It wouldn’t be Christmas if we didn’t put on a huge feast and enjoy the festivities with our family and friends. But all that eating is going to influence your body, consuming many calories on Christmas day alone, it’s often not a good effect.
There are many foods that can contribute to digestive problems and knowing which ones to look out for will help to make your Christmas even more enjoyable.
Bloating is probably the most common Christmas stomach issue, and is usually caused by eating in excess. Any kind of food can trigger bloating if you eat enough of it, but there are some foods that are more likely to cause bloating than others.
Vegetables from the cruciferous family, such as broccoli, cabbage and brussels sprouts, are known causes for a bloated and gassy tummy (Healthline, 2017). Take it easy on these vegetables or try switching them for sweet potatoes, spinach or zucchini. Also, try avoiding carbonated drinks and stick to water instead. Fizzy drinks fill your tummy with gas which can often get trapped.
Late night eating
Late night eating can increase towards the end of the year; with Christmas parties not finishing until late, a midnight snack seems perfectly fine. But eating foods such as takeout and leftovers after your bedtime, especially when mixed with alcohol, can be linked with obesity and possible psychological stress (International Journal of Obesity, 2007).
Eating too close to bedtime can cause indigestion and sleeping problems. You should try and eat regular meals and consume 90% of your calories before 8 pm. This is to help regulate your blood sugar, controlling hunger and cravings (WebMD, 2009). In addition, Daily Probiotics can help lessen minor tummy discomfort and may help relieve occasional diarrhea.*
The Christmas couch potato
There aren’t many of us who will be dedicated enough to make it to the gym over the holidays, some of us might even struggle to get ourselves off the couch and out for a walk.
Although it’s tempting to stay wrapped up indoors, exercise at Christmas is just as important as at any other time of year. A tummy full of turkey isn’t going to magically shift itself, so a brisk walk with the dog or a trip down to the park with the family is ideal.
A sudden drop in exercise may be a cause of constipation. Exercise can help decrease the time it takes for food to pass through the large intestine, and aerobic exercise causes heavy breathing, which naturally causes the intestinal muscles to contract and move food along quickly (Web MD, 2017).
Be careful not to overdo it when it comes to how much you eat before exercise. For large meals, consume at least three to four hours before exercising. For small meals or snacks, eat around one to three hours before. Eating too much before you exercise can make you feel sluggish and eating too little may affect your energy levels and your workout performance (Mayo Clinic, 2017).
Here are our top tips for keeping your tummy feeling comfortable through the Festive Season:
- Digestive Advantage Daily Probiotic Capsules provide digestive support to lessen abdominal discomfort, occasional bloating and occasional diarrhea*
- Beware the buffet table – small pastries and desserts have a high fat count, making them hard to digest
- Christmas doesn’t need to go off with a bang. Fizzy drinks like champagne will leave you feeling bloated and gassy
- Eat little and often – don’t pile it all in at once. A small amount of food here and there will ease the stress on the digestive system
- Gentle exercise an hour after eating can improve digestion
*THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN EVALUATED BY THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION. THESE PRODUCTS ARE NOT INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT, CURE OR PREVENT DISEASE
Healthline (2017) 13 foods that cause bloating
International Journal of Obesity (2007) Night eating syndrome and nocturnal snacking
Mayo Clinic (2017) Eating and exercise: 5 tips to maximize your workouts
Web MD (2009) Diet truth or myth: eating at night causes weight gain
Web MD (2017) Exercise to ease constipation