4 Ways To Reduce Bloating Fast If You Ate Too Much At Thanksgiving Dinner
Your turkey is the only one who should be stuffed.
Bloating and Thanksgiving are synonymous. Some of the reasons why are obvious—for one, you’re eating a bunch of food. Eating too much, too fast can overwhelm your gastrointestinal tract, which can slow digestion and cause you lots of immediate discomfort in the form of gas and distention—AKA when you physically look bigger.
That’s not all! The hours of sitting, all the alcohol you’re drinking, and the fact that you’re at the table arguing with family between bites of cranberry sauce (talking while eating makes you swallow more air), are all things that Lisa Ganjhu, D.O., gastroenterologist and clinical associate professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center, tells SELF can and will cause bloating. It’s all but a miracle if you don’t come away from the dinner table feeling and looking like a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade float.
This year, give thanks for these five ways to alleviate your festivity-induced bloating—fast. No need to resign yourself to a four-day weekend of leggings.
1. Take a walk.
Though sitting on the couch and binge-watching new episodes of Gilmore Girls is tempting, Ganjhu says the best thing you can do immediately after T-day dinner is go for a walk. “Taking a walk is a great way to stimulate gastric motility,” she tells SELF. In addition to that, she and Manning agree that doing anything physical is likely to make you feel better, and Manning even suggests participating in a post-dinner family football game. Basically, the more you move, the faster food will pass through your GI tract.
2. Drink some mint tea.
Mint tea is a well-known reliever of stomach pain. That’s because it acts as an antispasmodic of the GI tract, which simply means that it relaxes your intestinal muscles and helps food pass more easily. So, if you’re really feeling the bloat after dinner, Ganjhu suggests opting for a cup of tea instead of another cocktail.
3. In fact, hydrate in general.
If you’re feeling super swollen (think, puffed up fingers), you’re likely experiencing a fluid retention-related bloat. Drinking lots of water, Manning tells SELF, is the best way to counteract this. “If you drink enough water, you’ll displace all the salt you ate,” she explains. Though it may sound counterintuitive, the more fluids you consume, the less your body will hold onto.
4. And if all of this sounds like too much work for you, try rubbing your belly (no, seriously).
“Rubbing your belly in a circular motion will help stimulate gastric motility, which can help you pass gas,” Ganjhu tells SELF. “It’s the same sort of thing as when you’re trying to burp a baby.” So if you really, really don’t feel like getting off the couch (we don’t blame you!), this may be just the simple trick for you.