Feeling Bloated After Eating Post-Super Bowl? Do this, says a nutritionist.

Eat salad after you're feeling bloated
Eat salad after you're feeling bloated

Photo by Mariana Medvedeva

With the Super Bowl being the most watched show all year and one of the biggest food “holidays,” the day after can be slow-moving for many Americans. If you’re feeling bloated today after eating too much while watching the Super Bowl, there are some things that you can do to start feeling better now.

  1. Eat plenty of fiber foods today and tomorrow. Some of the most popular football party foods contain little or no fiber (pizza, chips, creamy dips, wings, cheese, hot dogs, burgers, white bread), which can slow down digestion leaving you feeling bloated in the lower abdominal region. Fiber-rich foods include whole-food plants, like fruit with the skin on, oatmeal, nuts and seeds, whole-grain bread, and beans. Great day to go for a Meatless Monday. Here’s a breakfast I started out with today: 100% whole-grain English muffin topped with mashed avocado, an egg, “Everything Bagel” seasoning mix, and a side of raspberries. By the way, more fiber is something to shoot every day–at least 25 grams per day.
  2. Hydrate. Are your rings feeling tight on your fingers today (yeah, mine were already last night!)? That could be from the high amounts of sodium that you ate yesterday, from the same foods listed above, plus condiments. When we eat too much sodium, our bodies may hold onto more water, but not in the places we want it. Thankfully, over time, the body will eventually flush this out. The over imbibing of alcohol can also leave you bloated and  dehydrated. The remedy: drink more still or sparkling water or unsweetened fresh-brewed tea. Coffee, soup, milk, smoothies, and fresh fruits and vegetables (high water contents) also help you hydrate. Fruits and vegetables also contain potassium, an electrolyte that helps you hydrate.
  3. Don’t starve yourself. You may have woke up feeling full, and possibly a little nauseaous. While you don’t have to start today with a big breakfast, you also don’t want to go all day without eating, thinking that will repair last night’s damage. Try nibbling on some fruit or have a cup of yogurt. For lunch, try a delicious, cleansing entree salad with protein on it like chicken or chickpeas, and add avocado. Starving yourself all day could lead to another binge later. Prevent this by staying fueled and satisfied with regular meals and snacks.
  4. Do leftovers damage control. If you hosted last night’s Super Bowl party and there is an abundance of leftover food, take inventory of the situation so you a) don’t waste any of it, but also b) don’t keep eating it simply because it is in front of you. The easiest thing may be to give it away to co-workers or neighbors. If you don’t want to go that route, you can preserve foods for weeks or months later, spreading out these foods for when you’re actually craving them again. Pizza can be frozen in freezer bags and easily reheated in a toaster oven (great for kid meals on the fly, by the way). A big veggie tray can be transformed it into a stir-fry for dinner. Leftover cupcakes and cookies can be frozen and just thawed one by one when the craving strikes. I’ve froze entire trays of cupcakes before. They thaw at room temp like a charm. Piles of cheese and cured meats can be froze for later use, too.
  5. What to do with open bottles of wine. Stick it all in the fridge (yes, even red) and it will still be good next weekend. Or if you can’t be trusted with it, give it away or dump it. The end.
  6. Get enough sleep tonight. Did you know that getting enough sleep can actually help control your appetite? Getting enough sleep can help keep your appetite control hormones functioning at their best. If you cut yourself short on sleep last night due to the festivities, get your appetite levels back in check by getting more shut eye tonight.
  7. Most importantly, just get back on track. Try to shed any feelings of guilt or shame from overeating or drinking too much alcohol. Negative feelings aren’t going to serve you positively. Think of the good things that you can do for your body and mind today, rather than feeling badly or regretful. Today is a beautiful new day! If you recently started a diet plan that makes you re-start the program back to day one just because you “cheated” on the diet, you may want to ask yourself if this way of thinking is really helping you or is it just negatively reinforcing the hurtful food feelings you’re trying to escape in the first place.

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Michelle Dudash, RDN, is a registered dietitian nutritionist, best-selling cookbook author, and Cordon Bleu-certified chef. She is the creator of the 4Real Food Reboot, a healthy online meal planning program designed for people who want to lose weight and increase energy levels while eating delicious, satisfying real whole foods. More info: get4real.com.

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