As we enter the Holiday season with Thanksgiving right around the corner, I thought I would give you some tips on how to get that abundance of food through your system the most efficient way possible. After all, outside of Fourth of July picnics, the Holiday’s are the biggest time of the year to eat to your content and pack on the pounds. First, try not to over-indulge on all of the tasty dishes that will tempt you. Second, if you do over-indulge, make sure it’s not two days in a row! Here are some tried and true tips for before, during, and after your meals.

Before Eating

Make sure you are in a festive mood and not all stressed out about buying gifts or what political affiliation your visiting relatives are from. Set the atmosphere to calm with a moment of silence or thankful comments. This will promote healthy digestive enzymes to start the meal off.

During the Meal

Initially, make sure you can see your plate in between the different types of food. Once you can’t see the plate, you have too much food on it. Make sure you chew your food well, don’t inhale your food. Remember the 20 minute rule - it takes 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain that you are full. Eat your food when it is close to room temperature. Too hot or too cold slows down digestion.

After the Meal

A short walk does wonders for digestion, but wait about 2 hours before hitting the gym. Rigorous exercise can interfere with digestion allowing the food to ferment in your stomach. Gravity and movement also help move the food through your intestines to aid digestion (see short walk above). Wait about 2 hours before catching some z’s and you will feel much better in the morning.

Remember to be conscious of what you are putting in your body. You only get one of them in a lifetime. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Victor Geraci is a certified health coach certified through IIN. Call for questions on getting your health back on track while keeping most of your current lifestyle.