Angela Dowden: Combat Overeating this festive season.

It’s that time of year when we all enjoy festive food. But there’s a fine line between enjoying a little indulgence and feeling unpleasantly bloated. Follow the tips below for enjoying yourself without feeling hopelessly full!

STAY COMFORTABLE

Eat breakfast.

Though it might seem unnecessary when there’s a day of feasting ahead, having a good breakfast makes it less likely you’ll snack unhealthily on chocolates and mince pies whilst you’re opening presents and waiting for Christmas lunch. Go for scrambled egg with a little smoked salmon, or fresh fruit and low fat Greek yogurt.

Enjoy alcohol with food, not as an aperitif. Alcohol on an empty stomach can lead a heady rush of alcohol into the system that leads to loss of inhibitions and you quickly reaching for a second glass. You’ll get the munchies too – much better to enjoy soft drinks between meals and not have your first glass of celebratory booze until you’re tucking into Christmas lunch.

Don’t over do bloating foods. These include Brussels sprouts, fizzy drinks and spicy food like samosas. And let other people do the talking through Christmas lunch – too much talking will lead to you swallowing lots of air which increases the discomfort factor.

Nutcracker, not sweets. When everyone else is nibbling chocolates or Christmas cake, go for some nuts with their shells on instead. They’re a healthier option and it’s impossible to scoff them too quickly because having to crack them slows the rate at which you can eat them.

Think before you put something in your mouth. If you aren’t actually remotely hungry find something else to beat the boredom. Brisk walk anybody?

AND IF YOU DO OVERDO IT…

Try a tipple of ginger wine (or eat a little crystallised ginger). Ginger soothes nausea, making you feel a little better. A cup of peppermint tea is another soothing option if you prefer.

Have some probiotic drinks or yogurts on standby. They contain friendly bacteria that may help to ease an irritated bowel and bloating.

Turn on the tap. If you’ve overdone the booze, make sure to drink plenty of water and to have some painkillers on hand.

Eat bland foods for a while until your stomach is settled. A simple turkey sandwich (no trimmings) fits the bill very well!