When I began college last semester, I knew it was time to take this "adulting" concept a bit more seriously. I resolved to take control of my eating and exercise habits—I went all out at the gym, from cardio to weight training. Kale became my best friend, complimenting any and every meal.

After a few weeks, though, I began to notice consistent bloating despite all my efforts to stay fit. With a little bit of research, I realized too much of a good thing was not always the best option for my body—these five nutrient-dense might actually be keeping you from getting a #fitspo flat tummy. 

1. Cruciferous Vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables (read: green and leafy) are always a go-to for health food fanatics, and rightfully so. But let's be honest—we can sometimes feel an embarrassing discomfort after our green meals.  

These vegetables contain raffinose, a sugar that can't be digested, and thus ferments in your gut. It's not harmful to your body but is a primary contributor to bloating. According to Health.com, though, nutritionists have suggested that regular consumption of these vegetables can greatly reduce bloating and strengthen your ability to process them. Cooking your greens fully is also recommended to aid in its breakdown.

2. Legumes

While legumes (read: beans, lentils, chickpeas) have been described as "a burst of protein in a pod", they also contain high amounts of fiber and sugar that are difficult for our bodies to absorb. That means bacteria in our large intestine feeds on those legumes, contributing to bloating. Just like cruciferous vegetables, consistent and portioned consumption can help reduce the effects of bloating from legumes.

3. Apples 

Yes, an apple a day does keep the doctor away, but sometimes it can bring about unwanted bloating. The high amounts of fiber and sugar packed into apples ( as well as peaches and pears) is often too much for our digestive tracts. Food babies aside, apples are a good source of nutrition and if eaten in moderation, are part of a well-balanced diet.

4. Sugar Substitutes 

In an effort to lose weight or control diabetes, many people will often reach for sugar substitutes (like stevia or erythritol) because they contain little to no food energy. However, many of these additives contain sorbitol, which can not be digested and is absorbed slowly by your metabolism. To avoid unwanted bloating while still avoiding sugar, opt for natural alternatives such as honey or agave.

5. Carbonated Drinks

It seems obvious that sweet, bubbly beverages would lead to excessive bloating. However, bloating is not limited to sugary drinks, but also encompasses any sparkling or mineral water. When consumed, the gas in carbonated beverages get trapped in your stomach. If you're trying to beat bloat, you're better off sticking with flat water or adding ice to reduce carbonation.

... So, Now What?

It's easy to get discouraged by bloat when you're eating healthy food, but it's important to remember that a little bloating a completely normal occurrence in your body. We should always make conscious decisions to eat food that best nourishes our bodies—you might want to limit these foods if you're trying to flatten out ASAP, but remember to always prioritize physical and mental wellbeing. A little bloating never killed nobody.