The festive season might be the perfect time to indulge, but many of us will regret grazing our way through December only to find their Christmas jumper is popping at the seams or they need a large black maxi dress to replace the LBD at the New Year party.
68% of us say they go up at least a dress size when they’re bloated, according to a survey by Maalox Plus, and 25% said bloating has even ruined a special day or occasion, such as Christmas.
Add this to the estimated 6,000 calories we take in at Christmas and it’s no wonder so many of us are left feeling uncomfortable and sluggish.
So to blast your way through the bloat, here are some quick fixes:
1. Have a cheat day
No one wants to be on a strict eating plan over the holiday so let yourself go on Christmas Day but be mindful of what you’re eating and drinking the rest of the break.
2. Ditch the spanx
While you might automatically reach for the control pants when slipping into your Christmas dress, you could be contributing to the problem.
Media medic and GP Dr Pixie McKenna says stress can lead to bloating. “Stress, tiredness and feeling anxious can contribute to stomach problems as it can cause an abnormality in the digestive tract or excess acid to be made by the stomach. The Christmas holidays are typically a busy and often stressful period, so you may already have more chance of suffering with indigestion,” she says.
4. Protect your liver
Milk Thistle contains an active ingredient called silymarin, which has been shown to protect the liver from alcohol damage and premature ageing by helping to regenerate liver cells. Traditionally, Milk Thistle is used to relieve symptoms associated with over-indulgence, such as an upset stomach and indigestion.
5 . Sip tea
Try a teatox “Many people use tea to help with weight loss, but what Bootea does, is combine several different herbs and spices in two distinct blends to help maximise this effect,” says Alex Thompson, Nutritionist for Holland & Barrett.
“Ingredients such as Chinese oolong tea and ginger root are known for their health benefits.”
6. Stock up on supplements
Bloating is often due to an imbalance of gut microflora. Taking a multi-strain probiotic every day can help to rebalance the gut flora, support the efficient digestion of food and regular healthy bowel movements.
7. Don’t eat late
“Avoid late night meals or snacks if you can help it,” says Dr Pixie McKenna. “Lying down too soon after eating will make it harder for your stomach to digest food properly and can cause acid reflux.”
8. Eat wisely
Limit your consumption of foods known to cause wind and bloating. Potatoes, rice, citrus fruits and yoghurt are high in unabsorbable carbohydrates which can lead to excess and trapped wind and contribute to a puffy, uncomfortable tummy.