The holidays are all about indulging. Indulging in extra time with friends and family, holiday parties, and of course all those extra calories. Endless appetizers, christmas cookies, and wine. It's easy to stray far away from your usual diet before even sitting down to dinner. All your favorite holidays dishes and even drinks can wreak havoc on your gut leaving you seriously bloated.
If you want to avoid unbuttoning your pants under you sweater this year, we've got a few tips to help you beat the bloat. Instead of stressing out about all the calories you're consuming or giving up your favorite holiday dishes, focus on giving your gut a boost, and even a break. Drink more water. Go for a walk. Add a supplement.
Here are five ways to avoid bloating this holiday season.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Hydrate with waterGawker
During the holidays, it's important to drink up. Before reaching for another glass of wine, consider drinking more water first. Choosing your beverages wisely will help you keep bloating to a minimum. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Water flushes waste of your system, and can gets things moving if you're constipated. Constipation is one of the leading causes of bloating.
You also might want to consider putting the bubbly down. Fizzy drinks are a part of most holiday celebrations, but they'll leave you bloated. Especially when you're sipping on them in between bites of your favorite foods. Drinks like champagne, soda, and sparkling cider contain gas bubbles that get released in your stomach and temporarily expand your waistline. To beat the bloat, reach for non carbonated beverages instead.
Pick Gut Friendly Foods
Gut Friendly FoodsHealth-Ade Kombucha
According to celebrity nutritionist, Kimberly Snyder, you don't have to give up your favorite holiday dishes to avoid bloating. Instead she recommends incorporating gut boosting foods and drinks like ginger, hot lemon water, kombucha, and foods high in fiber and potassium.
Ginger is one of her favorite natural remedies for bloating. "It enhances metabolism and digestion, helping foods move through the GI tract more speedily," she says. Add a piece of ginger to hot water with a slice of lemon and sip on it in the morning and before eating your meal.
She also recommends choosing high fiber and potassium rich foods first, like bananas, artichokes, and whole grains. Dark chocolate, sweet potatoes, oats, and almonds are also rich in fiber. Fill up on high fiber and high potassium foods before reaching for your favorite holiday dishes.
Slow Down While Eating
Holiday DinnerStocksy/Cameron Whitman
It's easy to eat a lot and very quickly during the holidays. Snyder suggests trying your best to slow down your pace. Taking the time to really taste and enjoy your food helps you digest better, and leads to less bloating.
Take a breath between bites. Put your fork down and enjoy the company around you. Instead of shoveling food into your mouth, try to chew more mindfully. Taking the time to chew more, makes all that holiday food much easier to digest. Slow way down to keep bloating at bay.
Consider Adding Supplements
Another way to improve digestion and curb bloating is by taking a probiotic and a digestive enzyme supplement. Probiotics are living microorganisms that help promote a healthy digestive tract. Several studies have shown that probiotics help reduce abdominal bloating.
A digest enzyme supplement can also help. Digestive enzymes help you break down food. Our bodies naturally produce digestive enzymes, but if you don't eat enough raw foods or chew thoroughly enough, it's hard to make all that you need to properly digest your food. You can supplement by taking a plant based digestive enzyme with water about 10 minutes before you eat.
After dinner walkLive Strong
After indulging in a big meal, one of the best things you can do is to get outside and go for a brisk walk. Taking a walk after you eat, is really good for you. Studies have found that walking even for just 15 minutes, right after eating a big meal, helps improve digestion. Better digestion, means less bloating for you.
You've probably heard that exercising too soon after eating can lead to cramping, but this isn't necessarily true. New studies have found that people actually lost more weight and had better blood sugar levels when they walked a few minutes after eating, compared to those who waited an hour or more to start moving. Head outside instead of towards the couch, about 15 minutes after you finish your holiday meal.