As we gather and pause to give thanks and move through the holiday season, our festivities often are centered around food. According to the Calorie Control Council, the average American eats around 3,000 calories in a Thanksgiving meal.
Many digestive issues like GERD, or gastric reflux, bloating, abdominal discomfort and gas can be caused or exacerbated by overeating heavy foods. With just a few easy tweaks, your meal can be just as delicious without the unwanted effects!
Smart food swaps:
- Turkey breast instead of dark meat or ham
- Mashed sweet potatoes sprinkled with cinnamon and a drizzle of butter infused olive oil instead of sweet potato casserole
- Mashed cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes
- Roasted and seasoned green beans instead of green bean casserole
- Greek yogurt mixed with ranch seasoning instead of pre-made ranch dip
- Sparkling water or club soda with lime instead of sugary drinks and alcohol
Other helpful tips:
- Try a smaller plate and skip the seconds.
- Be picky! Only eat your favorites instead of filling up on all the options.
- Choose a smaller dessert portion and take your time savoring it.
- Go for a walk or exercise before the meal.
- Pause before you snack – are you really hungry or just passing time?
Making smart swaps, eating less, moving more, staying hydrated with water, choosing whole foods and limiting fatty foods and sweets will help you stay on track, feel better and avoid the unwanted side effects of holiday food.
If you have more questions about making healthier food choices, Gastrointestinal Associates has trained coaches to help navigate the holidays and beyond. Contact GIA at 865-588-5121 for more information. Don’t wait until Jan. 1 to get healthy and live your best life!