Published November 30, 2013
It happens to the best of us: Thanksgiving rolls around and we enjoy the holiday dinner a little too much. A binge that includes buttery potatoes, greasy gravy, rich casseroles, and—of course—lots of turkey (not to mention pumpkin pie!) can leave you feeling bloated, uncomfortable, and irritable. If you find yourself in this situation this year, you don’t have to suffer through the aftereffects. Here are some things you can do the day after Thanksgiving that will help you feel better—plus some tips for getting your diet back on track for the rest of the holiday season.
Commit to getting back on track immediately
For some people, Thanksgiving is just the beginning of a six-week-long holiday eating and drinking spree. Don’t wait until Monday morning to make healthy changes; you’ll want to prevent bad habits from forming before they snowball out of control.
Eat like it’s a normal day
While it may be tempting to eat less the day after Thanksgiving to balance out the binge from the day before, this can do more harm than good. Restricting your food intake will only make you hungry. Let your stomach growl for too long, and you may find yourself forking down a plateful of turkey-day leftovers. Start your day with a protein-packed breakfast and round out the day with lots of vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains.
Avoid hard-to-digest foods
If you’re dealing with post-Thanksgiving digestive distress, you’ll want to avoid certain foods for a few days. Steer clear of dairy products like milk and cheese, coffee, refined sugar, carbonated beverages, and highly acidic foods until you’re feeling better.
Drink lots of water
Getting plenty of H2O is another proven way to deal with digestive issues. And it’s a habit you’ll want to hold onto throughout the holiday season: drinking water fills you up and can prevent overeating.
It’s understandable if squeezing into your gym clothes is the last thing you want to do while suffering from post-Thanksgiving bloat, but working out is one of the best things you can do for yourself after a big binge. First, a quick sweat session can help ease any tummy trouble you may be experiencing (this 15-minute yoga workout is designed to beat bloating). Second, committing to exercise now will help prevent you from totally falling off the wagon during the busy holiday season.
Note: Black Friday mall walking only counts if you move briskly and resist the call of the food court. Experts estimate that a 150-pound woman will burn, at most, 150 calories an hour while shopping.
Change your attitude
A food binge can definitely derail your healthy habits and goals, but don’t let it bring you down. Worrying and disappointment in yourself won’t do you any good! Instead, change your thinking and know that you have the power to get back on track and move on. Positive thinking will help you get motivated to work toward your goals again!