Christmas is, of course, a time of overindulging and after such a stressful year, we all deserve to treat ourselves but we should try to avoid going overboard.
It’s estimated we consume almost 20,000 extra calories over the course of December, with nearly 6,000 of these being on Christmas Day itself.
Unfortunately, these foodie festivities can often lead to indigestion. Indigestion is typically caused by overeating, eating too quickly or overindulging in caffeine, alcohol, chocolate or fizzy drinks.
Over the last five years, Google searches for ‘indigestion’ spike in December and experts believe this might increase as we’re all at home more. Indigestion definitely isn’t the surprise you want to receive on Christmas Day. Symptoms include bloating, burning in the upper abdomen, discomfort and sometimes, nausea – no thank you!
We spoke to Hussain Abdeh, Superintendent Pharmacist at online pharmacy Medicine Direct, who explains how you can avoid any unwelcome discomfort. You can start these seven steps now in the run up to Christmas and use them on the big day itself:
Take Your Time
One of the biggest causes of indigestion is eating too quickly. Chew your food thoroughly, and once you’ve finished, allow yourself at least 20 minutes before carrying on with your day. Avoid looking at your friends and family’s plates as it can subconsciously speed you up. Go at your own pace, enjoy your food and digest it properly.
Avoid Strenuous Activity
Don’t do anything which involves too much movement straight away. Even lying down or bending over can be enough to trigger acid reflux or other symptoms like the burning sensation in your gut or bloating.
Be Conscious About Food And Drink
Make smart choices where possible over the Christmas period. Keep eating your five a day, avoid drinking too much caffeine and if you’re feeling full, stop! A food diary can help track your intake and you can pinpoint what might be causing any indigestion.
Eat Smaller Meals
Try to eat smaller meals throughout the day to give your stomach the chance to rest in between sittings. Doing this during the run up to Christmas allows your body to be in the best shape possible if you do overindulge on the big day.
Wear Clothes With A Bit Of ‘Give’
There really is a benefit to getting out that elasticated waistband! Tight fitting clothes can put unnecessary pressure on your stomach so throw on your best loose fitting clothes ahead of a big meal.
Don’t Eat Right Before Bed
Ideally allow at least three hours after your last meal before going to bed so your stomach can fully digest everything and prevent any discomfort as you go to sleep.
Medicate When Necessary
Medicines typically known as antacids can ease indigestion and neutralise the acids in the stomach which may cause discomfort when left untreated are available at most pharmacies and shops without prescription.