Tips to Lower Overeating and Stress During the Holiday Season

The holiday season is about enjoying family and friends, traditions old and new, and building deep-rooted good times. However, what can help you when stressful situations get in the way of enjoying the holiday festivities? From managing everyone’s commitments to cooking, this joyous time can be stressful.

If you find yourself experiencing additional stress, you certainly aren't alone. A study conducted by the APA (American Psychological Association) reported that 38% of men and women have more stress levels around the holidays. We’ve compiled tips from the gastrointestinal (GI) specialists at Digestive Health Associates of Texas on ways to minimize mindless eating and help you handle any holiday stress you encounter this year. Please reach out to our GI office in Dallas, TX for additional tips and suggestions.

Tip 1: Limit processed foods to help control digestive health

The grumbling in your stomach might not be due to the fact that you went back for seconds. The bacteria in your stomach may change when you ingest these foods. The consumption of processed foods helps molecules pass through your intestine and into your immune-processing pathway. This can increase irritation in the gut.

You should limit these foods and spend a little bit of time preparing your holiday meals with fresh, local produce. Prepare the green bean casserole with local green beans. Whip up dessert with deliciously fresh and local strawberries. Swapping out canned and processed foods for freshness makes quite a difference.

If your GI concerns require additional assistance, our experienced gastroenterologists at Digestive Health Associates of Texas in Dallas, TX can provide the care needed for improved health and wellness.

Tip 2: Munch on a little something before you go

Overeating is extremely common during the holidays and can sometimes lead to gastrointestinal problems. Between scrumptious pies, your favorite casseroles, and all the cookies, reducing holiday weight gain is tough.

Enjoy a snack that combines carbs and protein to keep you full before dinner. This can be as low-key as wheat bread with peanut butter. Other great carb and protein-filled snacks include:

- Cheese and grapes

- Hummus and carrots

- A low-sugar granola bar

- Hard-boiled eggs and a delicious seasonal fruit

Tip 3: Choose smaller amounts to keep from overindulging

Given the extent of the tasty food available, you'll have the urge to grab it all and go. Be sure to monitor your consumption and place smaller-sized portions on your plate. Smaller portion sizes can help your GI tract more readily process food. You also likely won’t be uncomfortable and bloated when you eat less.

Being mindful of your digestive health is ideal when trying to prevent overindulging. Should you feel full before finishing your plate, stop eating. Your body is letting you know it’s ready for a break and to go socialize with everyone else.

Tip 4: Make a list to combat stress

Following lists can allow you to stay on track during the holidays. It provides the chance for you to keep shopping lists and trips to the store organized. Furthermore, it helps in managing your household's bustling schedules and allows for a feeling of contentment.

Writing down a list brings structure to disorder. It helps minimize anxiety and can relieve some of the holiday stress you're facing.

Tip 5: Answer holiday tension with compassion

The saying “Treat others how you want to be treated” remains true year-round. But it's especially accurate during the holidays when stress is high.

When seeking out ways to minimize stress, answer every hurdle with a kind approach. Diffusing any feelings of frustration and offering goodwill eases anxiety. Doing so also helps all people feel cherished and secure.

Gear up for the holiday season with ease

No matter what your plans for the holiday season might entail, our Dallas, TX practice is excited to provide solutions to help you savor the joys of the season with your family and friends. Remembering you have these tips and options at hand to relieve stress can help make the season more cheerful. If you experience digestive health concerns or require additional recommendations, please reach out to our caring GI specialists at Digestive Health Associates of Texas.