Want to fit into your pants? Look at the carbs you're eating, says Jacqueline Wolf, MD, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and author of A Woman's Guide to a Healthy Stomach. Many are high in one of five hard-to-digest sugars: lactose, fructose, fructans, sugar alcohols, and galactans. To help relieve your symptoms, study your diet and follow these tips:
1. Stop milking it.
If dairy makes you bloated, you may have developed lactose intolerance. Try lower-lactose foods (like hard cheese or yogurt) or lactose-free dairy products, or take a lactase enzyme.
Sorbitol, xylitol, and mannitol are sugar alcohols found in diet sodas and sugar-free gum. Avoid these if they bother you, or opt for products made with stevia or aspartame instead.
5. Be smart about beans.
Limit galactan-rich legumes (soy nuts, chickpeas, lentils, and all beans), cabbage, and brussels sprouts if they're causing you trouble. Soaking dried beans overnight or taking the OTC enzyme Beano may help.