We can enjoy all the trimmings of Thanksgiving and Christmas without getting a belly ache. Overeating actually causes physical trauma to the body. These tips can help you and your family avoid the dreaded “Holiday Belly Ache.”
Well, can you believe it? The holiday season is here again. Just as fall is my favorite season, Thanksgiving has to be my favorite holiday, yes, even as much as Christmas, maybe even more. It’s not just a time to be thankful, as we are to be thankful all the time, but it’s a time to reflect and remember the last year.
Even difficult times can serve as tools to enrich, encourage, and deepen our lives. They are for our good. This is a hard thing to learn: “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you (1 Thessalonians 5:18).”
As Thanksgiving day fast approaches and preparations are in full swing, I promise myself I won’t eat more than I need. Yea, you know how that goes, right?
We are a no processed, non-GMO, organic household and we’ll be having the traditional dinners and get-togethers with all the trimmings. I say that to encourage you to eat as healthily as you can this holiday season.
We are, thankfully, able to avoid the Holiday Belly Ache by putting into practice a few tips we have learned on our journey to a healthier lifestyle.
Tips to Avoid The Holiday Belly Ache
- Early Afternoon Meal. Most of us do it anyway but be sure the meal is early afternoon. Your digestion is the strongest in the afternoon and it’s the best time to be filling up.
- Eat a light, healthy, balanced breakfast. This way, your breakfast will be digested and you will be ready to eat, but don’t sit down to lunch hungry. You will eat too quickly and this will fill you up too fast.
- Take the time to chew and relax. Lay your fork down between bites and talk with family and friends. The slower you eat, the slower your stomach expands and you can continue eating without the pain of overeating.
- Drink a tall glass of water 20 minutes before the meal to prehydrate the stomach and cause your stomach to make more acid. If you have ginger tea, this is a great way to rev up the fires of digestion.
- After you eat, lie on your left side for 10-15 minutes. No longer like a whole nap, but just this short period of time. Doing this will allow the stomach to empty easily and without stress. Maybe even take a short walk or stroll.
- Don’t drink ice water with the meal. Drinking iced beverages with a heavy meal makes it harder for the body to break down fats.
- Take some time for thanksgiving and calming conversation before you begin the meal. This puts you in a relaxed state of mind which helps the body better digest.
- Don’t eat while watching television. This is a good practice for every meal. Distraction from chewing food properly and focusing on the taste and feel of the food can interfere with digestion.
- Don’t eat standing up. When you eat standing up, your body moves food down your digestive tract more quickly than it can be digested properly. It can also lead to overeating because you tend to eat faster standing up which means you don’t realize you’re full until you have eaten too much. Eating quickly also means you swallow more air. All of which can cause bloating, cramps, and gas.
- Don’t eat a bunch of bread first, this will fill you up and it’s harder to digest than you think. Being full of bread will not give your body proper nutrition, can cause your blood sugar to spike, and you’ll miss out on some of the tastier things. I have a problem with this because I’m a bread lover. A little self-control goes a long way for me.
I hope these tips increase your enjoyment of the holiday season. You can enjoy all the great food at family gatherings and parties by using these tips.
We are thankful for you and all you bring to our journey. If you enjoy these tips, please share them with your family and friends. Share your own tips in the comments below.
Angi @ SchneiderPeeps says
Great reminders, there is nothing worse than feeling bad because you ate too much. This year we will have a very full house as it’s the year that my son and his family and my brother in law and his family will be with us. Thanks for sharing with us at Simple Lives Thursday; hope to see you again this week.
Angie, Sounds like you will have a house full! Good for you. I will be thinking of you as you prepare. I am thankful for all your many kindnesses and encouragements. We’re kind of neighbors too! Happy Thanksgiving.
Thank you for these tips! I think you hit the nail on the head – just relax, visit, enjoy the company, and eat slowly. That’s a perfect “recipe” for Thanksgiving!
Have a wonderful holiday and thank you for such a thoughtful post.