Christmas can be a time when many of us overindulge, and we often come out on the flip side feeling bloated, uncomfortable and sometimes struggling to do up our jeans.
There are certain festive foods and drinks that contribute to bloating, so it's important that we're aware of what we're consuming through the festive period and not putting too much stress on our bodies, causing them to swell and stretch.
There's no reason you can't enjoy the festive period and eat as much as you want, just try these simple tips from three experts to help beat the bloat.
Angela Dowden is a registered nutritionist, Romana Braganza is a celebrity personal trainer and Liz Brewer is an etiquette expert, together they share their top tips for ensuring you beat the bloat this Christmas.
25 ways to beat the bloat this Christmas
- Angela says that magnesium can help with bloat, especially the premenstrual type. You could try a supplement, or eat more green vegetables, bananas, Brazil nuts and almonds.
- Romana says that simply moving with a walk or toe touch stretches can help work gravity to help get gas out of the body.
- A simple antacid, like Maalox Plus, can help with any bloating or trapped wind you might have.
- Liz explains that you should avoid eating and drinking at the same time.
- Especially don't swallow food with liquid, this is because liquids will go straight through to the intestine and hinder your digestion.
- Angela suggests that if you regularly suffer from bloating and gas it might be time to write a food journal.
- If you write down the food you eat and the symptoms you get, you can identify any problem foods or eating patterns that might cause excessive bloating.
- Romona says that you can push air out of your digestive system with simple exercises that you do.
- Twisting exercises work well, just sit on the chair or ground with your feet facing forward and rotate your body around each side.
- Liz says to take your time when you eat your food.
- She explains digestion starts in the mouth, so you want to ensure you have 30 bites for every mouthful.
- Simply chewing your food and breaking it down more can aid in digestion and prevent bloating.
- Angela explains that you'll want to cut down on the amount of salt you eat. Eating too much salt will mean your body holds on to excess fluid which greatly increases the chance of gaining water weight.
- Foods to avoid and cut down on to reduce bloating include cheese, ham, pickles, pizza, bacon, stock cubes, salt itself.
- Avoid chewing too much gum, as you are adding excess air to the body which will only further increase bloating.
- Try some yoga says Romana, particularly the child's pose. This movement helps to push gas out of your digestive system.
- After a heavy meal don't reach for more chocolate, help to settle your stomach with a ginger or peppermint herbal tea.
- Angela also suggests a daily probiotic, having good bacteria in the gut can help with bloating.
- Take your probiotic in the form of a supplement, or eat a yogurt every day.
- Liz says to ease bloating it's important to chew with your mouth closed. Not only is it good manners, but if you're chewing and talking at the same time you're likely to swallow more air which will bloat you.
- Angela says that eating huge meals is going to cause huge bloating, instead opt for smaller meals more regularly, this helps to reduce the chance of indigestion too.
- Keep your fibre intake high, choose whole grain varieties of bread and pasta to help keep your gut moving over the festive period. Don't let constipation leave you bloated.
- Liz explains that the right food combinations can also play a part in bloating because the combination of fruit like cranberry sauce and turkey isn't particularly good for the gut.
- Enjoy a glass of bubbly, just not too much fizz. Bubbles will leave your stomach bloated, so consume drinks that don't have fizz.
- Start the breakdown the protein in your turkey by squeezing a little lemon juice on it.
But most importantly enjoy yourself, choose loose-fitting clothing and steer clear of too many windy vegetables like broccoli and sprouts.