It doesn't matter how many pounds you lose, if you're sporting a bloated stomach your skinny jeans will never fit right.
About one in five people regularly suffer from bloating, says John E. Pandolfino, M.D., chief of gastroenterology and hepatology at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, and not only is a swollen stomach unsightly and uncomfortable, but it can also be a symptom of bigger body issues. Your belly is a barometer of your overall health, and everything from your diet to your moods can affect your digestion, gas production, and, ultimately, whether or not you feel like you're about to bust a gut.
Luckily, once you ID the cause of your ballooning middle, deflating it is easy. Here are eight common culprits, plus simple strategies to beat the bloat:
Related: Read Belly Off Diet for more dieting tips.