Looking to Avoid the Nefarious Holiday Bloat? Follow These Proven Tips
- Author: Michael Bordonada
- Posted: 2023-02-12
With the holidays quickly approaching, it is likely that you may be looking forward to eating all of your favorite festive foods. However, with this indulgence often comes the uncomfortable feelings of bloat. You can minimize the impacts of bloating by following these five tips.
Do Not Bank Calories
Many people make the mistake of attempting to drastically cut back on calories prior to a big meal in an attempt to save them for later. However, this approach can backfire on you if you begin to fill up your plate for the big event on a completely empty stomach. Waiting too long between meals can leave you feel so starved that you overcompensate and eat too much, triggering that dreaded bloated feeling.
A better strategy is to eat smaller but consistent meals and snacks throughout the day. This practice will support digestion so that you are less likely to feel bloated from one large meal. You should also be careful not to eat large amounts of foods known to lead to bloating such as cruciferous vegetables.
Watch Your Alcoholic Intake
The holidays are made for festive drinks. However, drinks of the alcoholic variety can quickly leave you bloated and dehydrated. This is particularly true if you are pairing your heavy meals with alcohol. Because alcohol is inflammatory, it tends to slow down the digestion process while increasing water retention. This pairing leaves you feeling swollen and bloated.
It is a good idea to alternate boozy beverages with glasses of water to keep your hydration levels up to standard. You should also consider swapping beverages such as beer with something lighter such as a glass of white wine. Nonalcoholic mocktails are also a great choice if your goal is to enjoy the festivities without the added bloat around your stomach and a hangover.
Respect Your Bloating Triggers
One of the most challenging aspects of avoiding bloating during the holiday season is that you might not always have a choice in what you can eat at all of the celebrations. This is particularly true if you are dining at a private residence. You can help to counteract this uncertainty by knowing what specific ingredients are most likely to trigger bloating and taking active steps to avoid them.
Some of the most common bloating triggers include gluten and dairy products. Limiting these triggers will go a long way in helping to minimize bloating. Try keeping a food diary ahead of the holidays if you are unsure what foods are your biggest triggers.
Make a Plan for Food Swaps
Start your holiday food indulging by figuring out what types of food you can swap out for something healthier and less likely to leave you feeling ill. For example, if you know that cheese can trigger bloat because of the dairy, try filling your appetizer plate with fresh veggies and hummus instead. Swapping out the most likely offenders for better options will give you more leeway to enjoy the foods that bring you the most joy in moderation.
Good alternatives that are easily swapped include using milk instead of heavy cream or leaning on fresh herbs rather than salt to flavor foods. Balancing your plate with mostly healthy options will ensure that you do not overdo it and end up regretting it later that day.
Fill Your Plate With Vegetables
Before you indulge in the carbs and sweets, try filling your plate with healthy vegetables. Leafy greens are especially good foods to load up on in order to avoid the bloat. This is because these types of vegetables have a high water content, making them actually work to reduce bloating. As a bonus, vegetables such as spinach, kale, and asparagus are also packed full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other nutrients. By filling up on these foods, you will be less likely to overindulge in the foods more likely to leave you feeling uncomfortable.
When it comes to diving into the holidays, it is all about balance. You can still enjoy all of your favorite foods of this time of the year without experiencing uncomfortable bloating. It just may take a bit more planning and determination to avoid this discomfort.