The holidays are cruel to our stomachs. Rich, fattening, sugar laden foods tempt us to overeat and we end up with bloated, upset stomachs.
Dr. Reena Chokshi, a gastroenterologist at the UConn Health Center, has some tips on how to break that holiday tradition and enjoy the festive fare without the tummy troubles.
6 Tips to Prevent Heartburn and Upset Stomach During the Holidays
- Make trade-offs. If what you really love is your mother's stuffing, go ahead and have a second helping. But decide not to have second helpings of the potatoes, and the pie.
- Compensate. If you know that you'll be eating a lot of fatty food at holiday parties this week, compensate by healthy eating at lunch. High-fiber vegetables and grains will help keep your GI tract on track.
- Eat consciously. You don't want to dip your hand absent-mindedly into every bowl of candy you come across.
- Eat slowly. It will help the stomach empty better and suppress the appetite. You won't want to overeat as much if you eat slowly.
- Limit alcohol. On its own, alcohol can irritate the GI tract and trigger heartburn. It also lowers your defenses, increasing the chances you'll make bad food choices.
- Move. After the pumpkin pie, don't stretch out on the couch. You're bound to get heartburn and acid reflux if you do. Instead, go out for a short walk.
For most people, the occasional stomachache, a bout of diarrhea, or some holiday heartburn is nothing to worry about. However, if you're having ongoing symptoms, you need to see a doctor.