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Dietary Considerations for the Holiday Season

photo of a Christrmas dinner plateWhether you suffer from bouts of IBS or are concerned about your GERD causing esophageal corrosion, the holidays can bring about anxiety for anyone with digestive issues. Having a plan in place for proper nutrition can go a long way towards keeping your health top-notch for the holiday season. We here at GI-North have some tips for planning your meals, keeping your digestion calm and avoiding weight gain over the holidays.

1. Don’t fall prey to gorging and starving cycles.
Having a meal plan laid out for the holidays is essential. If you get into a habit of eating huge meals and then not eating for the rest of the day, this can lead to digestion upset, lethargy, blood sugar irregularities, constipation and sleep disruptions. Make sure you plan to have plenty of foods to graze on throughout the day. This will help you avoid the temptation of ordering delivery or picking up takeout food when you’re exhausted from shopping, wrapping gifts or visiting relatives.

2. Eat easy-to-digest options. Every person’s digestive system is different, but some guidelines hold true for everyone.
Eat fruit by itself, not with a meal, as it can tend to ferment in your digestive tract and cause painful gas and bloating. Watch your alcohol intake for the same reason. Avoid overloading your body with refined starches and enormous intakes of protein. Go easy on your stomach! If you absolutely must try that decadent dessert, take three small bites and savor each one rather than taking a whole piece.

3. Use leftovers to your advantage.
That turkey can make for a nutritious and filling wrap for lunch, and those leftover veggies might be perfect for a quick soup tomorrow. Think of new and creative ways to use leftovers. The Internet is full of suggestions that can save you time and money, as well as avoiding waste.

4. Eat slowly and savor each bite.
A lot of holiday digestion problems stem from overeating or eating food that is too heavy and rich. To avoid this problem, don’t allow yourself to sit down for a big meal with an empty stomach. On days when there will be a big dinner, eat your normal breakfast and lunch. Then, take sensible portions at dinner and take the time to really enjoy the food. If it’s a huge buffet, take small amounts of a few bites and sample everything. This will help you avoid overeating and the subsequent weight gain.

We here at GI North want you to enjoy every holiday with your friends and family. If you are experiencing problems with digestion, painful gas and bloating, diarrhea, constipation or acid reflux, we serve patients from Alpharetta, Johns Creek, Suwanee, Dawsonville, Canton and beyond.

© 2014 GI North Gastroenterology Services. All rights reserved.

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