Hours—maybe days, weeks, or even month, really—were spent finding the wedding dress that made you want to scream "Yes!" So it's totally understandable that you want to feel amazing in that duchess satin A-line or beaded mermaid gown on your big day. Good news: The key to walking down the aisle as your fittest self isn't a starvation diet that's likely to leave you stressed and hangry. Rather, says L.A. nutritionist Kelly LeVeque, who's helping actress Emmy Rossum prep for her 2017 vows, you should fill up on proteins, fiber, and healthy fats, lay off excess dairy and sugar, and gobble up these eight known bloat-beaters.
Rise, shine, and guzzle a glass of water, advises dietitian Keri Glassman. "When you don't have enough fluids, you're going to retain water," explains the New York City-based pro. And while she admits it may seem counterintuitive to add more liquid to the mix, "water flushes out the excess water." To really de-puff add a few wedges of lemon, suggests LeVeque: "It will help reduce the amount of salt retained in the body."
If you're not into citrus, throw a cup of this sliced veggie into your morning H2O or just make it part of your lunchtime salad. Cucumbers contain a flavonoid antioxidant called quercetin, says LeVeque, that's known to reduce swelling.
A naturally anti-inflammatory and digestive aid, this spice "relaxes the muscles of the colon to relieve bloating," says LeVeque. She suggests peeling a piece of fresh ginger, then pouring hot water on top for the perfect deflating sip.
Mix this leafy vegetable in with your favorite salad greens. Between their diuretic properties and ability to stimulate the digestive system, Glassman says, "they can really help flush you out."
Swap your daily cup of java for a peppermint tea. "The oils in peppermint stimulate the gallbladder to release bile that your body uses to relieve spasms in the gastrointestinal tract," says LeVeque. The result, says the pro: significantly less bloating.
Thanks to high levels of an amino acid called asparagine, these stalks work as a natural diuretic, says LeVeque, "They really pull out excess sodium and water weight."
Apple Cider Vinegar
LeVeque says this liquid can stimulate lymphatic draining—a process that removes excess fluid from your body's tissues. (In other words, you'll look less puffy.) She suggests tossing it with olive oil to create a healthy salad dressing.
While cruciferous vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and broccoli are packed with vitamins and dietary fiber, "they're harder to digest," says LeVeque. In the days leading up to your nuptials, swap them out for a water-rich veggie like spinach, which is easier for your body to process and less likely to create bloat.