Ways to Reduce Overeating and Stress During the Holiday Season


The holidays are about social gatherings, cultural traditions, and building lasting appreciation for those you love. However, what do you do when anxiety gets in the way of enjoying the holiday season? From managing everyone’s schedules to creating the menu, the holidays can get overwhelming.

If you face additional stress this time of year, know that you're not alone. Testing performed by the American Psychological Association indicated that 38% of people have higher-than-normal stress levels as they celebrate the holiday season. Here are tips from the digestive health specialists at Colorado Gastroenterology on how to ward off mindless eating and help you control the holiday stress that comes along with this season. Please contact our GI office in Denver, CO for additional details or information.

Tip 1: Set a limit on processed foods to help control digestive health

The grumbling in your stomach may not actually be because of your second helping. The bacteria in your stomach may change if you indulge in processed foods. Eating processed foods allows molecules to pass through your system and into your immune-processing pathway. This increases inflammation in the stomach.

It's best to limit these types of foods and spend a little bit of time prepping your holiday dishes with locally grown options. Make the green bean casserole with home-grown green beans. Create desserts with deliciously fresh and local strawberries. Swapping out canned and processed items for fresh ones makes a huge difference.

Should your digestive health issues require further care, the skilled gastroenterologists at Colorado Gastroenterology in Denver, CO can help get you back to feeling normal.

Tip 2: Eat a snack before you leave the house

Overindulging is quite prevalent during the holidays and may lead to gut issues. Between warm pie, hearty casseroles, and homemade cookies, avoiding holiday weight gain is difficult.

Having a snack with carbs with protein can help keep you satisfied until dinner. This could be as low-key as wheat bread with peanut butter. Other easy carbs and protein-filled snacks include:

  • Grapes with cheese

  • Hummus and carrots

  • Fruit and hard-boiled eggs

  • A healthy granola bar

Tip 3: Eat smaller portions to keep from overeating

There's little doubt that with the smorgasbord of tasty food at your disposal, you'll have the desire to snatch it all up and go. Be sure to monitor your food consumption and place smaller portions on your plate. Consuming smaller amounts of food can enable your stomach to easily process your food. Additionally, you won’t be as uncomfortable and full if you eat less.

Paying attention to your gut is helpful when trying to prevent overeating. Should you feel sated before eating everything on your plate, that's okay. Your stomach is indicating that it has had enough and is ready to take a break.

Tip 4: Create a list to feel less stressed

Developing lists can help you to stay on track and organized. It allows you to keep trips to the grocery store from getting out of control. Moreover, it helps with juggling your family's varying schedules and creates a feeling of contentment.

Taking time to compose a list gives structure to chaos. It helps lessen uneasiness and relieves the holiday stress you're feeling.

Tip 5: Respond to holiday tension with compassion

The saying “Treat others how you wish to be treated” remains true year-round. But this is particularly true throughout the holiday season when tensions run higher than normal.

When seeking out ways to minimize stress, respond to every situation with kindness. Diffusing down any frustration and reacting with kindness abates stress and anxiety. This also makes everybody feel treasured and assured.

Gear up for the holiday season stress free

Whatever your holiday festivities might entail, our Denver, CO team is proud to offer solutions to help you savor this time of year with the ones you love. Remembering you have these tips and methods on hand to relieve stress can make the season more cheerful and carefree. In the event you experience GI health concerns or need further suggestions, contact our expert gastroenterologists at Colorado Gastroenterology today.