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Ah, bloating, the bane of many people's existences. There are plenty of reasons you may all of a sudden feel like an inflatable pool toy. You could be retaining water like a mo-fo. Maybe you just traveled halfway around the world and didn't move around enough on the flight. Or perhaps you loaded up on bloat-causing foods, which can be particularly sneaky (who would have thought common salad ingredients could puff you up so much?). No matter the cause, you can bust bloat — especially with the following handy tricks from registered dietitians.
1. Drink naturally flavored water and stay away from the sodium.
"After a super salty meal like Chinese takeout, I'm in definite need of debloating. My go-to home remedies are hot lemon water (add lemon wedges to water in a mug and microwave until hot), hot green tea, or muddled cucumber water. All three help to make me feel much less bloated. I also try to keep my food choices lower in sodium, like having old-fashioned oats with fruit and a hard-boiled egg for breakfast instead of a processed, ready-made breakfast sandwich." — Lauren Harris-Pincus, M.S., R.D.N., owner of NutritionStarringYOU.com
2. Seek out foods with plenty of potassium.
"I up my intake of potassium-rich foods such as dark leafy greens, bananas, avocados, and asparagus. Potassium serves as a natural diuretic and counters your body's response to sodium, which will help you beat the bloat!" — Rebecca Ditkoff, R.D, CUNY School of Public Health and member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
3. Opt for whole grains instead of refined ones.
"I try to avoid a lot of processed carbohydrates, so foods like pretzels, crackers, and white bread, bagels, or pasta. These love water and will add to that bloated feeling. Instead, I stick to whole grains in their purest form, such as quinoa, farro, whole oats, wheat berries, and brown rice." — Laura Manning, M.P.H., R.D., C.D.N., clinical nutrition coordinator of gastroenterology, The Mount Sinai Hospital
4. Drink, drink, drink — but stay away from carbonation.
"Hydrate! It may sound counterintuitive, but when you're dehydrated, your cells retain water. Plenty of H20 will help flush everything out. But avoid sparkling water or anything carbonated — all those gas bubbles just increase that bloated feeling." — Sarah Rueven, M.S., R.D., C.D.N., owner of Sarah Rueven Nutrition
5. Focus on fiber.
"Constipation is a common cause for bloating, so eating a diet high in fiber can help. For snacks, I cut up a pile of fresh, crunchy vegetables like carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers, grape tomatoes, and snap peas. I fill baggies with handfuls and keep them on hand for a quick, easy, and delicious healthy snack whenever I need it throughout the day. The fiber in these foods helps me feel full without feeling bloated or tired." — Cara Walsh, R.D., Medifast California
6. But choose your vegetables wisely.
"Avoid gassy vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and kale, which often cause bloating and gas. Also, eat food rich in probiotics. Fermented foods like kefir, sauerkraut, and yogurt contain live active cultures that may help reduce bloating and abdominal discomfort." — Abbey Sharp, R.D., Abbey's Kitchen
7. Skip the sugar-free gum.
"I reach for Altoids instead of chewing sugarless gum, which contains sugar alcohols and makes me look seven months pregnant. The mints have sugar, but I'm not eating a lot of them." — Abby Langer, R.D. and owner of Abby Langer Nutrition in Toronto
See More: 8 Sneaky Ways to Debloat In Just One Day
8. Incorporate dandelion greens into your meals.
"Try adding dandelion greens to your salad. These guys are perfect for fighting bloat because they are high in fiber, are a natural diuretic, and stimulate the digestive system — three hugely helpful ways to deflate." — Brigitte Zeitlin, M.P.H., R.D., C.D.N., founder of the New York-based BZ Nutrition, tells SELF
9. Heat things up.
"I gravitate towards my heating pad for no better reason than that it works. The heats make my stomach to feel better and help me feel like I'm getting rid of the bloat. It can also be helpful to keep a food and symptom log for one week to better understand if your body has in a food intolerance or sensitivity (which are different from an allergy, therefore not identifiable on a blood or skin test)." — Laura Cipullo, R.D., R.Y.T. and author of Women's Health Body Clock Diet
10. Walk it off.
"One of the best things I've found that helps with the uncomfortable feeling of bloating is to get up and get moving. This usually means the dog gets to go for a walk as well, so it's a win-win." — Jason Ewoldt, R.D.N., L.D., wellness dietitian, Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program
Quotes have been edited and condensed for clarity.
This article originally appeared on SELF.