4.5 tips for avoiding holiday-induced indigestion

The holiday season is upon us, kicking off with the Thanksgiving Day feast, which will have some football watching, good times catching up with family, and of course, food.

Lots of food.

One unfortunate side effect of a day built around overeating is the potential for indigestion. In that holiday spirit here are a handful of tips to help you avoid that outcome (along with a couple of bonus items most Thanksgiving fans may ignore.)

The obvious first tip for getting through the day without suffering from indigestion involves avoiding drinks with caffeine or alcohol. But as I write this with a large coffee in my hand, I realize it might be difficult. So here are 4.5 more tips to help reduce the chance of stomach problems.

Mind your manners

If you chew your meal with your mouth open, talk while food is in your mouth, or rush through the first course to beat everyone to a round of seconds, you risk swallowing air which makes indigestion more likely, risking potential bloating and indigestion.

Plus, the real bonus for chewing with your mouth closed is that you'll be a much more pleasant dining companion. Because let's be honest, your opinions on the current state of politics, sports and current events can wait. At least until you've chewed and swallowed a proper number of times.

(Or until everyone else has had more caffeine or alcohol, completely ignoring the first advice we offered in this post.)

Don't lose track of common sense

The wide range of dishes spread before you will be tempting, but if you have any food allergies, or know some food doesn't agree with you – such as spicy or greasy dishes – try not to eat them.

Hopefully, you'll have plenty of options beyond those tempting, but risky dishes. And if you happen to be a vegetarian, you might want to double check that no one is trying to sneak some hidden ham in the green beans for the classic holiday "gotcha" moment when you comment on how great they taste.

Stay on "tapas" of your portion size

For those who don't know, tapas is a Spanish term that basically covers any variety of small dishes. Popular in bars, cafes and the like, dining tapas-style has become a big thing in the US, where people want to enjoy flavors without committing to a giant portion of food.

So, why not tackle Thanksgiving tapas-style? Instead of piling mounds of starch and gravy on one hubcap-sized serving platter, plan on enjoying your meal via small plates, enjoying all the foods individually.

Unless you're dining with a group of linebackers, there will be plenty to eat all day. Take your time and savor the flavor.

Don't immediately hit the gym

Give yourself an hour to get the digestion process going before exercising. Who knows if this really helps, but we wanted to make you feel better about skipping your Thursday workout. It's okay. You don't like "leg day" anyway.

(Yeah, this was the ".5" tip.)

Avoid the late-night snack

This is a tough one, because some of the best holiday meals are those late-night sandwiches after everyone goes home, allowing you to fully enjoy one last piece of pie or lukewarm turkey without distractions.

The problem with these midnight snacks is how the short moments of bliss can turn into an unwanted stomach-turning event. Usually in the middle of the night, when you should be dreaming of Black Friday shopping and half-priced TVs.

Of course if you decide to throw caution to the wind and pass on these simple indigestion avoidance tips, there are plenty of FSA-eligible over-the-counter remedies like Pepto-Bismol and Zantac.

No matter how you approach your dietary planning, best wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving, from everyone at FSAstore.com!

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