When you're on the hunt for the perfect wedding dress, there are many details to consider. Is the shade of white too white? Will this satin wrinkle? Do I really want to deal with a five-foot train? One thing you shouldn't have to worry about: If your stomach looks just a tad puffy in that fitted bodice. Whether you're trying dresses on for the first time or making sure every stich is perfect at your final fitting, "the idea is to feel really good in your dress," says nutritionist Elissa Goodman, "not to be focusing on perceived pudgy spots or any of that negative stuff." To ensure you feel your absolute best, steer of these known bloat-causes in the days leading up to a shopping trip or fitting.
Pasteurized dairy—including cow's milk, yogurt, and cheese—"is notorious for causing bloating," says L.A. nutritionist Kimberly Snyder. "The process used to produce it removes its enzymes and makes it one of the hardest foods for most people to digest."
Sorry, sugar-free doesn't translate to bloat-free. Sugarless foods can often contain sweeteners such as xylitol, sorbitol, mannitol, and erythritol "that cause digestive issues such as bloating," says Goodman, "especially when they're consumed in large quantities."
Snyder advises avoiding processed foods that could be packed with excessive salt. Sodium "creates false fat," says the New York Times best-selling author of the Beauty Detox book series and Radical Beauty. "It can make you look pounds heavier than you truly weigh."
Hot sauce and spices like chili powder can irritate your stomach and lead to bloating, says Snyder: "I recommend keeping things pretty mild and using fresh herbs such as basil, oregano, and parsley instead."
Foods high in soy—think edamame, tempeh, and soy sauce—"can cause bloating and digestive backup," warns Goodman.
Though nutritious, legumes can lead to some of the same issues as soy, says L.A.-based Goodman: "A little bit is fine, but don't go overboard!"
While you can still nosh on an apple or berries, it's best to consume them first thing in the morning. "Fruit is composed of simple sugars, which are digested and move out of the stomach very quickly," explains Snyder, "so you want to eat it on an empty stomach. If you have some after a big meal, it will sit on top of your sandwich or pasta, causing uncomfortable bloating."
The fizzy bubbles created by the carbonation in this sip "can temporarily get trapped in your belly, leading to a pooch-y look," says Goodman. If you want to keep your midsection puff-free, says the pro, stick to regular old H2O.