The holidays are a time to celebrate, not swell up! No matter what you celebrate, holiday bloat can creep up and leave you feeling gross, sluggish and fatigued.
Have a Gas Without the Bloat
Bloating happens when your belly feels extra full or tight. Gas is often the culprit. But constipation can also lead to this awkward feeling. Holiday celebrations can often contribute to bloat when there is a sudden change in our diet (like adding indulging on rich foods) or consuming bubbly beverages.
Try my favorite tips for beating bloat to keep you feeling at the top of your game this holiday season!
Tip #1: Go Easy On The Bubbles
Alcohol can make work parties bearable and family get-togethers even better, just watch your intake of champagne and beer. Bubbly drinks can cause gas and fullness, which can be uncomfortable, especially in group settings! Save your champagne for toasts, and try sipping on red or white wine to limit alcohol-related bloat. Remember to alternate in some waters to prevent a hangover!
Tip #2: Stick to What You Know
Trying new things is nearly always good, but stick with foods you know and normally eat during the holidays. Food at catered events and potlucks can be 10x richer than what you are used to with higher salt content.
Higher salt intake = more fluid retention = bigger bloat!
If you can see the vegetables floating in butter, you might want to skip that option to prevent a stomach ache and gastrointestinal distress (read: sprints to the bathroom)! Conversely, if you are used to eating bruschetta or shrimp cocktails, these are probably safe options for you!
Tip #3: Get Moving!
I know, I know. You’re at a party and a work is the last thing you want to do afterward. The thing is, moving your body at all (eg, 30-minute walk) will greatly reduce bloating and feelings of fullness. If it happens to be a white Christmas why not take advantage of the snow and go skiing! Is winter weather keeping you inside? Try a 15-minute stretch session or yoga flow to bust bloat.
Learn more: 5 Types of Stretching Explained in 5 Minutes
Tip #4: Try a Probiotic
Keep your gut functioning at its best by adding a daily probiotic. Some foods that contain probiotics are fermented foods like yogurt (read the label to make sure it has active cultures!), kombucha, and fermented veggies like sauerkraut and kimchi. Probiotics help populate your gut with good bacteria, which can help with bloating and distention. Bonus, they can help keep you regular, which reduces bloat!
Learn more: The Difference Between Prebiotics and Probiotics
Tip #5: Hydrate
Fighting fullness with more liquid? Sounds counterintuitive, but it works! Try sipping on a soothing cup of mint or lemon tea, both have bloat busting properties and can soothe your stomach. Being hydrated helps clear your body of toxins (via urine) and keeps your bowels moving even with heavy food!
Learn more: Up Your Hydration Game
Pro tip: Lemon Power + Detox
One of my favorite anti-bloat tips is to start my day with a cup of warm water and lemon. Not only is it comforting and hydrating, lemon juice packs vitamin C to get your day going!
Fun Fact: Lemon peels contain d-limonene, an antioxidant that increases the activity of liver enzymes. Learn more about foods that help with detox here.
Caroline is a Clinical Registered Dietitian for MedStar Health and Hospital Systems in Baltimore, Maryland. She completed her Masters Degree in Dietetics from San Jose State University and moved back to Charm City to be with her fiancee. When she’s not providing medical nutrition therapy to her patients, Caroline enjoys cooking, waterfront walks and crab-anything (crab pizza is the best!).