Avoiding overeating during the festive season

Tasty dishes are part of celebrating, but how can we avoid over indulging?

Tasty dishes are part of celebrating, but how can we avoid over indulging? 

O. Stasevich, Grodno

As the holiday season approaches, many of us do worry about the potential for overeating, especially as it’s customary for most households to lay the festive table heavily. Of course, in over indulging, we don’t just risk putting on weight; we risk damaging our organs. January is known as a time of stomach problems, with about 90 percent of the world’s adult population suffering from such illness at that time.

To avoid feeling unwell, and suffering with your stomach, gallbladder, liver or bowel, here are some rules to follow: 

  • Be careful not to let portion size creep up. Several small portions daily (5-6 times) are best, since this allows digestion within two hours.
  • Take a light supper at 8-9 pm but no later, or you’ll have trouble sleeping. 
  • Don’t begin by eating fatty, boiled or fried dishes, as they slow down the process of digestion. 
  • Avoid drinking too much while eating, or food will pass through with the liquid, without nutrients being absorbed, and leaving you hungry, which leads to more eating. 
  • Don’t drink sugary, carbonated beverages, as these leave you gassy and uncomfortable.
  • Be careful not to eat too many mayonnaise-based dishes, as they are highly calorific, while lacking fibre. A portion of creamy mayo-salad may have more than 1200kcal. Instead, use sour cream.

  • Avoid eating too much meat, as the fat can increase your cholesterol level. Heavy meat dishes may aggravate ulcers, gastritis and colitis. 
  • Don’t eat too many tangerines or other citrus fruits, as the acid will irate your stomach lining. 
  • Never eat past about 1am, especially substantial fish or meat dishes which won’t be fully digested. 
  • Season food well, since this not only adds flavour, but aids digestion, helping us to feel full. If you have kidney or stomach problems, be wary of too much salt. 
  • Don’t eat too many ‘varied’ dishes, as it’s more difficult to feel sated when eating this way. 
  • Be careful not to eat anything you’re unfamiliar with, or you may discover an unexpected allergy. 
  • Take alcohol in moderation, since it stimulates appetite. A glass of champagne at midnight is fine but avoid too much red wine, which is most likely to cause a hangover. If you want to consume wine, white is preferable. 
  • About half an hour before heading out to a party, eat a banana or sandwich with butter, to protect your stomach from the damaging influence of alcohol.
  • To aid digestion (especially of alcohol) keep moving. 
  • If taking medication for health problems, consult your doctor to check whether your drugs are compatible with alcohol. Before eating heavily, you may need to take an additional dosage.
I wish you good health in the New Year!

By Tatiana Zhukova 
Doctor of higher category, 
M.D., Ph.D.

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