Christmas is a time when many of us drink more alcohol, eat more foods that are high in sugar and fat, and spend more time chilling out and relaxing our workout schedules. However, these actions can result in excessive gas, increased water retention and constipation which all lead to bloating. As it turns out, the humble egg may be the ey to feeling fuller for longer, and avoiding the Christmas bloat.
“The biggest factor in avoiding weight gain and bloating over Christmas is to enjoy foods like Christmas puddings, cakes, fried finger foods and creamy dips in small portions,” says leading dietitian and author Sharon Natoli from Food & Nutrition Australia. “Eggs are a very versatile ingredient so there are plenty of Christmas recipes that utilise the highly nutritious staple. Try and add eggs to colourful Christmas salads, include peeled and quartered eggs as a finger food, or opt for eggs at breakfast to keep you going until lunch.”
Research suggests that eating fibre-rich foods such as vegetables, fruits and wholegrains, and protein-rich foods such as eggs, milk, yoghurt, fish, legumes and nuts is the best way to keep bloating at bay.
Sharon Natoli shares her tips for avoiding bloating
1. Eat slowly “It’s not just what you eat, but how you eat it. Eat slowly with your mouth closed to avoid gulping down air with your food, and make sure you chew each mouthful thoroughly.”
2. Make clever swaps “There are several swaps you can make to increase nutrition and reduce the risk of over-indulging. Bolster your Christmas lunch or dinner with fresh, colourful salads.”
3. Drink plenty of water “Approximately 2 litres per day for women, and 2.5 litres per day for men.”
4. Try tea “try drinking peppermint tea, green tea or herbal and fruit teas to meet your water goal.”
5. Limit your intake of sugary soft drinks and alcohol
6. Keep moving “Avoid sitting for long periods of time and include physical activity in your agenda. Involve the family in a physical activity such as backyard cricket, a swim in the pool or a long walk outside.”
7. Relax “Family get-togethers and the planning and preparations surrounding Christmas can sometimes be quite stressful. Prepare ahead of time, getting as much done before it gets busy – and opt for easy-to-make recipes. Stress is another important factor that can contribute to bloating and other gut symptoms so try and keep this in check.”
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