Well, the turkey has been carved, gravy poured, and pies have been eaten in mass quantities. Chances are, even if you tried to keep your turkey-green bean casserole-mashed potato-sweet potato hotdish-wine-extra gravy ratios all in check, you are still feeling a little bloated today (side-note: if you aren’t feeling bloated or extra full, shut up and carry on). The following are some post mass food consumption tricks you can use to help de-bloat your belly and reset your system.
Water is single handedly one of the most powerful de-bloating tools in your toolbox. It helps flush out toxins such as sodium, which makes you retain water and bloat. It also can help you feel full for longer, keeps your muscles and organs hydrated, can help muscle/organ/brain function, and helps keep your skin glowing. Bonus: it is (obviously) calorie free, so drink up!
Eat Fresh, Unprocessed Foods
Processed meals and food are heavy in sodium, chemicals (if you can’t pronounce it, you shouldn’t eat it), artificial food coloring, sugar, and high fructose corn syrup. They can be extremely carb heavy, extra salty and low in fiber. Focus on eating nutrient dense foods, ie- fruits and vegetables in a variety of colors, lean protein, and produce that is water dense (ie- watermelon or pineapple). Also consider eating yogurt (unsweetened/plain). Yogurt is high in probiotics- healthy bacteria that are good for your gut and digestive tract. Yogurt will help your gut and digestive track get back on track.
Watch the Sugar
Sugar is addicting. The more you eat, the more you crave. Stabilizing your blood sugar is extremely important, as unstable blood sugar levels can affect everything from your energy levels to headaches to your mood. Avoid sugar peaks and lows by eating steady protein throughout the day, keeping your sugar consumption to a minimum (watch out for hidden sugar culprits like fruit juice, fruits high in sugar, and processed foods with added sugars such as pasta sauces and yogurt), and watching the more obvious refined sugar intake of cookies, candies, treats, etc.
Earn Your Shower
Work out and get a good sweat. Working out will: release endorphins that make you feel good (seriously- you get a built in high from it), make you sweat, thus sweating out salt and water retention from your day of food, and will burn extra calories that you most likely consumed. Do some extra time on the elliptical, take a new class, run some intervals, and MOVE! You will feel better after you do.
Make Your Large Meal an Isolated Event, Not a Gateway Meal
It’s ok if you ate a lot on Thanksgiving, as long as you don’t continue to do so. One large meal can lead to another and another, and after a while, it is possible to convince your body you need a higher consumption of calories per meal. Don’t let this happen to you. Get back to a reasonable eating plan and get back into the groove of things. Use your leftovers for other healthy meals, like turkey noodle soup, or a turkey sandwich on a slice of whole wheat bread. Every leftover meal does not need to be a continuation of Thanksgiving dinner with a heaping plate of the turkey with the works.
The reality of the post crazy food eating day is that it will take a few days for you to feel back on track. Exercise, sleep, and eat well during this time. Get yourself back into the swing of things and you’ll be less bloaty in no time.