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Tips to Avoid the Thanksgiving Bloat

November 21, 2014

Thanksgiving is right around the corner…. and although we all love trying the numerous holiday dishes, we all know what comes after…. the dreaded post-meal bloat. So here are some tips to avoid or lessen that discomfort on Thanksgiving!

  1. Don’t starve yourself leading up to the big feast! This will make you more likely to overeat once the big meal arrives in front of your eyes. It’s better on your digestive system if you eat small meals throughout the day and don’t put so much stress on your body.
  2. Initiate your Thanksgiving meal with a small salad in order to make you more full. This will help reduce caloric intake for the total day, and help you avoid going for other fattening alternatives. Some dressings can be high in fat, which can delay stomach emptying and make you feel uncomfortably full. So just grab a light vinaigrette. 

  3. Heading for the side dishes next, eh? Well, watch out for the main culprits in gas-producing foods like beans and members of the cruciferous family such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower. 

  4. Limit your sodium. Many of the processed foods served at Thanksgiving are high in sodium and low in fiber, which can potentially make you feel uncomfortably distended.

  5. Take a breather before dessert. Don’t race to the dessert line right after the main meal.

  6. Skip the carbonated drinks such as sparkling water, sparkling ciders, and sodas that can make you feel bloated. The carbonation can cause gas to get trapped in your stomach. Aim for the water (evamor, of course!).

  7. Beware of sugar-free foods and drinks. These are generally sweetened with sugar alcohols such as sorbitol, mannitol, and xylitol. You may want to reduce intake of these (or pass on them altogether) since the body has trouble digesting them. 

  8. Most people tend to spend the whole day sitting and watching football or the Thanksgiving parade after eating the big meal. Get active by going on a walk after you eat, which can help stimulate the passage of gas through your digestive tract so you can lessen the discomfort!

  9. Try to stop eating before you are actually full. Some foods expand in the stomach, so sometimes fewer of those final bites can help curb the “I overdid it” feeling.


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