Even with all of our best intentions, sometimes it happens—we overeat. The holidays make it especially hard to eat in moderation. With so much delicious food available all the time, it’s difficult to maintain your healthy habits, eat appropriate portion sizes, and stick to your regular clean eating routine.
Whether your downfall is the mashed potatoes or the pumpkin pie, the results are the same. You finish the day feeling sluggish, bloated, and uncomfortable.
Hopefully, you’ll stay in tune with your body this Thanksgiving and make smart choices for your health (so that you can avoid unbuttoning your jeans at the end of the meal and collapsing on the couch). But, if the combination of Cousin Jane’s stuffing, your favorite apple pie, and a few glasses of mulled wine leaves you feeling a little bit over-full, we’ve got you covered.
For days when your cravings get the best of you, here are five tips and tricks to reduce bloating, maintain your energy, and get back to feeling your best ASAP.
Staying hydrated will aid the digestion process, flush toxins from your body, and keep your body from retaining fluids (and the appearance of bloating) if you’ve just eaten a high-sodium meal. Add a little bit of fresh-squeezed lemon juice if you’d like to boost your metabolism. And, finally, stick to warm or room temperature water—cold water won’t be as gentle for your system.
After eating such a heavy meal, it’s important to give your body time to digest and rest. For at least three or four hours after your big meal, stick to just water—no snacking. If you catch yourself reaching for another sliver of pumpkin pie mid-afternoon, step away, take a deep breath, and ask yourself if you’re actually hungry (or if you’re just mindlessly reaching for more sugar).
REDUCE DISCOMFORT WITH YOGA
Moving through a short, gentle yoga flow can reduce discomfort and help eliminate bloating. This simple, ten-minute flow specifically targets your digestive system, relaxes your internal organs, and helps to reduce tightness. Practice this flow along with soothing music and deep breathing for the best results.
TAKE A WALK
Even if you feel like crashing on the couch for a post-dinner nap, a brisk walk might be the best way to get your energy back after a big meal. While we don’t recommend running (or any other form of intense exercise) right after a heavy meal, staying moderately active will boost your metabolism, give you a burst of energy, and kickstart your digestion.
DRINK SOME TEA
Before bed, relax and unwind with a mug of tea instead of pouring a glass of wine, drinking a glass of milk, or brewing some decaf coffee. Tea will be gentler on your system and help your body recover from a full day (no pun intended). Peppermint tea, ginger tea, and turmeric tea are all great options that support digestion and relaxation.
Although all of these tricks will help to boost your energy and make you feel more comfortable, the best way to avoid bloating is to avoid overeating altogether. Take moderate portions, eat slowly, and give yourself time between first and second helpings to see if you’re actually hungry. Most of all, listen to your body so that you can prioritize your health and feel your best this Thanksgiving.