How to Decrease Stress and Overindulgence During the Holidays


The holidays are about friendly get-togethers, family traditions, and building lasting good times. But what can help you when stressful situations get in the way? From working with your family’s busy schedules to creating the menu, the holidays can get overwhelming.

If you are experiencing stress this time of year, rest assured that you are not the only person feeling this way. A survey conducted by the American Psychological Association (APA) indicated that 38% of people have more levels of stress as they celebrate the holiday season. Below are a few ideas from our experienced gastroenterologists at Adult Gastroenterology Associates on how to ward off mindless eating and help you handle any holiday stress you encounter this holiday season. Please contact our GI office in Tulsa, OK for more information.

Tip 1: Limit processed meals and snacks to help with gut health

That rumbling in your tummy may not be due to eating a second helping. The bacteria in your gut may alter after you ingest these foods. The consumption of processed foods allows molecules to pass through your gut and into your immune-processing pathway. This increases irritation in the stomach.

Limit processed foods and, instead, prepare your meals with fresh, local options. Make your green bean casserole with home-grown green beans. Bake desserts with deliciously fresh and local strawberries. Replacing packaged and processed items for freshness makes quite a difference.

If your gut health problems need additional assistance, the skilled GI doctors at Adult Gastroenterology Associates in Tulsa, OK can provide the care you need for improved digestive wellness.

Tip 2: Grab a snack before you leave your house

Overindulging is quite prevalent during holidays and can lead to gastrointestinal issues. Between grandma's famous pie, your favorite casseroles, and all the cookies, avoiding holiday weight gain is hard.

Enjoy carbohydrates with protein to keep you satisfied until dinner. This can be as simple as wheat bread with peanut butter. Additional quick carb and protein-filled snacks are:

  • Granola bar

  • Grapes and cheese

  • Hummus and vegetables

  • Hard-boiled eggs and fruit

Tip 3: Try smaller portions to avoid overeating

There is little doubt that with all the great food at your disposal, you will likely want to just grab it and go. Be sure to monitor your food consumption and place a smaller amount of food on your plate. Smaller portions can allow your GI tract to more readily process the foods you consume. Additionally, you might not be as uncomfortable and bloated if you eat a smaller amount.

Taking cues from your stomach is helpful when trying to keep from eating too much. In the event you find yourself satiated before you finish your plate, do not feel stressed. Your body is letting you know that it is ready to take a break and go enjoy socializing with your loved ones.

Tip 4: Make a list to reduce stress

Using lists can enable you to stay organized and focused during the holidays. List-making allows you to keep shopping trips on task. Furthermore, it assists with juggling everyone’s varying schedules and offers a feeling of contentment.

Taking time to compose a list provides structure to the chaos of the holiday season. It helps reduce uneasiness and relieves the holiday tension so many people often experience.

Tip 5: React to holiday stress with goodwill

The expression “Treat everyone how you wish to be treated” holds true all throughout the year. However, this motto is particularly meaningful throughout the holidays when tensions are higher than normal.

When pinpointing ways to diminish stress, answer to every obstacle with kindness. Toning down any feelings of frustration and offering compassion can help diffuse anxiety. This also makes everyone feel respected and assured.

Gear up for the holidays with ease

No matter what your holiday plans entail, our Tulsa, OK practice is proud to provide solutions to help you delight in this time of year with the ones you love. Remembering you have these tips on hand to alleviate stress can help make your holidays even more enjoyable. Should you experience digestive health issues or need additional tips, get in touch with our caring digestive health specialists at Adult Gastroenterology Associates today.