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Holiday Overeating and Dietitian Tips for Quick Recovery


By Lindsay Wiese, RD,LD, Utica Ridge Hy-Vee Registered Dietitian

If you haven’t yet conquered the goal of eating less and “everything in moderation” over the holiday, you’re not alone. Don’t give up yet! Rather than settling for feeling sluggish and uncomfortable after a holiday meal, make a new goal to beat post-meal sleepiness and discomfort by following some simple tips!

Still hurting from your holiday meal? Follow these tips to bounce-back quickly:

Prepare for battle
— Don’t skip meals in order to offset the anticipated excess calorie intake. This can often lead to worse outcomes from overeating and less healthy choices. Instead, eat a healthy, balanced breakfast, lunch, or dinner before the big meal. Filling up ahead of time on the good stuff leaves less room for overindulgence with the other stuff.

Hydrate — Drink plenty of plain water before and after your meal to help digestion, especially after indulging in high-salt and high-sugar foods and alcohol.

Move your body! — This could be the fastest way to speed up recovery. It’s very tempting to want to rest after a large meal. Instead, go for a walk or play a fun game outside with your family. Exercise not only uses calories, it also induces increased blood flow for a burst of energy, while using up excess sugar and sodium in your body. Beware of intense fun factor – this could become your new family tradition!

Light ideas after indulging — these foods digest easily and reset your energy levels to get you back on track:

Fruits and vegetables — Some fruits have acidic properties that aid in digestion. Both fruits and vegetables contain fiber to keep things moving, and potassium to minimize bloating from excess sodium. Try making a frozen smoothie snack using your favorite produce.

Herbs and spices — Fresh herbs and spices such as ginger or turmeric can ease the discomfort of overeating, and help reduce GI inflammation. Their aromas can also be very soothing — just in time for the holidays!

Liquids — Water is essential for digestion. White tea has been shown to prevent fat cell development; dress it up by adding some lemon, ginger, or other holiday spices.

The information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.