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Holiday Food

Tips for Avoiding Digestive Discomfort During the Holidays

Andréanne Tremblay-Lebeau

Andréanne Tremblay-Lebeau

Healthy eating:

Registered Dietitian

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The holidays mean gatherings and celebrations with family and friends, happy hours after work, and other such occasions. All these events boost our spirits, but often have the opposite effect on our bodies. Is there anyone who can boast of never having had a little digestive discomfort during the holidays?

Having digestive discomfort is not fun for anyone. To help you fully enjoy the holidays, here are a few tips that will let you feel good about your stomach.

1- Avoid skipping a meal. If you arrive at a gathering famished, chances are you will dive into the hors d’œuvres and buffet. As a result, you’ll eat to excess, and your digestion will be a bit more difficult.

2- Drink a lot of water. Water is crucial for the optimal functioning of your body. Drinking water will also help you eat less and reduce your alcohol intake if you alternate between drinking water and alcohol. During the holidays, add a couple of attractive bottles of water to your table to encourage your guests to hydrate properly!

3- Get active! Exercise is a must for a healthy digestive system. Take advantage of winter and your long days off to go outside and have fun with your family!

4- Limit foods that are high in fat. They make digestion slower and more difficult. Be vigilant and watch out for sauces, batter-coated hors d’oeuvres, vinaigrettes and mayonnaise, etc.

5- Go for small portions. Another tip to avoid overdoing it! If necessary, you can divide the pre-cut portions into two or three mini-portions before taking a serving. This way, someone else will be able to enjoy that item too.

6- Draw up a “game plan”. Scope out all the food before going to get a plate. Classify the different foods, then take small portions of your favourite ones, alternating with nutritious and light choices, and leaving aside those that you don’t care for.

7- Slow down. Take the time to set your utensils down between each bite and chew well. By taking more than 20 minutes to eat, you allow satiety signals to reach the brain and let you know that you are no longer hungry.

8- Keep temptation at bay! You know yourself better than anyone else does. Keep a good distance between you and those plates loaded with hard-to-resist treats.

9- Socialize between servings. Take advantage of this quality time with your friends and family. You probably won’t even feel like filling your plate a second time after a few conversations.

10- Go easy on the alcohol. Alcoholic beverages usually accompany the meal and contribute to overindulgence and the associated digestive discomfort. Be wary of very sweet and creamy drinks. Choose simple alcoholic beverages, such as a small glass of white wine.

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