Holiday Indulgence and Digestive Problems

From Halloween candy to Thanksgiving feasts and Christmas dinners, our stomachs are put through a lot through the fall and winter holidays. We are so quick to indulge in the tasty treats associated with each holiday that we often disregard what all this food is doing to our digestive system. This year, do your body a favor and follow these tips to avoid digestive problems this holiday season:

  • Watch Your Portion Sizes– We understand that your grandma’s pumpkin pie may only be served once a year at Thanksgiving; however, limit yourself to small portions instead of trying to eat as much pie as your body can handle. By eating smaller portions throughout the meal, you are putting less stress on your body. Too much food can significantly hinder your digestion and cause stomachaches or constipation.
  • Limit Rich Foods– Rich foods full of sugars and fats are often found in all of your favorite holiday treats. This also includes mints, coffee, alcohol, and chocolate so it is important to also limit how much rich food and drinks that you consume during the holiday season.
  • Watch Out for Holiday Stress– Holiday stress can affect anyone and is brought on by shopping, traveling, cooking cleaning, social anxiety, or even family conflicts. Not only can holiday stress cause stomachaches or heartburn but it can also cause people to cope by overeating or drinking.
  • Remember to Eat Lots of Fiber– Fiber is often found missing during the holiday season so it is important that you are still getting fiber in your diet to ensure that you are still having smooth digestive habits. Often times the food found on holiday dinner tables are more likely to cause people to have constipation and stomachaches due to the lack of fiber in the holiday foods.
  • Be Self-Aware– If you know that you will be indulging at the Thanksgiving dinner table, compensate by eating a healthy lunch at work all week or lay off the sweets for the week leading up and the week following Thanksgiving. Another great tip for being self-aware is eating slowly and eating consciously. By eating slowly, you are suppressing your appetitive. It takes your body several minutes to feel full thus, people often find themselves continuing to eat after their body is already full. If you eat slowly, your body will catch up with your mind and you will not find yourself overeating. Make a conscious decision to avoid absentmindedly snacking while standing around the table. If you catch yourself snacking, make the decision to stop and wait for dinner.

By following these tips, your body will surely thank you. It is easy to indulge and treat yourself during the holiday season, but this is not always what is best for your body. At Gastro Care, we encourage you to follow these tips to avoid any digestive problems during the holiday season. If you are experiencing serious stomach pain or other issues, do not simply dismiss it as a Thanksgiving or Christmas-induced stomach ache. Instead, make sure to schedule an appointment with us to make sure it isn’t something more serious. Contact Dr. Rieders and Dr. Reddy at (516) 265-7049.