How to Decrease Stress and Overeating During the Holiday Season

The winter holidays are about friendly get-togethers, family traditions, and establishing a long-lasting appreciation for those you love. But what can help you when anxiety gets you down? From working with your loved ones’ schedules to preparing food, these traditions can be troublesome.

If the holidays have you stressed, it might help to know you are not alone in your feelings. Testing executed by the American Psychological Association reported that 38% of individuals have more levels of stress as they celebrate the holiday season. We have compiled a few tips from our incredible gastrointestinal (GI) specialists at San Antonio Gastroenterology Associates on how you can minimize overeating and help you control the holiday stress (and weight gain) that comes along this time of year. Please get in touch with our GI practice in San Antonio, TX for additional details.

Tip 1: Control processed food to help with gut health

The rumbling in your tummy may not actually be because you went back for seconds. The bacteria in your gut may change when you consume processed foods. Eating these foods allows molecules to escape from your system and enter your immune-processing pathway. This increases irritation in the gut.

You will want to limit these types of foods and opt for cooking your holiday dishes with fresh, local options. Prep your family's green bean casserole with local green beans. Make a dessert with fresh berries. Replacing canned and processed foods for fresher options makes a huge difference.

In the event your digestive health requires professional assistance, the skilled GI specialists at San Antonio Gastroenterology Associates offer expert care to help you get back to feeling yourself. Reach out to our offices in San Antonio, TX to learn more.

Tip 2: Grab a bite of food before your holiday party

Overindulging is quite prevalent during the holidays and can lead to gastrointestinal issues. Between warm pie, hearty casseroles, and homemade cookies, avoiding weight gain during the holidays is hard.

Have carbohydrates with protein to keep yourself fulfilled in the interim before dinner. This may be as easy as toast with peanut butter. Some other great carbs and protein options include:

  • Hummus and celery and carrots

  • Hard-boiled eggs and an apple

  • A healthy granola bar option

  • Cheese and grapes

Tip 3: Choose smaller portions to reduce overeating

There's little doubt that with the smorgasbord of delicious food available, you will have the desire to snatch it up and go. Monitor your consumption and put smaller portions on your plate. Choosing smaller portions can help your gut to more easily process what you consume. Furthermore, you may not be uncomfortable and bloated if you choose smaller portion sizes.

Taking cues from your stomach is prudent when attempting to keep yourself from overindulging. Should you become satiated before finishing your plate, simply stop eating. Your digestive system is letting you know it is ready for a break and to go socialize with your friends and family.

Tip 4: Make a list to feel less stressed

Making lists can help you to remain organized and on track. Creating a list enables you to keep shopping trips on task. Additionally, it assists with understanding everyone’s bustling schedules and creates a feeling of gratification.

Taking time to compose a list brings structure to the chaos of the holiday season. It helps decrease worry and can alleviate some of the holiday tension you are feeling.

Tip 5: Meet holiday tension with kindness

The old adage “Treat others how you want to be treated” rings true year-round. However, this motto holds significant value during the holidays when tensions run high.

When identifying ways to minimize stress, respond to every obstacle with compassion. Toning down any sense of frustration and, instead, offering kindness abates anxiety. Doing so also helps all individuals feel wanted and safe.

Get set for the holidays without the stress

Whatever your holiday plans might involve, our San Antonio, TX practice is happy to provide tips to help you enjoy this time of year with your family and friends. Realizing you have these tips and ways to prevent stress can make the season easier. In the event you experience GI health issues or need additional ideas, contact the experienced GI specialists at San Antonio Gastroenterology Associates today.