Jingle Bells and Belly Aches

Jingle Bells and Belly Aches

How to navigate the holidays all-you-can-eat onslaught.

I’ll keep this one quick!

Christmas is literally around the corner and in the light of still having fun, it is essential to keep your eating habit as close to your normal routine as possible. Your gut will thank you for it!

Watch out for: 

1. Overeating
When you overindulge during the festivities, you not only fun the risk of gaining unwanted kilos but also overworking your gut. The more you eat the more digestive juices are produced and an excess of these juices can find their way up to the oesophagus resulting in heartburn. Large meals slow down digestion making food spend more time in the digestive system which causes that uncomfortable bloated feeling. Instead, eat smaller portions many times in a day instead of having two or three large meals.

2. Fatty and sugary foods
Oily and sugary foods make the biggest portion of meals during the Chrissy period. Fatty foods interfere with how food moves in the gut. It can either make the food move too fast or too slow, either way your movements are altered which is a BAD thing. It’s a good thing for Aussies that we like the BBQ which can drain excess fats from meat, where you can use the barby. Sugar is a favourite food for harmful bacteria found in the gut. Too much sugar creates an overgrowth of such bacteria which can cause indigestion, gas and acidity. To cut down on sugar, avoid soft-drinks and minimise intake of processed foods which are often loaded with sugar.

3. Eating too much too often
There is a tendency of eating too much and too often before the previous meal is well digested during the hol’s which result in that bloated feeling. To avoid this, have smaller meals throughout the day.

4. Alcohol
Alcohol is pretty much a given during the holiday season. Even those who haven’t had a drink throughout the year treat themselves to a few drinks. Other than the familiar hangover alcohol does unfortunately irritate the digestive system which causes the body to produce excess acid which can inflame and cause pain. Also, avoid drinking on an empty stomach.

5. Dehydration
Water is usually the last drink to be picked from the drinks menu during Xmas. All sorts of sugary and/or alcoholic drinks are consumed more than water which will leave you dehydrated if there isn’t some sort of water plan in place. The people with dehydration is that it gives you a hunger-like sensation that increases one’s desire to take more sugar. Avoid fizzy drinks and ensure intake of at least 2 litres of water daily. Water can also fill your stomach, taking up space that would have otherwise been filled by food.

6. Inactivity 
Lack of physical activity is a common cause of digestive problems. A regular physical activity plays a major role in maintaining a healthy digestive system by provoking the movement of food through the intestines. It doesn’t need to be too complex but it needs to be something.

Well there you have it, a few tips on how to reduce the negative effects that too much of the good stuff during the Christmas/New Years period. I’m not being the fun police but I hope I can at least be that little voice in your head combating that other voice which is saying “f#ck it, it’s Christmas, go bonkers. You deserve it!”

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