Health Advice Paula Owens

Feeling a little bloated from the holiday indulgence? Read on for solutions to combat water retention and beat the bloat for good.

1. Drink water like it’s your job. A minimum of half your weight in clean, filtered water every single day to prevent dehydration, alleviate water retention and bloat. Here’s the formula to determine the number of ounces of water intake ideal for your body: take your weight and multiply by .7 for the number of ounces of water to drink daily.

2. Cut out starchy carbs, grains, wheat, sugar, gluten, dairy, sugar alcohols and all artificial sweeteners, which cause water retention and bloating.

3. Eat tons of leafy greens and non-starchy veggies. Specifically include more asparagus, cucumber, watercress, chard, celery, dandelion greens, artichokes, cranberries, parsley and cilantro, which are natural diuretics.

4. Drink a cup of lemon water upon rising. Repeat before meals. Another option is one to two tablespoons of raw apple cider vinegar mixed with a small amount of water taken before meals.

5. Eat clean protein at every meal. Protein can act like a natural diuretic and help your body get rid of extra water.

6. Determine hidden food sensitivities. You can be eating the healthiest diet on the planet, but if your system is sensitive to a specific food it will create excess inflammation, which is a direct cause of puffiness, bloat and a host of other health problems.

7. Cut down on caffeine. Go easy on the booze, which causes bloating, puffiness, carb cravings and dehydration. If you really want to lean out and de-bloat, cut out the alcohol completely.

8. Re-store electrolyte mineral balance: sodium, potassium, zinc, magnesium

9. Drink 2-3 cups of strong dandelion root tea daily, a liver tonic and gentle diuretic that’s high in potassium. Yogi-Detox tea, ginger, peppermint and fennel tea are also helpful for de-bloating.

10. Avoid chewing gum, carbonated beverages, MSG, and salty, high-sodium foods.

11. Limit intake of gas-producing foods such as beans, legumes and cruciferous vegetables, which can be problematic for some.

12. Spice it up and include more ginger, cinnamon, fennel and turmeric in your diet.

13. Get your sweat on for at least 30 minutes daily.

14. Bounce on a mini-trampoline to boost lymphatic flow.

15. Take a hot 15-minute sauna a couple of times weekly.

16. Eat in a relaxed environment. Eat slowly and chew food until it’s liquefied before swallowing.

17. Address inflammation. Belly bloat is a sign of an inflamed gut. Food sensitivities are often the culprit, but also environmental toxins, bacteria imbalances and infections such as yeast, Candida or parasites are to blame.

18. Soak in a detox bath: Epsom salts, bentonite clay, baking soda, ginger.

19. Rule out any underlying factors that may be causing bloating and water retention: Candida overgrowth, IBS, constipation, bacteria imbalance in the colon, toxic overload, medications, oral contraceptives, liver congestion and hormones imbalances specifically low thyroid function and adrenal dysfunction. Also consider estrogen dominance, low testosterone and low progesterone.

20. Beat the bloat with nutrient support: magnesium, HCL with digestive enzymes, probiotics, potassium orotate and B6 phosphate (B6 deficiency can lead to delayed water excretion leading to abdominal bloating or swollen ankles).

• Ahwatukee Foothills resident Paula Owens, M.S., is the author of two books, “The Power of 4” and “Fat Loss Revolution.” She is a nutritionist and fitness expert with more than 25 years of experience, and creator of “21 Days to a Leaner, Healthier You,” an online exercise and fat-loss program. Visit Paula at

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