Christmas is that Oh! So wonderful time of the year when family and friends come together and everything is allowed. We all fall for it… The morning buckfizz, mountains of mince pies, stuffed turkey and cascading gravy. In the seasonal spirit we eat and drink things that we’d never usually dream of eating. It’s the time we anticipate by wearing stretchy clothes, knowing the last thing we’ll be doing is rocking around the Christmas tree! We almost accept that feeling bloated and lethargic is just a trade-off for all the fun.
So is it really possible to beat the Christmas bloat without missing out? The answer is YES! Here are some super simple tips to avoid feeling as stuffed as the turkey on your plate. You don’t need to follow them all, pick what suits you most.
Exercise & a brisk Christmas walk
We tend to spend a large part of the day either sitting down or spread-out on the couch between courses but these aren’t the only two options. A brisk 20 minute walk is the best thing you can do for digestion. It helps control blood sugar spikes and speeds-up the digestive process in your stomach. Aside from these physical benefits, exercising and getting some fresh air on Christmas day balances out the guild many feel when over-indulging.
We tuck-into Christmas lunch like a tiger devouring its pray. In all the excitement we tend to eat faster and much more than our digestive system likes to cope with. Take it down a notch with some mindful and relaxed eating. There’s plenty of food to go around.
Drink water throughout the day
Yep, you might be thinking: ‘oh this old chestnut again’ but it’s been suggested that 89% of Brits don’t drink enough water! Plain and simple, drinking sufficient amounts of water helps with every single physiological process in your body, including digestion. It’s even more important to keep hydrated when we’re drinking alcohol or eating foods containing lots of salt. The recommended daily intake is 6-8 glasses, which can be slightly misleading depending on glass size, so it’s best to aim for 1.2 – 1.5 litres.
Don’t eat something you don’t like just because it’s tradition
We’re not fans of calorie-counting at Spinal Care Clinics in Brentwood, but the average person eats 6000 calories on Christmas day, which is 3 times more than we need. That’s all well and fine if we’ve enjoyed all the food but, between mince pies and Christmas pudding, most of us tend to eat things we don’t particularly care for simply because it’s tradition.
Stay away from fizzy drinks
Carbonated drinks – aka the fizzy ones – release carbon dioxide in the stomach. While our digestive system has efficient ways of coping with this, it takes time to kick in and this trapped gas can cause pain and bloating. Our advice is to stick to flat, non-sweetened drinks, especially around meal time.