The festive period is a time best spent with your family and friends, enjoying time together and being spoilt with an abundance of lovely foods and drinks. As this time of year is very well known for being overindulgent, it makes it one of the hardest times of the year to stick to a healthy eating plan.
Most over indulge a little through these months, whether that’s one late night after another whilst you go out and party with friends, the endless glasses of fizz in celebration or the overload of delicious but very rich and heavy foods. All of these things can leave our bodies feeling a little worse for wear at the end of the season.
Whilst it’s tempting to eat chocolate for breakfast, lunch and dinner over the festive season, it might not be the healthiest option and a month or twos worth of the wrong foods paired with too much alcohol and a lack of exercise can leave us feeling the horrible effects of heartburn and indigestion.
This shouldn’t mean you need to stop indulging altogether, there is nothing wrong with enjoying what we eat in moderation, especially over the festive period but if you are experiencing the symptoms of heartburn and indigestion, it might be worth reading through our tip tops to try to help you balance out what you are eating a little.
- Make some small food swaps when you can.An easy one for example is swapping out carbonated drinks for flat ones as the bubbles from the carbonation expands in your stomach which contributes to painful heartburn and acid reflux.
- Keep yourself hydrated by drinking lots of water throughout the day.Drinking water helps prevent food cravings as it will help you to feel more full which will stop you from eating too much.
- Make sure you have breakfast– but go easy – nothing too heavy, so ditch pastries and the bucks fizz. Instead have a light but healthy, filling breakfast; fresh fruit or smoked salmon and scrambled eggs if you still fancy a treat for example. This is important as it will help to stop you over eating later on and give you energy you need to work through a very busy day ahead.
- Go for a family walk after Christmas dinneras this will help everyone’s food go down and give you some light exercise in an otherwise lazy day. Being outside also means you won’t be tempted to indulge on snacks whilst you’re sat in front of the television.
- Send your guests home with all of your leftoversfrom parties or gatherings – that way the food won’t be around later on, tempting you to snack.
- Have a small but healthy snack before you go to any partiesso that you are not hungry by the time you arrive. Also, whilst you are at the party, try not to hover around near by the food or buffet table as you will be tempted to keep picking off it. Another tip is to try to keep away from bowls of crisps or chocolate around the room for the same reason.
- Be conscious of you what you are eating throughout the day and nightand try not to eat mindlessly. A great idea to help with this is to eat your Christmas meal using the opposite hand to which you usually would. The awkwardness will make you more aware of what you are doing and should mean you will be more conscious of how much you are eating. Also try to be mindful of what your body actually wants, if you are not hungry then stop eating.
- Watch what you drink. Alcohol is full of empty calories plus it makes us hungrier and can weaken our willpower - not a good combination when you are trying to not eat too much. A great tip for this is to add ice to your drinks to dilute them a little bit and where possible, try to choose drinks with less alcohol in them to lower the amount of calories.
Of course it can be very hard to control yourself around all of the delicious festive food but with these tips, you should be able to cut out a fair few calories and reduce your chances of heartburn and indigestion. Why not give them a go this year?
Consider over-the-counter (OTC) medication
If some of these lifestyle changes still aren’t helping, you could try an over the counter option by reaching out to healthcare providers. If symptoms are severe or prolonged you should consult a doctor or pharmacist.
*This article is meant for educational purposes. All information presented is not meant to diagnose or prescribe.
Article published 25 March 2021