Simple hacks to deal with holiday bloat

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Simba
Monday 26 December 2022
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After an indulgent Christmas meal, it's not uncommon to feel a little bloated and uncomfortable. Whether you overate, drank a bit too much, or simply indulged in rich and heavy foods, bloating is a common side effect of the holiday season. But don't worry, there are plenty of simple hacks that you can use to reduce bloating and get back to feeling comfortable and healthy. In this blog post, we'll share ten easy tips that can help reduce bloating and keep your digestive system functioning properly.

Stay hydrated

When we're dehydrated, our bodies hold onto fluids, which can contribute to bloating and other digestive issues. On the other hand, when we drink plenty of water, it helps flush out excess salt and other toxins that can cause bloating.

Aim for at least eight cups of water per day, and consider carrying a water bottle with you to ensure that you're getting enough fluids. You can also try adding some lemon or cucumber slices to your water for an extra boost of flavor and hydration.

It's important to note that while alcohol and caffeine can dehydrate the body, they don't count towards your daily water intake. Try to limit your intake of these drinks and opt for water or other hydrating beverages instead.

Eat slowly and mindfully

Overeating is a common cause of bloating, so it's important to be mindful of portion sizes and take your time while eating.

Avoid distractions like screens or multitasking while eating, and take breaks to allow your body to digest your food.

Chewing your food thoroughly can also help reduce bloating by breaking down the food more effectively. This can help your body absorb nutrients more efficiently and prevent indigestion and other digestive issues.

Avoid carbonated drinks

Glass of cola with ice

Carbonated drinks like soda and Champagne can cause bloating due to the carbon dioxide gas they contain. When we drink these types of beverages, the gas gets trapped in our stomach, which can cause bloating and discomfort.

While it's okay to enjoy these drinks in moderation, try to limit your intake or opt for non-carbonated alternatives like water, juice, or herbal tea. This can help reduce bloating and keep your digestive system functioning properly.

It's important to note that while carbonated drinks can cause bloating, other types of beverages like coffee and alcohol can also contribute to bloating. These drinks can stimulate the production of stomach acid and cause the stomach to produce more gas, which can lead to bloating and discomfort.

Be sure to limit your intake of these types of beverages and opt for hydrating alternatives like water, juice, or herbal tea instead.

Get moving

When we exercise, it stimulates our digestive system and helps flush out excess gas and other toxins that can contribute to bloating.

Consider going for a walk after a big meal or incorporating some light stretching or yoga into your daily routine. Just be sure to listen to your body and take breaks as needed.

If you're feeling particularly bloated, it's okay to take it easy and opt for low-impact activities like walking or yoga instead of more strenuous exercises.

Eat more fibre

Fibre is a type of carbohydrate that is found in plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. It helps bulk up the stool and keep the digestive system functioning properly.

When we don't get enough fibre, our stool can become hard and difficult to pass, which can lead to bloating and other digestive issues. On the other hand, when we eat enough fibre, it helps keep the stool soft and easy to pass, which can help reduce bloating and other digestive issues.

Aim for at least 25-30 grams of fibre per day, and be sure to incorporate a variety of fibre-rich foods into your diet. Some good sources of fibre include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds.

Avoid trigger foods

Close up of heads of cabbage

Certain foods are more likely to cause bloating than others. These include foods high in fat and grease, as well as foods that are high in FODMAPs (short chain carbs that are poorly absorbed by the body).

Some common trigger foods include beans, onions, cabbage, and broccoli. While it's okay to enjoy these foods in moderation, try to limit your intake or opt for alternative options if they tend to cause bloating for you.

Keep in mind that everyone is different, and what causes bloating for one person may not affect another person. It's important to pay attention to how your body reacts to different foods and make adjustments as needed.

Try digestive aids

There are several natural remedies that can help reduce bloating and improve digestion. For example, ginger is a natural digestive aid that can help reduce bloating and nausea. You can try adding some fresh ginger to your meals, or sipping on ginger tea.

Peppermint is another natural remedy that can help reduce bloating and gas. You can try sipping on peppermint tea or taking peppermint capsules.

Other natural remedies that may help reduce bloating include fennel, chamomile, and turmeric. However, as always, be sure to talk to your healthcare provider before starting any new supplement or herbal remedy.

Manage stress

Stress and anxiety can contribute to bloating and other digestive issues.

That's why it is important to find ways to manage stress during the holiday season, whether that means taking breaks from busy schedules, practicing relaxation techniques like deep breathing or meditation, or seeking support from friends and loved ones.

Be sure to pay attention to your stress levels and make time for self-care to help keep your body feeling healthy and comfortable.

Get enough sleep

Couple in their fifties lying together in bed

Adequate sleep is essential for good overall health, including digestive health. When we don't get enough sleep, it can disrupt our natural body rhythms and cause digestive issues like bloating.

Aim for at least seven to eight hours of sleep per night, and try to create a relaxing bedtime routine to help you wind down and get a good night's rest. This can include activities like reading, listening to music, or taking a warm bath. Avoid screens and other distractions before bed, and try to create a cool, dark, and quiet sleep environment.

By getting enough sleep, you can help reduce bloating and keep your body feeling healthy and rested.