Like death and taxes, bloating is an unfortunate fact of life. A fact that often strikes at the most inconvenient time--say, hours before an event at which you really want to look amazing. When that happens, follow these tips for getting rid of extra water and gas fast (and with minimal effort to boot.)
9 Ways to Look Less Bloated by Tonight
About that slinky cocktail dress...
Start The Day Off Right
This is a staple of the celebrity beauty diet for a reason: It works. A glass of warm water with lemon in the morning jump-starts your digestive system and sets everything off on the right foot, right away. For an added kick, sprinkle in some cinnamon or cayenne pepper for extra anti-inflammatory power.
While You're At It, Drink Only Water
Whether or not you ditch the lemon after that first cup, stick to H2O throughout the day. Water prevents common causes of bloating like constipation and dehydration and doesn’t contain any stomach-expanding ingredients like sweeteners and carbonation that are present in other drinks like soda (yes, even diet) and seltzer.
Lactose sensitivity is way more common than you probably think--even if you possibly have the mildest case. Many people experience some form of negative side effects (most often gas and bloating) after milk, cheese or yogurt. We’re not saying cut these out for good, but ahead of a big event, steer clear of dairy just to be safe, since you never really know how your body is going to react.
And Avoid Salt
Obvious but true: Salt causes the body to retain water, so it’s best to stick to pepper when you’re looking to feel slimmer.
When you eat too quickly, you swallow more air, which can cause bloat. Chew slower and more mindfully and maybe skip the after-lunch gum (which has a similar effect) while you’re at it.
A number of foods are great at getting rid of unwanted bloat. Asparagus stimulates the growth of good gut bacteria; bananas contain high levels of potassium to flush excess sodium out of your system; and watermelons (90 percent water) also have natural diuretic properties. Snack accordingly.
Freeze Your Face
If your eyes and cheeks are looking especially puffy, try this incredibly simple trick: Wrap an ice cube in a thin tea towel and rub over the affected areas. This eases inflammation and makes your features look instantly more defined.
Stretch It Out
Before a big night out, consider a quick yoga sequence aimed at increasing blood flow to your digestive tract and ridding your internal organs of constipation-causing toxins. (We like this super-simple five-pose routine.) Also consider an abdominal massage, which increases blood flow and soothes your muscles (and also works wonders on period cramps).
As corny as it sounds, a lot of confidence comes from within. Walk into a room with your shoulders pulled back and head held high, knowing that you look great regardless. (And maybe pull in your core while you’re at it.) Chances are you’ll end up feeling and looking way better than if you were to walk in hunched over and emanating bad vibes. Fake it till you make it, folks.