Beating belly bloat is one of the simplest ways in which you can create the illusion of a flatter belly in a short amount of time. If you are in need for a quick confidence booster, applying a few easy tips can help you appear slimmer and healthier.

Although there is no magical weight loss solution, beating bloating can sure help us trim a few inches off our belly, making us look leaner and more toned. A common problem among women, bloating can have a variety of causes: fluid retention, PMS, constipation, swallowing air or even eating some healthy, yet gassy foods. Understanding the causes is a great start as it can help you avoid certain behaviors that can make matters worse.

One of the simplest ways to avoid feeling bloated is paying attention to simple behaviors such as chewing gum, drinking through a straw or talking while eating. All these behaviors should be avoided if you are trying to prevent bloat as they can worsen it. While not everything can be so carefully controlled, being mindful about these things can truly make a difference when it comes to the 'damage' created. Similarly, eating too fast is another behavior that can be easily changed.

Artificial sweeteners can prove hard to digest for some people who might be unaware of the fact that they might be having a sensitivity when it comes to digesting them. Because foods with artificial sweeteners are likely to be very processed, skipping them will most likely be beneficial not only because of potential bloating, but also for health reasons. Cutting soda is especially beneficial since fizzy drinks can make matters worse.

Eat potassium rich foods. Just like there are some foods that can make bloating worse, some foods can be very beneficial in helping you beat this unpleasant condition. Potassium rich foods are a perfect example as they help regulate the fluid balance in our bodies. Diuretic foods are also a good choice as they help eliminate excess water and help you look slimmer as a result. Try eating foods such as mangoes, bananas, strawberries, tomatoes, spinach, cantaloupe or nuts. Fiber rich foods are quite helpful if you feel that constipation might be the leading cause of the bloating feeling you are experiencing. Teas such as peppermint or ginger are also thought to be helpful.

On the other hand, if you wish to prevent bloat, foods such as cruciferous vegetables, beans, corn, wheat or pasta should be avoided. Dairy products are another no-no as they contain lactose, which is also bound to be an under-recognized food intolerance. Needless to say, sodium rich products are another no-no as they are known to cause water retention, a leading cause of bloating. However, calcium and magnesium can be beneficial if you always feel bloated before your period as they can help ease the symptoms. Evaluating the likely cause behind bloating will probably give you useful clues regarding the most likely course of action when it comes to introducing or cutting back on certain types of foods.

Try massage. If cutting back on certain foods for the sake of feeling less bloated feels too complicated or restrictive, a few massage moves might be a better choice for you: press the area near the right hip using gentle circular motions. While massage is a great addition, a light form of exercise such as walking might prove even more effective when it comes to dealing with this matter. 15 to 20 minutes might be all that you need in order to see an improvement.

Credit: Thinkstock Photos