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Ready to Rock the Bloat?

Once you've overeaten, as many do during the feasting holidays, you can't exactly undo it. But with a recovery plan in place, you can reduce the ache in your belly from a food hangover.

Article
Ryann Gordon
Photos
Courtesy
Posted
October 29, 2017

It’s easy to forget about keeping your ideal bodyweight in check when the holidays roll around. The second the turkey slides out of the oven, you could be doomed to being rolled out of the house. And one look at that ham, and you could turn into a pig yourself. Then comes the stuffing, the green bean casserole, mashed potatoes and gravy, dressing, bread and … belly rolls.

While we can afford a couple cheat days in the last couple of months of the year, we have to remember that indulging doesn’t mean overdoing it. Flavorful and delicious food can — and should — be enjoyed, as long as it’s done with some forethought and in moderation.

According to a study conducted by the Calorie Control Council, Americans typically consume more than 4,500 calories and a whopping 229 grams of fat during a typical holiday gathering from snacking and eating a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with turkey and all the trimmings. The researchers estimate that it can take about five months to lose those holiday pounds.

A typical holiday dinner alone can carry a load of 3,000 calories. And many nibble through another 1,500 calories, downing appetizers and drinks before and after the big meal. Combined, that’s the equivalent of more than 2 1/4 times the average daily calorie intake and almost 3 1/2 times the fat — with 45 percent of calories from fat. The average person may consume enough fat at a holiday meal to equal three sticks of butter.

If you think you’ll be one of those suffering from the aftereffects of an overstuffed Thanksgiving (eating too much is one of the most common triggers of heartburn), we can help. Try these simple tips and tricks to ease bloating, acid reflux, and indigestion and feel better faster.

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Pack and cleanse
After a night of indulging in sinful foods, prepare ahead of time to cleanse out those toxins the next day. Turkey is one of those foods that makes you crave sleep like no other. So, make sure to have your cleanse ready ahead of time. Try a juice cleanse or gingermint mix. '

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Remember to eat
Yeah, that’s right … eat. The day after a big meal, people often under-eat or avoid food completely to make up for overeating the day before. But fasting can backfire. By the end of the day, you’re so hungry, you could easily end up overeating again. Instead, have a meal high in fiber and low in salt, and drink plenty of water. Steer clear of dairy products like milk and cheese, coffee, refined sugar, carbonated beverages, and highly acidic foods until you’re feeling better.

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Sweat it out
The best way to cleanse after a huge meal is by sweating it out. Plan a workout early the next morning, so you can’t use the excuse that work wore you out the next day. Go for something a bit more intense than usual, like kickboxing or HIIT. Work in that cardio with a long run that’ll have your booty back to its rightful size in no time. Who knows, if you pack on enough protein at dinner you might actually come out looking better than you did before.

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Cover the pooch
The key to covering up your sins is to literally cover them up. But it’s tough balancing formality and comfort during the holidays. Wear stretchy pants to dinner, so you don’t have to unbutton your skinny jeans. Rock something oversized and chic the next day. Go for a hip, loose sweater or a less-than-formfitting pair of boyfriend jeans that mask the shape of your body.

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Stay moving
Don’t sit still for long after you’ve gone face first into rounds of meat, carbs and pie. Keep yourself moving throughout the day and night as you bounce from cheeseball to corn casserole and back again. Not only will this help you avoid the meat sweats, but it will keep you in an active mood the week after. Take a brisk walk or a bike ride — both of which can speed up gastrointestinal motility. And the endorphins released by the activity will boost your mood, making you feel less crummy overall. Try running a few errands you’ve been avoiding, or clean the house. If you keep yourself active, your body won’t even have time to turn all that extra food into the fat you fear.

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Grab the gum
Not only may your stomach be shot, but your breath may not help you make any friends either. Grab a stick of gum and solve both problems. If you have acid reflux, chewing a stick of sugar-free gum for 30 minutes after a meal may help. The act of chewing can stimulate saliva that helps soothe heartburn. Don’t overdo it, however. Sugar-free sweeteners can cause stomach upset and bloating when consumed in large quantities.

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Spice it up
Studies have shown that ginger can relieve mild to moderate nausea. Have some ginger tea, or just grate fresh ginger into warm water. And peppermint oil has been found to ease symptoms such as bloating, gas, and abdominal cramps by calming the GI tract. Peppermint can exacerbate reflux, so if you’re prone to heartburn, skip the mint and neutralize stomach acid with an antacid instead.

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Keep your mind right
Although giving yourself a break every now and then is healthy for your mind, don’t get too carried away. Indulge in foods you normally wouldn’t with the constant reminder that you’re celebrating and everyone deserves a break every now and then. Do some yoga; put sticky note reminders around the house; do whatever you need to in order to keep your mind right through this tough and oh so rewarding season.