by Julia MacPhee C.H.N.C., Pn1, Certified Holistic Nutritional Consultant and Nutritional Coach, FitNutrition Consulting, Instagram @FitNutritionCa, Facebook @FitNutrition, www.FitNutrition.ca

Combat Bloating After a Big Meal + Support Your Digestion 

The holidays wouldn’t be the same without delicious traditional meals, turkey, stuffing, and baked goodies. But this often comes with a price. Overindulging during the holidays can leave you feeling like you can barely button your pants, overly full, and downright uncomfortable.  If you get carried away at the holiday table, do these things to help with the heartburn, bloat, and ‘why-did-I-eat-so-much,’ feeling that follow overindulging during the holidays.

#1 CHEW!

It is a very simple first step you can take.

You’re supposed to chew your food a lot more than you think. 30-50 times before swallowing. Chewing triggers the release of digestive enzymes, which in turn can aid your digestion. So on that note, really savor your holiday meal, and reflect on every bite as you chew slowly and thoroughly.

#2 Skip the nap

Think twice before heading for the couch to sleep off a post-meal food coma. Lying down can trigger heartburn. You should wait at least three hours to hit the pillow, so food has enough time to digest before you go to bed.

#3 Go For a Walk Afterward to Stimulate Your Digestive System

While lacing up your sneakers might be the last thing you want to do after a big meal, exercise will make you feel better. Walking reduces bloating and helps food move through your digestive tract, easing that oh-so-full feeling.

Bonus: It also helps you get some fresh crispy winter air, burn off some of those calories, and reconnect with your family members without distractions. Make it a fun family activity!

#4 Brew a cup of tea.

Need some relief ASAP? Brew a mug of ginger tea. Ginger is pretty much like nature’s pepto bismol. It’s amazing for all of those upset stomach symptoms we get post-holiday overindulgence. So, ditch that third glass of wine, and sip on some ginger tea instead.

Other herbal teas can also help with digestion: Choose teas made with herbs like peppermint, cinnamon, fennel or turmeric to help ease stomach upset and bloating.

#5 Try Digestive Enzymes 

Not feeling the ginger, but don’t want to turn to the medicine cabinet quite yet? Digestive enzymes to the rescue! Taking Digestive enzymes may help combat that bloat and get the digestion moving right along after overindulging during the holidays.

#6 Hydrate

Your favorite holiday foods are chock full of sodium. Too much salt makes you feel bloated. Drinking water helps flush out the sodium, and plus you may eat less. But be careful drinking too much water. Take small sips. Guzzling too much water will make you feel even more full.

So start drinking water early in the day, and keep sipping between well chewed bites.

The bottom line

It is a Guilt FREE zone

Remind yourself to relax and enjoy this once-a-year food-fueled indulgence. You don’t eat like this every day, so enjoy that favorite dish and lean into the connection with family, history, traditions, and culture on this day.

Simply enjoy the food and the company and consider kickstarting the next day with a healthy, nutrient packed breakfast.