During the holiday season, people often go to a lot of parties where there will be a lot of food that is probably not good for you or your waistline and even if your not going to these types of parties right now you still may be able to relate to the horrible feeling of eating too much junk food. When you eat too much it can all start with feeling a little bloated that subsides after a few hours but when you seriously overdo it, big time it can turn into a bigger issue like constipation. As a disabled person, I have also struggled with bloating that can quickly turns into constipation because my bowels do not work properly and it doesn’t take much for a small problem to turn into something serious. Abled people sometimes will struggle with constipation during the holidays because they are eating more unhealthy foods than healthy but it will not be the same experience as someone who has difficulty because these muscles do not work. Bloating and constipation during the holidays can happen to anyone but for most people, it is often avoidable by making better choices. In this post, I am going to talk about how to avoid getting bloated or constipated at your holiday parties.
Eat slowly– When you eat slowly it is better for your health and digestion because when you are eating fast you can swallow more air which can cause bloating and gas. Slow eating can help break down larger particles of food into smaller which you digest your food better. People that try to eat fast often consume more calories than those who take their time to eat mindfully because when you eat slowly you are giving yourself more time to recognize hunger cues but when you eat fast your not giving your body as much time to digest your food and may think your need more food when all you really need is to slow down.
Do a little exercise- If you have been following my blog you would know that I am a huge advocate for exercise because there are many benefits to moving your body and even disabled people that have more difficulty should do it, if they are able. Exercise isn’t just about your physical appearance and it also can help prevent bloating or constipation before it becomes serious. I am not suggesting that you run five miles after eating a large meal but you probably shouldn’t do that because it may make you sick. Your colon loves activity because when you exercise right before having a bowel movement often it is a lot easier than if you were bingeing Netflix all day. I can’t do Yoga like I was before surgery because they are not safe but I do try and walk as much as I can and if you are able to do so light Yoga I would because it’s a great activity for relieving bloating. Movement is medcine and if are not moving your body it can make your constipation worse!
Eat some prunes– My disability makes going to the bathroom difficult and because of these issues, I have always dealt with some sort of constipation. When I had surgery I started experiencing a lot of pain from being constipated and it didn’t matter what I tried nothing seemed to give me significant relief. I was at the point where I would try anything and if I thought drinking acid would help I would have totally done it. Do not drink acid because there are no studies that suggest it relieves constipation but if you did it would probably kill you or at best cause severe damage to your organs. I have heard that prunes can help prevent constipation but never tried because I didn’t have to until now. Many parents give their babies prunes to help with constipation and for some people, it can cause a bowel movement in hours but because my bowels do not work properly it doesn’t work that for me and often nothing happens until I do my bowel regimen. If you are thinking about eating some prunes to help with your constipation I would try the real thing first because prune juice often has a lot more sugar which can cause more problem if your constipated.
Drink some water– Some people get constipated because they have a bowel condition that makes them more likely for constipation but for most people it’s avoidable and some people get constipated from not drinking enough water. Drink your water because it not only is zero calories but it can also help soften stools that would have been very difficult to pass. There is some research that suggests that coffee can also help with constipation in some people because it’s a diuretic but it’s not a replacement for good old-fashioned water.
Take a probiotic– Probiotics can help some people with bowel conditions have less flares because it gives your body the good bacteria it needs to have a bowel movement while killing that bad stuff that can cause you to feel bloated. . I started taking a probiotic a few months ago because I was always feeling bad and knew something was off with my gut health. I still struggle with constipation while taking a probiotic but it has made such a difference and how I feel and that within itself is worth for me. Probiotics have lots of benefits but I wouldn’t start taking them the day of a big social gathering because it can give you a lot of gas until you get used to it.
Try to not eat ten cookies- Holiday cookies are delicious but when you eat more than your body can process in one evening, it can cause others problems besides weight gain. Carbohydrates can help you have a bowel movement but if you are consuming an unhealthy amount or not eating any at all it can be the reason you are constipated. If you struggle with chronic constipation you don’t have to give up holiday treats because I sure don’t and I would just have them in moderation because an excess amout of sugar is going to negatively impact you more than your abled friend who doesn’t have bowel problems. People tend to eat way too much sugar during the holidays and although it is frustrating that I can’t eat until my heart’s content, I also consider it a blessing because I tend to still eat healthy and don’t have to make weightloss as my New Year’s Resolutions.
Bloating and constipation are related to each because the uncomfortable feeling of eating too much often can turn into a bigger issue when you don’t take action. My disability will also make me more prone to constipation and there is not a whole lot I can do about that but I have been able to better manage it by making simple lifestyle changes. There is no amount of probiotics that will cure or change a bowel condition but you can sometimes improve your pain by drinking a little more water because you may be surprised by how some of the things we do every day are harming us. These are things that have helped me improve my gut health but it’s not a complete list of everything that may trigger constipation or bloating and some of these things may not work for you and that is okay because everyone is different and there are some food intolerances that I may have but you don’t. How do you prevent yourself from getting constipated or bloated during the holiday season?
*This is my experience with managing and preventing bloating but I am not a doctor and should be used for informational and educational use only and is not a substitute for individual medical care or advice.*
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