a mid-day luncheon, your best bet is a salad chock-full of fresh veggies and greens and topped with a piece of grilled fish, low-fat tuna salad, or fresh turkey breast slices,” says Cohen. “Throw a few walnuts or almonds on top and dress with a low-fat/low-sugar dressing to finish off your delicious salad creation.

Have a few more days to get ready for a big event? This jumpstart plan will help you Shrink Your Belly in Less Than a Week.