7 ways to de-bloat after Christmas and feel slim in time for New Year – The Sun
A CHRISTMAS food baby is almost an inevitable part of the festivities.
But eating your body weight in turkey, roast potatoes and puddings can leave you feeling sluggish and bloated.
And with the New Year’s Eve celebrations right around the corner then, if like us, you’re no doubt looking for quick ways to reduce the bloat so you can fit into your party outfit.
Rather than starving yourself or spending the next couple of days solidly in the gym, there are a few steps you can take to make you feel a bit better.
Here, we’ve asked the experts to share their tips for beating the bloat fast…
1. Eat sitting down
Sitting down helps you to relax and remember what you are eating. It also helps you to slow down, rather than bolting food down on the run, says nutritionist Amanda Ursell.
Making each mouthful last longer by chewing more can help you to eat less.
You can eat as much as 12 per cent fewer calories by chewing each mouthful 40 rather than just 15 times, according to some research.
Meanwhile, eating with your mouth closed and not talking while chewing helps you to swallow less air, which can otherwise get trapped in your stomach, making it feel extended and bloated.
2. Avoid sparkling water
It can be tempting to think that water will help hydrate and make you feel better, but Amanda says that’s only the case if it’s still water.
Avoid fizzy drinks and sparkling water because these introduce extra gas to your system, which can contribute to that bloated feeling.
Try a herbal tea like peppermint or ginger, which are known to help relieve flatulence.
3. Ditch gassy veg
You will know the culprits and although they are healthy and great during the rest of the year, when trying to de-bloat, they could be worth avoiding for a short period.
They vary between individuals but often include large servings of cabbage (avoid the Cabbage Soup Diet at all costs), swede and, for some people, onions.
4. Cut the salt
Experts say that reducing salt to just 3g a day will help your body to release water it has been hanging on to in order to dilute higher salt levels in your body.
We currently eat around 8-9g each so this reduction is quite an ask but it can be done by avoiding virtually all processed foods, says Amanda.
5. Reduce the stress
With the kids off school and home visits from various relatives, the Christmas period can be stressful at times.
Our digestive system is particularly susceptible to the effects of stress.
When we are stressed we produce less stomach acid and digestive enzymes, and our gut bacteria can be negatively affected, increasing the risk of bloating.
Learning some stress reduction tactics, such as breathing exercises, cognitive behavioural therapy techniques or mindfulness can be useful.
6. Add a little spice
“Spices can have an unbelievable effect on our body,” says Will Hawkins, an online GP for Push Doctor.
Many popular spices have been found to have a proven effect on reducing inflammation in the gut.
Reducing inflammation allows the body to create a larger cultivation of bacteria – and that’s what leads to a healthy gut.
7. Go for a walk
After Christmas, it can be tempting to spend the next few days in a food-coma on the sofa with your hand stuck inside a box of Celebrations.
But research has found that when we’re at rest, we retain a significantly higher proportion of gas in the gut.
A little gentle exercise, on the other hand, has been found to enhance intestinal gas clearance and reduce symptoms of belly bloating.
One 2008 study found that walking helps to speed up the time it takes for food to move from the stomach into the small intestines – meaning it can’t hang around causing inflammation and also makes us feel more full after eating.
There’s also evidence to suggest that speeding up digestion like this can reduce your risk of heartburn and other reflux symptoms.
So there are loads of ways to get rid of your food baby this Christmas.