Everyone eats too much from time to time, ending up with a feeling of discomfort, a stomachache, or a lot of guilt. Overeating to the point of discomfort is a problem for many people, and it only becomes more likely around the holidays.
Food is often used for comfort or as a reward, and especially around the holidays it is connected to tradition and celebration. These emotional associations, combined with distraction from socializing or a tendency to mirror other people’s eating habits, may leave you feeling as overstuffed as the turkey on the table. One of the most helpful things to do to prevent overeating in the first place is to be mindful of your body and emotions before, during, and after you eat: before you reach for a treat or a second helping, ask yourself if you’re really hungry or just eating because it’s there or looking for a treat. Eat slowly – not only does savoring food make it more enjoyable, it also gives your stomach time to tell your brain that you’re full.
The abundance of special seasonal treats can be endlessly tempting and in places like offices or at a party where they’re all laid out together, you might find yourself reaching for one after the other until you’re left with a stomachache. One way to avoid this is by limiting yourself to only genuine treats: the holiday edition of a candy bar is not as rewarding as your mother’s famous apple pie. Save stomach space for what’s really special.
If you do eat too much, there are steps you can take to ease the pain:. You may feel like you can’t even move from your chair at the table, but suggest a family walk around the neighborhood instead: even light exercise aids digestion, stabilizes blood sugar, and can even help prevent acid reflux from flaring up.
You probably won’t like the idea of putting anything else in your stomach, but a few simple home remedies can help ease your discomfort. Provided you don’t have acid reflux, try sipping peppermint tea or sucking on peppermint candy: it relieves nausea, gas, and indigestion, relaxing the opening between the stomach and esophagus. Activated charcoal tablets are a good option for those not taking heart medication, and tea – peppermint, chamomile, or chicory are especially good options – also helps promote digestion.
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