After a heavy meal, you will often feel bloated and full. While you want to relax, the bloating can become painful. It’s your digestive system struggling to work on all the food that you’ve given it.
The heavy meal doesn’t have to be big for this to happen. There are times that the type of food you eat causes this. Rich, protein- or fibre-packed foods take longer to digest. They can even cause some of the trapped wind and gas build-up, which makes it even harder for the digestive system to get to work.
You don’t need to just deal with the bloating feeling. The great news is there are ways that you can help to boost your digestive system. You can ease the feeling of being overfull and sit back and relax for the rest of the night.
Here’s your 5-step bloating relief plan that you need to feel better after that heavy meal.
Step 1: Take Something to Help with the Digestive Process
If you don’t mind taking over the counter medications, it’s time to look at them for some help. There are various items created to help boost the digestive process. If you take them after your heavy meal, they will get to work to break down the food that you have eaten and get rid of the trapped wind that can appear due to eating too many certain types of foods.
These medications are most beneficial when you eat too many carbohydrates and fiber that are difficult to break down. They are also beneficial when you have lactose that your body struggles with.
Look out for Lactase and Beano to help break down the lactose and carbohydrates in your body. You can also look at other medications to see what they will help to do.
Most of these supplements will work immediately. You’ll feel the relief building in your stomach as the food is broken down and passed through.
If you don’t want to take over the counter medications, then you’ll need to look at natural methods to help your body’s digestive system get to work. Taking soluble fiber is one of the best ways.
Try to finish your meal with some fruit or vegetables. These will break down easier than some of the heavier foods and will help to support your digestive system. They are absorbed by the water to help soften stools and push through the waste. They also line the digestive system to prevent some of the bulky foods from damaging the lining and causing further pain.
You can have a small amount of insoluble fiber, but you will need to limit this. While it can push through the food, you’re also adding something else that is harder to break down!
Step 2: Add Probiotics to Your Diet
Probiotics are useful for removing the feeling of bloating in your stomach. Bad bacteria cause the bloating and can make your body react to food that you usually eat. The bacteria can slow down your digestive system, making it harder to remove the waste.
Probiotics add good bacteria back into your digestive system. The good will outweigh the bad, balancing out the bacteria within your digestive system. Your intestines will get the lining they need to avoid damage from food passing through.
Clinical trials have shown that probiotics help to reduce the production of gas in the body, easing bloating and discomfort. The supplements are extremely beneficial in those who have other digestive problems or intolerances.
The downside is you don’t get rid of all the bloating side effects. You may still have some discomfort while your body is digesting all the food that you’ve eaten.
It’s very easy to get probiotics into your diet. You can take supplements, but you can also drink fortified yogurts. Make sure you check the levels of sugar when you get these probiotics yogurts to make sure they are good for you!
Step 3: Drink Some Peppermint Tea
Did you know that peppermint can help to reduce bloating and ease the digestive discomfort? Peppermint essential oil has proven to have the most benefit, but you can also drink peppermint tea to get some relief. This will be a great way to finish off your meal, as many restaurants now offer it in place of desserts!
If you want to use peppermint essential oil, make sure the brand is edible. There are some that will be poisonous to your system. Put a few drops into water and drink it as you would an antacid or other digestive relief.
With tea, you get the benefit of the heat and warmth to relax the whole body. It can also ease the feeling of nausea after a large meal.
Peppermint is powerful because it works on the muscles. It stops them going into a spasm, which can lead to bloating and gas build up. Your digestive tract works as it should, pushing the waste through instead of swelling and causing discomfort. Studies have shown that peppermint oil is useful for people with IBS and other digestive problems, but it is also beneficial for those who have simply had a very filling and heavy meal.
Tea will also help you get more water.Getting some liquid will boost your digestive system. It will help to break down the fiber and soften the stools, removing constipation and gas build up that leads to most bloating and discomfort after a meal.
You can buy peppermint essential oil in supplement form if you want to take the real deal. It’s completely up to you how you get it.
If you don’t like peppermint, you can also get some of the same benefits from ginger tea. Ginger helps to reduce the inflammation in your body, often caused by dairy, chemicals, and spicy food. The ginger will block various enzymes and genes in your body, preventing your body from setting off the inflammation response. Ginger tea also helps to reduce nausea that you may feel after eating too much.
Another option is chai tea. This isn’t as popular in restaurants and stores yet, but that popularity is growing. It’s a mixture of cardamom, cinnamon, and ginger and helps to reduce some bloating. It’s not as good as ginger tea on its own.
