As food lovers, we at Artah HQ know how hard it is to restrain ourselves over the festive period. Between the meals, deserts, endless snacks and champagne, we often find ourselves in a Christma-coma, with bloating rather than merriment being our prevailing symptom. So, we've created our cheat-sheet for how to keep the bloat at bay.
BE STRATEGIC ABOUT YOUR SWEETS
Dessert is one of life's great pleasures, but during the holiday season we're often bombarded with endless 'not-so-worth-it' indulgences and let's face it, there's nothing worse than feeling bad from something totally average. Going overboard on sweets is going to get you in two ways. Firstly, we can only digest so much at once, so excess sugar has the tendency to ferment in the bowel, not only feeding bad bacteria and yeast, but also contributing to pain, gas and bloating. Secondly, going too hard for too long on sugar is going to make you hungrier; cue constant energy swings and more snacking, which we already know is bad for the bloat. So, we recommend being a little more strategic about your indulgences rather than throwing in the towel and going for everything and anything. That way, you'll enjoy and look forward to the indulgences you actually want, with half the guilt and hopefully half the bloat.
WATCH THE CLOCK
It's no secret that we're not big proponents of snacking. Aside from perpetuating insulin resistance, constant snacking is another cause of bloating and can drain your energy. Your digestive system is powerful and designed to multitask - but in order to be efficient it needs time off too. Enter the migrating motor complex (MMC) - one of the most important functions in keeping the peace in your gut. The MMC is responsible for moving material through the digestive system through systematic contractions of the intestine. It's switched off by food and switched on by fasting, which is why it's important to leave enough time between your meals for this to happen. During the holidays, pass on the mindless snacking and try to leave at least 4 hours between meals.
DITCH THE EXTRA(S)
While the ideal holiday period would fly by bloat-free (one can only dream), it's also important to loosen the reigns a little and enjoy the celebrations with friends and family. A lot of our daily habits can contribute to bloating - even when we're eating perfectly - think diet sodas, sugar-free gum and artificial sweeteners (especially sugar alcohols). Even if they're 'calorie free' steering clear of these habits over the holidays can really help lighten the load on your body. Another big contributor to bloating is mindless eating - in front of phones, computers, or on the go. We recommend focusing on chewing more and eating 'tech-free' as much as possible.
WHEN IT DOUBT, TWIST IT OUT
There is nothing worse than planning a cute holiday outfit and then struggling to do up the zip - NOT because you've had too many mince pies (no judgement) but because something you ate just didn't sit right and now you have nothing to combat the bloating/wind/general discomfort and therefore, nothing to wear. Hmph. In need of some instant relief? Try a seated or supine twist to massage the internal organs and get everything moving as it should.
Lying on your back on a yoga mat or soft surface, draw both knees into your chest. Keeping your lower back pressed firmly into the ground, take your right hand to the outside of your left knee and extend your left arm out in line with your left shoulder, palm facing down. Gently start to draw your knees across your body towards the floor, to create a big twist through the left side of the body. If it is comfortable, take your gaze over your left shoulder. Stay for 10 big breaths and then repeat on the other side. Do as often as needed.
Sitting on the floor with your right leg extended long in front of you, bend your left knee and step the foot to the outside of your right thigh. Keeping your spine long and sits-bones rooted firmly into the floor, place your left hand behind your sacrum and inhale your right arm up to the ceiling. On an exhale, hook your right elbow outside your left knee and use the resistance to turn your head, neck and shoulders towards the back of the room. Stay for between 5-10 slow breaths and then come back to centre and repeat on the other side.
GIVE YOUR G.I. SOME HELP
It's not like us to wait until the New Year to start feeling good, which means that we like to rely on a little extra help whenever we feel we need it. Digest + Debloat is not only one of our best sellers, but it's our secret weapon for beating the bloat. It's anti-inflammatory and is packed with digestive bitters - a type of herbal medicine that stimulates digestion, eases cramping and combats flatulence. It also contains antispasmodics and liver stimulants that work together to help prevent and relieve bloating.
Pro tip: If you know you're in need of something a little more comprehensive, pair this with the liver and digestive herbal powerhouses in Deep Detox for enhanced results.