Trying to avoid that uncomfortable fullness after a big meal this holiday season? Overeating, even just one meal, can cause you to feel bloated and heavy. And while the best solution is to not overeat, sometimes we just can't say no to the indulgent plate put in front of us.
So if you find yourself feeling bloated after a big meal, consider these strategies to start feeling better right away.
Consistently drinking water is important regardless of what you've eaten. But when you've finished a heavy meal with more fat and salt than you're used to, drinking more water will help you feel less bloated.
When you eat a heavy meal your body tends to retain fluids. Fluid retention makes you feel bloated and can make your stomach look bigger. Drinking water actually counteracts the fluid retention.
It sounds strange, but it's true! More water = less fluid retention. The more fluid your body has, the better it is at getting rid of it.
Sip on water after a big meal and throughout the next day to start feeling better and more comfortable.
2. Moderate Exercise
Try taking a walk after your Christmas feast this year. The more your body moves, the more active your gastrointestinal system is.
A leisurely walk outside can also prevent drowsiness or lethargy that tends to set in after you're finished with a big meal.
Several hours later or the next day, you can also try a low-impact workout to bring the bloating down. I recommend this easy, 10-minute anti-bloating workout from Popsugar.
3. Ginger or Mint Tea
Ginger and mint are both great for digestion. Ginger acts as an anti-inflammatory and mint reduces pain and discomfort from stomach aches.
Highly concentrated forms of ginger or mint in tea will immediately reduce symptoms of bloating.
4. Skip Post-Meal Drink
If you're already stuffed from your Christmas meal, it's best to turn down the after-dinner glass of wine or whisky. Alcohol can increase fluid retention and make the effects of bloating worse.
Alcohol also slows down the digestion process. It causes dehydration too which comes with its own undesirable side effects.
And speaking of after dinner-drinks, it's also best to avoid anything carbonated after eating a big meal. The bubbles add gas to your system which is the culprit of the bloating in the first place.
5. Don't Overthink It
If you feel guilty or ashamed after eating a big holiday meal it could actually be negatively affecting your ability to digest food.
Stress and digestion are closely linked. And when you spend time feeling bad about overeating, the symptoms of bloating and discomfort won't go away as quickly.
So instead of feeling bad about the indulgence, do a short deep-breathing exercise and let go of the negative or judgemental feelings.
The Key to a Guilt-Free Holiday Meal
Now you have a few strategies to reduce bloating after a big meal. But if you really want to come to your holiday dinner prepared, think about a few bloating prevention measures too.
Eating slowly, limiting salty food intake, and drinking water with your meal are a few strategies you can start with.
But the truth is that overeating a holiday meal is normal and it doesn't mean that your unhealthy or that you'll never stick to a diet. It's just one meal.
So try the suggestions above for a more enjoyable post-meal experience.
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