Must Read Food Tips Before Your Thanksgiving Feast

Image: Andrew Zaeh for Getty

Overeating can happen to all of us.

“Sometimes it’s a matter of eating too fast, keeping those unhealthy ‘clean plate’ habits or just wanting to have a taste of everything on the buffet,” says Kristie Leigh, RDN, director of health and scientific affairs at Danone North America. “No matter the reason (no shame here!), there are some tips for how to minimize that uncomfortable overly full feeling.”

Make a plan

“One of the easiest ways to avoid overeating is to make a plan, especially if you know you have a big meal coming up or a party to attend. Make sure you eat throughout the day so you don’t go into the event or meal ravenous.”

Don’t eat quickly

“Eating quickly, specially when you are really hungry, is an easy way to end up feeling too full. Also, if there is a buffet or more food than can fit on one plate, check out all the options before making your choices. There’s nothing worse than getting to the end of the buffet line and realizing you are out of plate space and your favorite food is up for grabs. Variety is the spice of life, but also one of the main reasons folks end up feeling too full. If you must try everything, only get one or two bites worth of the foods to minimize the amount you consume.”

Get up and move

“Gentle movement like a walk or some light yoga or stretching is best within a couple hours of eating, so skip that HIIT and bootcamp workout while still feeling uncomfortably full. Stepping away from the table and getting outside for that walk can help clear your mind, fill your lungs with fresh air and get your digestive system going. Too much strenuous activity will redirect the blood to other areas besides your stomach so keep it light.”

Drink some water

“Staying hydrated is an important part of overall health and the digestive process. When we maintain our hydration status our digestive process goes smoothly and so do our trips to the bathroom, which is especially important if we consume fiber rich foods regularly. When you are feeling overly full, stick with flat water and stay away from the bubbles, as the carbonation can make you feel even fuller.”

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Change into comfy clothes

“Wearing tight clothes and restricting your stomach may impede digestion and can cause unnecessary discomfort. If you tend to eat too quickly, you might have swallowed some air during your meal which can lead to feelings of fullness. If you need to get some extra air out, sitting upright can help as well as some light stretching. Try to fight the urge to lay down until your food has had some time to digest a bit, this will help you avoid any type of reflux.”

Go back to normal eating habits

“As soon as you are comfortable doing so, make sure you resume healthy eating habits, incorporating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, veggies, lean meats, dairy and whole grains. Make sure you are drinking plenty of water and taking the time to enjoy your food.”

Incorporate probiotics into your lifestyle

“This is a good way to move forward, but probiotics aren’t a magic bullet and will need to be consumed regularly to provide their benefit. Make sure you choose a probiotic with a studied gut health benefit. A product like Activia Dailies is a delicious and easy way to incorporate a gut health focused probiotic product into your lifestyle and with product benefits like reduction in the frequency of gas, bloating and abdominal discomfort, it may be the easiest tip of all.”

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