OK, we are less than a week out from Thanksgiving. What’s on the menu? Anyone making Grandma’s sweet potato pie? Is Auntie Louise going to bring her gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan apple pie? If you have any of those things covered, you are ahead of the game in my book!

But here’s what I really want to know: What’s your plan for avoiding the post-feast food coma and bloat?

Don’t be this guy:

If you have ever overindulged, you know exactly what I am talking about and it DOES NOT FEEL GOOD. Why not kick off the Holiday Season right and make a plan to skip the unpleasantness of indigestion so you may enjoy a happier holiday.

Here are a few tips to help you feel comfortable in your body and remain conscious after the main event so you can get the most out of your celebration:

  1. Avoid grazing. Are you a cow? Then don’t eat like one! When we graze it can be hard to keep track of how much we have consumed. Make up a plate to help you keep an eye on quantity.
  2. Pretend you are European. Take time to savor every bite. Eat slowly and in a relaxed state. Our bodies are not designed to process a massive pile of food in a short time. Avoid overwhelming your system by chewing your food thoroughly and pausing between bites.
  3. Listen to your body. This is my absolute best tip! Your body will tell you what it needs. Learn to listen and respond accordingly. Overeating never feels good and can get in the way of enjoying the festivities.
  4. Go for a walk after a big meal. This will help support digestion and help level out your blood sugar after a big meal. Unbuttoning your pants and falling asleep on the couch is not a foregone conclusion! Work in some gentle movement and you may just find you’re feeling a whole lot better after the feast.
  5. Practice saying, “No, thank you.” Many people show their love for others through food and it can seem like they are encouraging you to overeat. What is more likely happening is that they want their culinary efforts to be appreciated. Just remember that your food choices are about you not your level of affection for the cook. It can help to have a few one-liners rehearsed and ready to deliver such as, “That looks delicious. I’ll have to try some later.” Or “I’m so full at the moment that I would not be able to appreciate it.” You get the idea. Be confident and deliver your message with kindness.

One last note: It wouldn’t hurt to crowd your plate with veggies and take smaller portions of fast-digesting carbs like potatoes, stuffing, bread, rice, and other starchy foods. These foods can send you on a blood sugar roller coaster ride which will do nothing good for your mood or energy level. Give yourself the gift of comfortable digestion this holiday and every day!

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