7 Tips To Avoid Belly Bloat This Holiday Season
Feeling bloated is not just uncomfortable; it can wreak havoc on your mood after a holiday meal. If you usually spend your evening unbuttoning your pants right after you eat, follow these tips to avoid belly bloat this season.
Bloating is common with up to 25% of otherwise healthy folks reporting occasional abdominal bloating. Although it is normal, there are a variety of reasons why you might feel bloated, such as food sensitivities, stress, or your menstrual cycle. Boiron offers healthy, plant-powered products that will help you beat the bloat this holiday season.
Related: 5 Foods That Can Help with Bloating
While some amount of bloating is normal, no one can ever completely avoid it. However, there are certainly some steps you can take to decrease bloating and get back to feeling like your normal self.
1. Cooked foods are easier to digest.
Cooked foods, especially those high in fiber, are partially broken down and easier to digest. If you emphasize cooking your veggies, eating soup, and other warm dishes, you’ll be less likely to feel bloated.
“Go for cooked veggies over raw,” says Lisa Andrews, MEd, RD, LD. “Cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, or Brussels sprouts are great for your health but can be gassy. Cooking veggies makes them easier to digest and may reduce bloating.”
If you’re still looking for more support, consider a gas-improving homeopathic medicine.
2. Increase water-shedding foods.
Fluid and electrolyte balance can help us shed water weight or it can cause us to feel puffy when out of whack. Eating high-sodium meals without fruits and veggies will increase water retention. Fruits and veggies are high in potassium which acts as a natural diuretic. Focus on boosting your diet with fruit and veggies around the holidays to beat the bloat.
“If bloating is due to high sodium foods, try drinking more water and adding higher potassium foods like bananas and avocados to help with this,” Moushumi Mukherjee MS, RDN explains.
3. Check your fluid balance.
Sodium and fluid balances are the yin and yang to managing bloating.
“You can avoid belly bloat by not only how much water you drink, but also when you drink it,” says Anya Rosen, MS, RD, LD, IFNCP, CPT functional medicine practitioner and founder of Birchwell Clinic. “Chugging excess water with meals can dilute stomach acid, leading to indigestion and bloating. I recommend aiming to drink at least half your body weight in ounces (more if you sweat) with electrolytes, and between meals. Keep water around 4 ounces at meal times.”
4. Watch sodium intake to manage bloating.
Salty foods make us retain water, and lots of holiday meals can pack in sodium. Being mindful of dishes that are fried, cheesy, and crunchy is one way to manage how much salt you are putting on your plate.
“Since we have no idea or control over how much salt we are getting in restaurant or takeout food, it would be best to stick to home cooking whenever possible,” says Sheri Berger, RDN, CDCES. “Keep it simple with 85% to 90% of food from whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and other legumes, nuts, and seeds. These are foods that are naturally low in sodium, high in potassium, and high in fiber.”
5. Consider a homeopathic medicine for added relief.
Sometimes, you need to intervene with more than just diet and lifestyle. Boiron’s homeopathic formulation in products like plant-powered Gasalia relieves the uncomfortable feeling of bloating, gas, pressure, and discomfort*. You can take the tablets before or after you eat, and they melt easily in your mouth without water to relieve bloating.
If your digestive discomfort comes from heartburn more than lower abdominal gas and bloating, Boiron’s Acidil, made with plant-based actives, is likely a better fit and can help stop the burning feeling in your gut. Both Acidil and Gasalia are gluten-free, have no known drug interactions, and contain no artificial sweeteners, flavors, colors, or preservatives.
6. Be consistent to prevent bloating.
Many people often skip meals in preparation for their holiday events. However, you will notice that it is a lot easier to overeat when you’re starving, and thus, you finish the meal feeling quite bloated.
“Instead of skipping meals and then overeating, try to stick to a consistent meal and snack pattern throughout the day,” says Alissa Palladino MS, RDN, LD, CPT. “Limit high-fat and fried foods, and instead prioritize fiber-rich whole grains, fruits, and veggies to keep your digestive system moving along, plus plenty of water.”
If you need some help making meals easier, consider these Meal Planning Ideas to Make Healthy Eating Easy.
7. Stay mindful.
Eating slowly and enjoying your food can help you prevent bloating and feel pleasantly full, but not stuffed.
“You can avoid belly bloat this holiday season by eating slowly and listening to your hunger cues,” says Haley Bishoff, RDN, owner of Rutsu Nutrition. “Overeating is a common cause of bloating. When you eat slower, you are more likely to eat until you are satisfied versus overeating to the point of discomfort. The real key is to slow down, enjoy each bite and be mindful about what you put on your plate.”
*Claims based on traditional homeopathic practice, not accepted medical evidence. Not FDA evaluated.