The festive season might be the perfect time to indulge, but many of us will regret grazing our way through December, only to find their Christmas jumper is popping at the seams come Christmas Day, or they need a large black maxi dress to replace the LBD at the New Year party.
68% of us say they go up at least a dress size when they’re bloated, according to a survey by Maalox Plus. 25% said bloating has even ruined a special day or occasion, such as Christmas. Add this to the estimated 6,000 calories we intake at Christmas and it’s no wonder so many of us are left feeling uncomfortable and sluggish.
10 tips for beating the festive bloat
1. Have a cheat day No one wants to be on a strict eating plan over the holiday so let yourself go on Christmas Day but be mindful of what you’re eating and drinking the rest of the break.
2. Ditch the spanx While you might automatically reach for the control pants when slipping into your Christmas dress, you could be contributing to the problem. According to a survey by Maalox Plus, over a third of women blame tight underwear on the cause of bloating and trapped wind.
3. Relax! Media medic and GP Dr Pixie McKenna says, “Stress, tiredness and feeling anxious can contribute to stomach problems as it can cause an abnormality in the digestive tract or excess acid to be made by the stomach. The Christmas holidays are typically a busy and often stressful period, so you may already have more chance of suffering with indigestion.”
4. Grab an antacid NEW Maalox Plus 10 tablet pack (from Boots priced £1.79) is a lemon flavoured relief remedy, offering a triple action formula to aid recovery from trapped wind and bloating, indigestion and heartburn.
5. Protect your liver Milk Thistle contains an active ingredient called silymarin, which has been shown to protect the liver from alcohol damage and premature ageing by helping to regenerate liver cells. Traditionally, Milk Thistle is used to relieve symptoms associated with over-indulgence, such as an upset stomach and indigestion. Try Thisilyn Milk Thistle Maximum Strength (£12.99 for 30 capsules fromwww.schwabepharma.co.uk)
6. Sip tea Try a ‘teatox’ with Bootea (£19.99 for a 14 day supply, Holland & Barrett) Bootea has attracted celebrity fans including TOWIE star Jess Wright and ex-Made in Chelsea beauty Caggie Dunlop. “Many people use tea to help with weight loss, but what Bootea does, is combine several different herbs and spices in two distinct blends to help maximise this effect” said Alex Thompson, Nutritionist for Holland & Barrett. “Ingredients such as Chinese oolong tea and ginger root are known for their health benefits.”
7. Stock up on supplements Introducing more fibre is an easy way to flush the digestive system and reduce bloating. Fructo-oligosacchride (FOS) is a soluble plant fibre found naturally in vegetables which works by gently stimulating the bowel wall so that waste matter is moved through more efficiently. Flourishe® (£11.50 for 500g, www.naturesbest.co.uk) is a pure naturally sweet form of FOS, pleasant tasting and safe to take long term.
8. Don’t eat late Dr McKenna says, “Avoid late night meals or snacks if you can help it. Lying down too soon after eating will make it harder for your stomach to digest food properly and can cause acid reflux.”
9. Eat wisely Limit your consumption of foods known to cause wind and bloating. Potatoes, rice, citrus fruits and yoghurt are high in unabsorbable carbohydrates which can lead to excess and trapped wind and contribute to a puffy, uncomfortable tummy.
10. Contour If you are worried the bloat has reached your face, contouring with makeup can take off the pounds. COLLECTION make-up artist Francesca Neill says, “Contouring is about light and shade. Defining the areas of the face that you want to recede and highlighting the areas that you want to bring forward and reflect light. You want it to look like natural shadows and highlights rather than obvious makeup trickery. The key to this is using the correct colour for your skin tone and blending the product correctly.” Try COLLECTIONS Bronze Glow in Matt (£2.99 from Boots).