Nourish - Beat The Post-Christmas Bloat
Today’s topic is all about how to Beat the Post-Christmas bloat. We all know the score, the ‘Ah gwan sure it’s Christmas…’ started a couple of days (weeks) too early this year. And let’s face it, it’s pretty impossible not to get stuck into the gluttony of the holiday season.
Now that Christmas is over, hands up, how many of us have the unwelcome addition of a little pooch belly? Yep, not to worry – we are all feeling it. Those jeans are a bit tighter, the belts have loosened another hole, and the feeling of true hunger is but a distant memory.
Don’t panic! Plenty of people angst over those pounds that have snuck onto the scale’s display after an extravagant Christmas, but actually this is completely unnecessary. This next sentence is important:
It takes an excess consumption of 5,000 calories to put on 1 pound of fat. Considering we eat roughly 2,000 calories a day, it’s unlikely that you have piled on those 5 pounds the scale is screaming at you. Realistically while you may have put on a little fat, water weight is the main culprit here. When we eat rich, indulgent, sugary, and salty foods our body isn’t quite sure how to handle it.
Fat, glucose and sodium molecules notoriously bind to water, leading to a puffier, heavier appearance. Sucks right? Yep, but not to worry – we’ll get rid of it together.
Here are my top tips to Beat the Post-Christmas Bloat!
Well, I suppose we better get started with flushing that water out! Dandelion is a fantastic herbal remedy used to flush out pesky unwanted water from the body. It works as a natural diuretic making it helpful for reducing water retention or puffiness in the face or body. Interestingly, this herb won’t dehyrate you. Dandelion simply removes excess water. Dandelions are also nutritive and a good source of vitamins A and C and minerals calcium, potassium, phosphorous, and magnesium.
Milk thistle is one of my ultimate favourites. If you overindulged in alcohol and fatty foods over the Christmas holidays, your liver is going to be feeling a tad sorry for itself. It’s going to be sluggish and grumpy and the result? You’ll be feeling run down, bloated and generally a bit YUCK. Milk thistle is my go-to product for liver cleansing, and trust me – it works. I recommend choosing the liquid over the tablets as it allows the good stuff to scoot its way into your system quick as a flash! Learn more about Milk Thistle in this blog post:
One cause of poor digestion is the under-production of digestive enzymes. This can be from a diet lacking in enzyme-rich foods (think raw fruits and veggies), eating too much, through to rushed eating and a lack of chewing. A lot of people gulp their food down, barely taking the time to chew. And at Christmas time, it seems many of us take it to another level. For some reason, we feel we can eat more than any other time of the year. Especially more sweet treats and deliciously fatty meals.
Typically, we all end up in a groaning heap on the couch desperately trying to digest our way through our meal.
If you have been eating more than your body is used to, your poor digestive enzymes are going to be fairly knackered. You need different enzymes to break down your proteins, fats, carbohydrates etc. into molecules that can be absorbed by the body.
If you have tired or a decreased number of digestive enzymes, you are likely going to find yourself feeling pretty bloated regardless of what you have eaten. Additionally, you may also find yourself feeling full long after eating. Almost as though your food is sitting in your stomach, chilling out and having a good time, but you most certainly are not.
The answer? Pop a digestive enzyme capsule just before you eat. They work a treat! Try to remember this for next year so that you can take some during your Festive Season feastings. That way you won’t just take them after to beat the post-Christmas bloat!
4. Peppermint Tea
An age-old remedy for tummy discomfort. Sip on some good quality mint tea. Alternatively, chuck some fresh mint leaves into a cup and cover with boiling water. Allow them to stew for 5 minutes or so. Sip on this after eating instead of your regular tea or coffee which can upset the lining of your stomach.
Top Mint Teas:
If you’re not a fan of peppermint, try fennel tea instead. It’s an absolute legend when talking digestive rescue. That’s because fennel tea will help neutralize digestive system distress by toning-down bloat and gas.
Ginger tea is also fantastic for digestion and a sure-fire help to beat the post-Christmas bloat. Combine it with mint tea for double points.
I have talked extensively about probiotics before and how marvellous they are. Have a read about them here.
A tiny summary is this.
The word “probiotic”, also known as good bacteria, describes the beneficial microorganisms that reside in our digestive tract. Our digestive tract is home to trillions of microorganisms, some of which are beneficial, others that are harmful, and some that are neutral.
Probiotics support digestive health by:
- rebalancing the guts levels of beneficial bacteria
- producing specific enzymes needed in the digestion of food
- aiding the break-down of foods substances
- experienced stress this Christmas, whether emotional or physical
- over-eaten or eaten a lot of festive fatty/sugary tasties
- had any sort of tummy upset
- taken antibiotics
- travelled long distances
- or feel like your immune system is feeling a bit weak
Well then, you could certainly benefit from taking some probiotics. If your tummy’s bacteria balance is off (i.e. more bad bacteria than good) then bloating is inevitable. My best advice – grab yourself some high strength probiotics.
Totally free and utterly perfect, water will do wonders at flushing the post-Christmas bloat away. Quite ironic as I had mentioned that part of your bloat/weight gain could be caused by water retention. Interestingly, the more water you drink, the less your body will feel the need to cling onto it. It also helps to detox the kidneys, liver, and blood.
Chug down a minimum of 2 litres a day – more if you are exercising or consuming lots of sodium. Be careful however as you can overdose your water intake (really!). Taking in too much water can lead to a dilution of sodium and other essential electrolytes in your blood making you feel dizzy and pretty darn poorly. Two to three litres should do the trick, with room temperature being optimal. Add a few slices of lemon or a tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar to your water to give your liver and immune system a boost.
I understand you might feel fairly crappy right now, but you are not alone. We all overindulge at Christmas, and while you might feel bloated and sick, and generally a bit rotten at the moment, this too shall pass. It’s going to take a few days, but crack out the salads, get some fruit and water into you, follow these tips, and you’ll feel back to normal in no time! As they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
And that sums it up for our Beat the Post-Christmas Bloat blog post.
If bloating is a big issue for you, have a look over these blog posts for some more help:
Any questions? Drop into your local Nourish store to chat with our expert team and explore our full range of foods, supplements and skincare. You can also find our full product range in our online store.
*Please note that while we are knowledgeable about our products and nutrition, this blog should never be a substitute for medical advice and attention.
Please remember that you should always obtain the all-clear from your doctor before starting any new supplement plan or diet if you’re on any medication.
*** Please be aware that adding prebiotics into your diet may cause minor digestive disturbances/flatulence in the first few days of taking them. Don’t be alarmed! After a few days of continued use, the intestines will have adapted to the prebiotics & the discomfort should disappear