5 Tips for Banning Bloat this Holiday Season
What does every holiday season have in common? Well, apart from festive parties, reuniting with friends and family, and rewatching your favorite nostalgic films – we’d have to say indulging in allll the holiday treats takes the cake (pun intended).
And while we can’t think of anything more enjoyable than sipping red wine, snacking on nana’s homemade chocolate chip cookies, or sampling your friend’s finest cheese and charcuterie board, we’d be remiss not to mention the ~seemingly~ inescapable bloat that accompanies it.
Read on to discover our favorite tips and tricks for banning bloat so you can have your cake and eat it too.
- Tea, Please
Embrace the colder weather by sipping on a cozy cup of tea. From peppermint to ginger to chamomile and dandelion root, you can drink up all the slimming benefits with just a cup a day. According to Amy Shapiro, MS, RD, CDN, “peppermint oil has been shown to be effective in reducing stomach pain, bloating, and gas,” while dandelion root “reduc[es] any water weight/retention by increasing urination.” Our suggestion? Try sipping post meal to maximize all the digestive benefits.
2. Go Slow
As delicious as it all is – don’t forget to take your time and enjoy each and every bite. Not only will this help you savor your food and appreciate all the mouthwatering flavors – it’ll help combat belly bloat, too!
When we eat too quickly or feast while stressed, we bring our bodies into a sympathetic state, causing digestion to slow or stop entirely. This is because digestion takes a backseat to self-preservation, and while our day-to-day stressors may not be quite like our ancestors before us, our bodies don’t differentiate between being chased by a tiger and overthinking our boss’ last text – stress is just, well, stress – and our bodies can’t help but go into fight or flight mode. So next time you’re feeling the weight of the world, try your best to take deep breaths, be present, and enjoy the delicious meal before you.
3. Skip the Salt
Since consuming salt contributes to water retention, it’s a good idea to avoid or at least go light on salty foods. Can’t help but indulge in the chips and dip? Just be sure to complement this with lots of water and potassium-rich foods like asparagus, avocados, bananas, sweet potatoes, and citrus fruits. According to Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, “both water and potassium help flush excess sodium and fluid out of the body.” So yes, go ahead and cozy up to the chips and dip station at your next soiree (we won’t judge), but just be sure the homemade guac takes center stage.
4. Get Moving
Whether it’s a brisk walk after dinner or a yoga session at sunrise, implementing exercise into your daily routine will be a game-changer for your bloat. Not only does movement get things moving, but it also stimulates the sweat glands which release any fluids the body may be retaining. As Sass says, “moving stimulates the digestive system to contract, which may help pass trapped gas.” So lace up your sneakers, grab the dog, and walk it out for some quick, effective relief.
5. Treat Yourself
Ever heard of a lymphatic drainage massage? Let us change your life. Known for reducing swelling, easing stress, improving circulation, increasing energy, and even boosting immune function, lymphatic drainage massages are incredibly effective at banning bloat. A gentle massage that encourages the movement of lymph fluids around the body, this technique helps remove waste and toxins, alleviating gas and excess water. Celebrity massage therapist Flavia Lanini, says that lymphatic massage can “promote a contouring effect while also promoting relaxation,” which explains the head-turning before and after pictures you may have come across. So next time you’re feeling up for a different kind of treat – treat yourself to a relaxing lymphatic drainage massage, and say bye-bye to bloat.