Foods That Will Give You a Gut In an Hour or Less
Salty foods – Potato chips, soy sauce, and other salty foods are loaded with sodium. Sodium helps regulate the levels of water in your body, and so the amount of sodium you eat partially determines whether your body retains or excretes excess water. If you eat more sodium than you need, your kidneys respond by holding onto extra water to keep the sodium concentration in your blood normal. And holding on to that extra water makes you feel bloated. And all that extra liquid can cause your stomach to puff out. You might notice puffiness in your fingers or face, too.
Greasy takeout – For starters, things like fried rice, pizza, or nachos are high in sodium. But they also tend to be loaded with refined carbs and sugar—two other things that cause bloating and puffiness. Carbohydrates are stored as the sugar glycogen in the body, and glycogen binds with water
Sugar free foods – Sugar alcohols like xylitol and sorbitol—which are commonly found in sugar-free baked goods, candy, or gum—contain compounds that your body can’t digest. As a result, the compounds sit in your gut, where bacteria feed on them. That creates an abundance of gas and other chemicals, which results in bloating or changes in bowel habits.
Carbonated drinks – When you drink club soda or seltzer, the gas from the bubbles gets trapped in your stomach—which can make you feel uncomfortably full and bloated. Sugary soda is even worse, since it’s high in refined carbs that cause your body to retain extra water. (Unlike sugar alcohols, the artificial sweeteners used in most diet sodas don’t cause water retention. But the bubbles can still make you bloated.)
Booze – Alcohol is high in carbs, and it’s also a diuretic—meaning it makes you dehydrated. That combo can signal your body to hold on to as much water as possible, which can cause puffiness and bloating. But that’s not all. Alcohol also slows down your stomach’s digestion speed. So any food you ate with your drink will stay in your belly longer, making it more likely to stick out.
Dairy foods – Dairy doesn’t make everyone bloated. But if you’re lactose intolerant, things like milk or ice cream can leave you gassy and uncomfortable. (Some people can still tolerate yogurt and some cheeses, which contain less lactose.) Lactose intolerance happens when your body doesn’t make enough lactase, the enzyme needed to digest the sugars found in dairy foods. When those sugars aren’t digested, bacteria feed on them, causing gas and bloating.
Beans and cruciferous vegetables – Foods like lentils, chickpeas, and broccoli contain sugars called oligosaccharides that some people have trouble digesting. When they reach the colon, they can be fermented by bacteria, which produce gas and bloating.