Suffering from Holiday Bloat? Here at 6 ways to avoid it this season.

avoid bloating this holiday season

What could be a reason you are suffering from holiday bloat? Constipation

Most of us enjoy spending time with family and friends during the holiday season. Not to mention, the mass eating and drinking without thinking about suffering from holiday bloat, but then going “back to reality” doesn’t always go smoothly. One reason for that bloat can be constipation.

Constipation is usually when food is moving too slowly through the digestive tract or is unable to be eliminated by the rectum fully. In the United States, 16 out of every 100 people have symptoms of constipation, and it can affect any age and any population.

Constipation itself is not a disease, but it may be a symptom of another chronic, long-standing problem. Sometimes we have constipation and bloat that can be affected by periods of time where our diet has changed (i.e. eating different foods or travel over holiday breaks), but if the feeling of bloat is staying around longer, then you may need to seek out further medical assessment to rule out other reasons behind your constipation.

Per National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), constipation is defined as a condition in which you may have:

  • fewer than three bowel movements a week
  • stools that are hard, dry, or lumpy
  • stools that are difficult or painful to pass
  • a feeling that not all stool has passed

But just because you have had symptoms of constipation in the past, doesn’t mean you should be hopeless to prevent it from happening, or at the very least, reducing its potential impact on your holiday season. Here are some easy ways to help ease bloating:

1. Drinking plenty of water to avoid suffering holiday bloat.

      •  You should be drinking at least ½ your body weight in ounces of water, daily.

2. Getting recommended daily amounts of fiber: soluble and insoluble

Recommended amounts of fiber for women are at least 21 to 25 grams, and for men at least 30 to 38 grams a day.

Insoluble fiber examples: wheat bran, vegetables, and whole grains.

Soluble fiber examples: oat bran, barley, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, peas, and some fruits and vegetables

3. Exercise

 Any activity—even a brisk walk! Aim for mild to moderate exertion for 20-30 minutes every day.

4.Deep breathing

This helps regulate our Nervous System and allows our “Rest and Digest” side to kick in, and avoid suffering from holiday bloat.

5.Positioning

Using things like a squatty potty can be helpful for positioning when you are having a bowel movement. If traveling, you can use a step stool, or even a small trash can turned on its side to lift your feet.

6. Pressure strategies

If you find that you do have to strain when you bear down, be sure to breathe out to control intraabdominal pressure.

Some or all of these things may help you avoid suffering from holiday bloat. Although, if you find that you are having more chronic constipation, and have difficulty managing, we are here to help at Rebalance PT! Contact us to schedule a consultation today.

Written by Katelyn Brady, PT, DPT, Cert MDT

References:

American Gastroenterological Association, Bharucha AE, Dorn SD, Lembo A, Pressman A. American Gastroenterological Association medical position statement on constipation. Gastroenterology. 2013;144(1):211–217.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). National Institute of Diabetes and digestive and kidney diseases (NIDDK). National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Retrieved October 31, 2022, from https://www.niddk.nih.gov/

Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2021, January 5). How much fiber is found in common foods? Mayo Clinic. Retrieved October 31, 2022, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/high-fiber-foods/art-20050948

 

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