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Overindulged? What to do when you overeat

Michele Borboa, MS is a freelance writer and editor specializing in health, fitness, food, lifestyle, and pets. Michele is a health and wellness expert, personal chef, cookbook author, and pet-lover based in Bozeman, Montana. She is also...

Healthy digestion tips

Despite our best intentions to keep our eating under control during the food-filled holiday season, the excess sweets and savory feasts are near impossible to resist. We know we should consume reasonable portions, pass on seconds, and tune into our hunger and satiety cues, but inevitably we overindulge and end up feeling miserably stuffed. To deal with a troubled, overfull tummy, ChicagoHealers.com practitioner Dr Tom Bayne, Founder of Pure Balance Health Center, says the following tips will help ease stomach woes and aid in healthy digestion.

Woman drinking herbal tea by fireplace

What to do when you overeat

If you can't exercise restraint when it comes to the piles of cookies, bottomless cocktails and the plates and plates of holiday food, you can at least ease your digestive misery with a little exercise, adequately hydrating and righting the diet ship.

1. Walk it off

The last thing you want to do after eating a giant meal is move, but that is exactly what you should do to help digest the excess. Dr Bayne recommends walking because not only does it help food move along the digestive tract, the mild exercise will also improve digestion and food absorption. Rally your family and friends to get some fresh air after a big feast and take a stroll around the neighborhood. For added benefits, walk while massaging your abdomen with your palms, in a circle around your belly button, the holistic doctor adds.

2. Drink herbal tea

Ugh, you've overindulged, and loosening your belt does little to relieve the pressure. According to Dr Bayne, a cup of herbal tea will stimulate digestion and give you relief. Steep 1 teaspoon each of mint, rosemary, oregano, cilantro, sage and basil in 1 cup of hot water. Drink after a large meal to soothe the stomach and prevent bloating.

3. Sip a digestive morning after drink

If you've poured two or three too many cocktails on top of extra helpings of holiday fare, you're bound to wake up the next day with a food and drink hangover. Start the "morning after" with an apple cider vinegar tonic: Stir 1 tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar with 12 ounces of warm water and drink on an empty stomach. This will remedy digestive distress, support liver detoxification, normalize digestive juices and reduce intestinal bloating. You can also add a little honey or maple syrup. If you don't have apple cider vinegar on hand, Dr Bayne says lemon water will also promote healthy digestion.

4. Eat right

Though slapping a piece of duct tape over your mouth seems a good strategy for post-indulging calorie cutting, it isn't a practical solution. However, Dr Bayne says you can right the ship by eating meals with fiber and protein to help your body recover from the overindulgence. Choose small meals comprised of complex carbohydrates (fruits, vegetables and whole grains) and lean proteins, such as skinless chicken, fish, beans, nuts or soy foods.

5. Drink water- lots of it

Though hydrating is hardly a secret remedy for combating a hangover, Dr Bayne says it is worth reiterating. Since alcohol dehydrates your system, drinking plenty of H2O will help combat some of the unpleasant hangover symptoms, rehydrate your body and flush out the nasty toxins. Drink a few glasses of room temperature, filtered water after a night of holiday excess and you'll be on your way to feeling better and cleansing your body.

Even though you may be more tempted to overeat during the holidays, these tummy tuning remedies will promote healthy digestion any time of the year you happen to overindulge in food and drink.

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