The winter holidays are about gathering with family and friends, traditions old and new, and fostering deep-rooted memories with loved ones. But what happens when stress and anxiety get you down? From managing everyone’s schedules to cooking and baking, this joyous time of year can be a lot to handle.
In the event you’re feeling stressed out, rest assured in knowing you're not the only one. Testing executed by the American Psychological Association said 38% of individuals have higher stress levels around the holidays. We’ve compiled a few tips from our experienced digestive health specialists at Gastroenterology Consultants of San Antonio on how to minimize mindless eating and help you handle any holiday stress you encounter. Please reach out to our GI practice in San Antonio, TX for more information.
Tip 1: Minimize overly processed foods to help with digestive health
The grumbling in your tummy might not be due to going back for seconds. The bacteria in your stomach may alter after you ingest processed foods. The consumption of processed foods allows molecules to escape your GI system and pass into your immune-processing pathway. This increases inflammation in the stomach.
You'll want to limit these foods and opt for prepping your holiday foods with fresh, local foods instead. Prep your family's green bean casserole with locally grown green beans. Create desserts with local strawberries. Replacing canned and processed items for fresher options makes a huge difference.
In the event your gut health issues need professional attention, the talented digestive health specialists at Gastroenterology Consultants of San Antonio are here to assist. Contact our gastroenterology team in San Antonio, TX to set up a consultation.
Tip 2: Grab a bite of food before you go
Overeating is all too natural during the holiday months and can lead to gut problems. Between scrumptious pies, seasonal casseroles, and cookies, avoiding holiday weight gain is hard.
Having a snack that includes carbohydrates and protein can help you remain satisfied in the interim before dinner. This could be as low-key as toast with a nut butter. A few other great protein and carb options include:
- Hard-boiled eggs and fruit
- Grapes with cheese
- A healthy granola bar
- Hummus and vegetables
Tip 3: Consume smaller meals to avoid overeating
There's no doubt that with the extent of the yummy food at your disposal, you'll probably want to grab it all and go. Be sure to monitor yourself and include less food on your plate. Choosing smaller amounts of food can enable your stomach to more easily process what you consume. Furthermore, you likely won’t feel as full and uncomfortable when you eat less.
Taking cues from your stomach is helpful when attempting to keep yourself from overindulging. Should you become full before finishing your meal, don’t stress. Your digestive system is letting you know it’s time to take a break and go socialize with your loved ones.
Tip 4: Follow a list to minimize stress
Developing lists can enable you to stay focused and organized throughout the holiday season. Creating a list helps make certain shopping trips stay on task. In addition, it enables you to keep up with your family's bustling schedules and offers a feeling of satisfaction.
Taking a few minutes to compose a list provides a sense of order to disorder. It helps minimize anxiety and alleviates the holiday tension you're facing.
Tip 5: Meet holiday tension with compassion
The phrase “Treat everyone how you wish to be treated” rings true every day of the year. But it's especially impactful during the holiday season when tensions are high.
When identifying methods to lower stress, answer every hurdle with a kind approach. Diffusing your feelings of frustration and offering compassion abates stress. It also makes all individuals feel wanted and assured.
Experience less stress this holiday season
Regardless of what your holiday festivities might hold, our San Antonio, TX office is pleased to provide suggestions to help you savor this time of year with your family and friends. Having these tips on hand can prevent stress and help make the holiday season easier and more carefree. In the event you have GI health issues or require further recommendations, get in touch with the skilled digestive health specialists at Gastroenterology Consultants of San Antonio.