December is the month for pure overindulgence and we bet that by the time the big day finally arrives, it won’t be the first festive dinner you’ve tucked into. Let’s face it there’s the work parties, meeting up with pals and family gatherings for those you won’t see on the day.
There’s nothing better than tucking into a good old fashioned home-cooked roast but it can leave us feeling pretty full and bursting at the seams. It wouldn’t be Christmas if you didn’t have to undo the top button of your trousers to accommodate the brief expansion. It’s not exactly glamourous but there are some things you can do to prevent it.
Give your food a good chew
The plates arrived and it’s piled high with all your festive favourites like pigs in blankets, stuffing and some mammoth roast potatoes and it’s tempted to just gulp it all down as quickly as possible. But not chewing your food properly and eating too quickly can add to the feeling of fullness.
Watch out for sodium
Salty Christmas foods appear at buffets, on your dinner plate and even in the snack bowl when you’re watching your favourite festive film. However, foods with high sodium contents like pigs in blankets for example can make your body hold on to excess water making you feel bloated.
Now we’re not saying you shouldn’t have a little treat at Christmas, just that you should watch to make sure your not eating too much sodium in one go. You could even try something a little different, too such as devils on horseback. These are prunes wrapped in bacon and so the sodium content is reduced and they’re also good for your gut health.
Cram in the fibre
Eating natural foods like fruit, vegetables and wholegrains are a great way to keep yourself healthy this Christmas and there’s no doubt that your plate will be loaded with them. These foods provide your body with energy, so you can keep playing Twister all holiday without getting tired and are great for your digestion.
Although you should be careful of veggies like Brussels sprouts because eating too many can make you gassy and that’s no good for you or your guests. The gas can also make you feel bloated so reduce your portion size to avoid this.
Keep up the exercise
You shouldn’t stop being active just because it’s Christmas. Even if it’s just a nice walk on a cold Christmas morning, exercise can help to relieve some gastrointestinal discomfort. That’s because physical activity can help food to pass through your gastrointestinal tract and stop the waste just sitting in your bowel.
Of course, our top tip to avoid the Christmas bloat this year is to stay hydrated. Be sure to have a glass of water with you when tucking into your meal. You should also drink water between alcoholic drinks to help keep the hangover at bay.
Water shouldn’t be underestimated. When you’re eating it’s tempting to have a nice cold fizzy drink with it, but this can make you fill up quickly leaving no room for your food. Instead take small sips of water if you’re thirsty and save the fizz for afters!