The festive season is all about the three Fs – family, fun and food, glorious food! After a year of trying to eat healthily, come December I dive head first into a vat of mince pies and copious leftovers washed down with a champers/Aperol Spritz/mojito.
Yes, I sure know how to have a merry ol’ time over the summer holidays. Unfortunately, my tendency to overindulge leads to more than just some extra junk in my trunk. Other undesirable side effects include tummy aches, gas and enough bloating to warrant being asked if I’m pregnant…with twins.
If you’re a serial festive season overindulger like me, here are some tried and tested ways to deal with the Christmas bloat that’ll see you through to wiring your jaws in January.
1. Avoid the fizz.
I’m not going to tell you to steer clear of the sauv blanc because it’s the end of the year – you’ve worked hard and you deserve a few festive beverages. Just try and alternate the cork-popping with drinking water at room temperature along with some herbal tea. Avoid fizzy drinks, chewing gum and anything else that’ll cause you to swallow more air as they’ll likely add four weeks to your food baby’s gestation.
While you’re at it, step away from that leftover cauliflower bake and other high-FODMAP foods because they are known to be the bloated belly’s arch nemeses.
2. Get expert advice.
Waddle your tum to a pharmacist to get all the advice you need to treat the symptoms of indigestion. I spoke to Krystel Tresilian, a clinical services pharmacist from TerryWhite Chemmart, who gave me some tips about managing bloating during Christmas.
"Eat a well-balanced diet and ensure you include plenty of sources of fibre, such as wholegrains and fruit and vegetables," she told me. "Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, particularly if you're also drinking alcohol. And as much as possible during the festive season, try to avoid overeating – watch your portion sizes."
Krystel added: "If you do have symptoms of indigestion which persist or are causing discomfort, speak to your local TerryWhite Chemmart pharmacist. We have options available over the counter for the relief of mild to moderate indigestion symptoms like pain, bloating, burping and reflux."
With a little helpful knowledge like this, you'll be surprised at how quickly your shape will turn from an apple back to a pear.
3. Stock your handbag.
Keep an antispasmodic medication in your handbag at all times as these may relieve spasms in the digestive tract which are a common cause of bloating. If you know you’re about to eat a week’s worth of calories in one sitting, take a tablet 30 minutes before you pick up your knife and fork.
4. Wear food-friendly fashion.
Put the tight white jeans, clingy dresses and singlets at the back of your wardrobe and make friends with kaftans, harem pants and elasticated culottes. A-line/swing tops are also super handy for hiding a pavlova-packed belly.
If all else fails, a hessian bag should do the trick and it’ll double as a mobile sauna that’ll help with detoxification. When it comes to bathers, you’ll be wanting some industrial-strength lycra and a strategically draped towel. Also, never underestimate the power of a loud, bedazzled shoe to detract attention away from your protruded mid-section.
5. Embrace the fun.
The fit pros will likely hyperventilate mid-burpee when they read this, but life is too short to worry about how many calories you’re consuming over Christmas lunch. I’m not saying you need to morph into a class-A gorger, but enjoy celebrating the year’s successes over a delicious home-cooked meal with the people you love. It may come with a bit of indigestion but the memories will be worth it (and you can get back on track the next day/month).
Now, you’ll have to excuse me, there’s some leftover roast and a glass of Prosecco with my name on it.
This content was created with thanks to our brand partner TerryWhite Chemmart.
How do you manage the Christmas bloat? Share with us below (no shame, we're all in this together).
Because your health is our priority, we offer a number of different health services right here in the pharmacy. Our approachable and accessible pharmacists also provide professional assistance for many different health and wellbeing issues. TerryWhite Chemmart, helping to keep you Alive & Well.