Honey glazed ham, fruitcake, roasted turkey — these are classic holiday meals that family dinner dreams are made of. And come holiday time, these nostalgic, highly anticipated foods are most likely covering every inch of tabletops across the country.
While traditional holiday meals are almost always delicious going down, issues like heartburn and stomach pain can make anyone wary of taking one too many bites. If you deal with occasional stomach issues, or just want to make your holiday meals a little healthier, try a few of the tips below!
It’s easy to get distracted while catching up with relatives during a big holiday dinner. Eating too fast causes the body to fill up quickly, which won’t just make you feel physically uncomfortable, but can lead to overeating, too.
“The slower you eat, the less you will eat overall, as it allows more time for your stomach and brain to work together, so you can identify when you are satisfied and stop eating,” says Mitzi Dulan, R.D., founder of simplyFUEL. Make it a point to focus on how fast you’re chewing your food throughout the meal, and practice breaking down each piece of food slowly.
Know Your Heartburn Triggers
There are things you can do to try to avoid heartburn, but there are certain foods that can cause heartburn or make it worse. “High-fat foods like burgers, spicy foods, and onions can bring about heartburn,” says Dulan. “Alcohol can, too.”
Relieve Heartburn Symptoms Safely
Occasional heartburn is pretty common, and heartburn triggers will vary from person to person. Even when you know the kinds of food and drinks that trigger heartburn, it isn’t always realistic to avoid them completely during the holiday season. When you’re craving that glass of red wine or a citrus-flavored dessert, keep TUMS Chewy Bites nearby. TUMS goes to work fast, neutralizing acid on contact, when used as directed.
Use a Little Plate
We’re all guilty of eating a little more than we’re supposed to during the holiday season. If you’re worried about eating too much and dealing with the painful consequences that come shortly afterward, just rethink the way you’re serving the food.
“For holiday portion control, I suggest using smaller plates and trying to just take small portions,” says Dulan. Using a smaller plate means there’s less room available to pile on excess food.
Drink More Water
It might be hard to pass up on sugar-filled seasonal drinks, soda, and cocktails throughout the holiday season, but a tall glass of water is always the way to go. “Drinking water throughout a meal is a good way to stay hydrated, and it will also fill you up more, so you will be less likely to overeat,” Dulan explains.
Serving up meals on smaller plates, and chewing a little slower than usual are all pretty easy ways to stay healthy while still getting the full holiday-meal experience. Keep a bottle of TUMS close by for those occasions when heartburn still decides to join the part.