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Let’s beat New Year Bloating together!
I’m not afraid to say, I ate a ton over Christmas and New Year. Most of it unhealthy, although I did throw a few fruit and vegetables in there. When Victoria (who has guest posted on TMT before) approached me with this article, I snapped up the opportunity to share with all of you. Of course, I want to beat New Year bloating and get back on the health and fitness wagon!
So here’s how you do it:
Well folks, we’ve done it – another great round of holiday dinners and rituals, leaving us all pretty much hungover from food. As we start to get back to our regular routines and part with the hazy parallel reality that the holidays were, we’re also willing our bodies to return to normal. Post-holiday belly bloat is the result of an interrupted digestive system and the most common problem we all have to deal with, so without further ado, here are the most effective ways to reduce it.
Pile Up Some Healthy Bacteria
To keep your digestive system running smoothly, the bacteria in your gut has to be balanced. This balance is most often interrupted during the holidays as you change your eating habits for a couple of days, leaving you feeling sluggish and your stomach bloated. Foods that are rich in probiotics are crucial to resolving this issue, so incorporate probiotic-rich food into your diet. Sauerkraut, for example, is extremely effective and it makes for a great side-dish or salad.
Herbal tea is one of the oldest remedies for soothing a belly that has previously overindulged. Chamomile, peppermint and lemon tea are known to be of great help, so sip on them in the morning, before bedtime, and every time you feel heavy and bloated. Just make sure they’re caffeine-free or don’t steep them for too long.
Take It Easy On Certain Foods and Drinks
There’s no miraculous natural product that will make the bloating go away instantly, but it’s rather about adjusting your lifestyle and eliminating (for the time being) some things that are irritable to the gut.
It’s the last thing you need during this time, as it irritates the stomach very easily and can cause diarrhea and bloating, especially when your gut is already in an imbalanced state. Sure, a caffeine kick in the morning may be an absolute necessity for you, and if that’s the case, just ensure that’s your only dose of caffeine for the whole day. Carbonated drinks also fall into this category and will definitely only make things worse, so stay away from them completely (you really don’t need that stuff anyway).
You might not be lactose intolerant medically speaking, but nevertheless, tolerance to lactose gradually decreases with age in all human adults, so it’s important to limit dairy intake. The holidays are laden with delicious dairy offerings – desserts, eggnog, cheese platters, and you’ve probably had enough by now, hence the feeling of sluggishness. Avoid dairy for a while to get your belly back on track.
Although extremely healthy, fruits and vegetables are a bit more difficult for the body to break down when they’re in raw form, which is why they induce New Year bloating. This especially stands for broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower. You’ll want to keep your meals light and piled with veggies during these times, so instead of eating them raw, just boil and season them so they will be easier to break down.
Supplement Your Diet
Spices such as turmeric and ginger, as well as most herbs (thyme, rosemary, etc.), are known to soothe the stomach and reduce bloating, so use them when preparing your meals. Aside from natural remedies, glutamine supplements help maintain the intestinal mucosa so they can help improve gut function. That’s why they’re not used solely for the purpose of enhancing muscle building functions.
Flush Out The Sodium
All the delicious holiday meals come with an increased salt intake, which is a huge factor in causing belly bloat. You might have noticed even your face getting a bit puffier – don’t worry, you haven’t put on weight in the cheeks, it’s the salt holding back water in your body. Flush out the excess salt by drinking a lot of water throughout the day and eating foods that are rich in potassium, as this is the electrolyte that helps kidneys get rid of sodium. Bananas and citrus fruits are great sources of potassium. It would also be smart to tweak up your water with natural detoxifiers to speed up the process.
Lastly, you know you have to do this to get your body feeling invigorated again. Studies have shown that physical activity helps reduce bloating, so even if that’s the last thing on your mind, get sweating and stay on the move (sweating will also flush out excess salt). Take the stairs, stretch and do some simple exercises that are sure to help. Any form of exercise helps stimulate the bowels. With bloating especially, you’ll want to do abdominal muscle exercises to eliminate it and prevent it from occurring again.
Just listen to what your body is telling you and very soon you’ll be back to normal. For example, you know you need to stay hydrated, but too much water can also cause bloating in some people, so if that’s the case, listen to your body telling you to cut down a bit. But do ignore your body when it’s telling you it’s time for a nap after dinner – no post-meal naps, they’re only a remnant of the holiday season! Hopefully this has given you plenty of insight to avoid New Year bloating
A Bit About Victoria:
Victoria is a lifestyle writer with expertise in scribbling a lot of unnecessary words, walking a dog for miles and miles, getting bites from her pet squirrel and choosing tea for her next cup. You could at least say that she’s an avid tea-drinker. Find more of her on Twitter.