Step 4: Allow Your Body the Chance to Digest
Eating in a hurry is one of the worst things that you can do. Getting straight up and exercising after a heavy meal will just make your bloating and swelling worse. You need to give your body time to digest the food that you’ve eaten.
You can do that by sitting back and unbuttoning your jeans (if you’re in private, of course!) so that your digestive system as space and freedom to work its magic. Use it as an excuse to read a book or watch your favorite TV show.
It’s possible to aid the digestive system while you sit back. Rub your stomach in a circular motion to encourage the muscles to relax and work effectively to get rid of all the food you’ve just eaten. This is something you can do when out with friends. Don’t worry what others think, as you know it’s working for you.
Don’t stress about the pain or discomfort that you feel. This isn’t going to do your digestive system any good. The pain and discomfort are completely normal, so nothing to get worried over. All you do is release stress hormones around your body and cause the digestive system to slow down further!
If you would like to do something to boost the digestive process, you can take a short walk. Keep the walking pace slow, as a way to encourage the muscles to work but not get your heart rate up. This can be extremely beneficial if you suffer from constipation on a regular basis.
Step 5: Finish the Day with Lemon or Cucumber Water
The more you drink, the better your digestive system will work. You can put some fresh fruit or vegetables into your water to help improve the taste if you don’t like plain water.
When you drink water, your body gets the alert that you’re hydrating it. It stops holding onto the water in the food, as it doesn’t worry about when you’ll get your next mouthful. This means your body starts digesting everything within the food. There’s no need to wait to push it all through as waste.
We’ve also looked at how liquid will help to break up the food in your digestive system. It helps to dissolve and soften the stools. Water works just the same as atea for this since the liquid is the same source!
Lemons will help to boost that digestive process, as they’re a natural diuretic. That means they help to push the toxins and waste out of the body. They support the digestive process, breaking down the food. You will feel the need to use the toilet and empty the bladder and bowels.
If you’re not a fan of lemons or have none handy, you can use cucumber instead. This is refreshing and will give you many of the same diuretic benefits.
While you are drinking the water, avoid using a straw. While it helps to get sugars from the teeth, it will cause you to swallow more air. You end up adding more gas to your body’s digestive system and make the bloating worse.
Reduce the Risks of Bloating
The next time you eat a heavy meal, take some steps to avoid bloating from becoming a problem anyway. We don’t want you to give up all your favorite foods, so we’re not going to tell you to cut anything out. It’s all about taking steps to help your digestive system work on everything you eat.
Eat slowly and focus on smaller meals. Keep your meals small. You don’t need to eat as much as you do anything, and this includes the fruits and vegetables! Eating too much will cause a block in your digestive system. Your food must queue up to be removed from your body.
When you eat slowly, you’ll be able to listen to your body and stop eating when you are satisfied. You will also make it harder for a queue to form. Your stomach and the overall digestive system have the time to remove some of the food in your system before you take another bite.
The next time you’re out for a meal, make sure you chew every mouthful that you eat. This will break down the food further before you add it to your digestive system. Talk to people in between your bites, giving your body a chance to work the initial digestive stages before you add more food to the queue.
Don’t drink too much before a meal. There is a popular piece of advice when it comes to eating and weight loss: drink a glass of water before you start eating. While this can be useful for filling you up, you will still need to think about the amount that you eat. You’ll also need to limit the amount that you do drink first (and during your meal).
The advice is to have a glass of water. Make it a small glass and allow it to get to work before you start eating. Stick to plain water (or lemon/cucumber water) rather than soda and juices. Water will effectively support your body, instead of adding more bubbles and gas to your digestive system.
It’s also worth cutting back on the alcohol that you drink. You can still have a drink or two but think about the gassiness and dehydrating elements of alcohol. Have a glass of water between each drink and finish off with a cup of ginger tea.
Don’t Suffer from Bloating After Your Meal
The next time you have a heavy meal, try to follow the above tips to avoid bloating. Sometimes you can’t avoid it completely. The advice is forgotten about, and you’re left with discomfort and sometimes excruciating pain.
Don’t panic or stress! The stress hormones will just make the pain worse. Focus on relaxing and give your digestive system space to work. Opt for a cup of peppermint or ginger tea to reduce the inflammation and then grab a glass of lemon water to ease the build up of food in your digestive system.
If you want, you can take over the counter medication to help support your overall system. With the above five steps, you will get immediate relief from the bloating and gas in your body.