At the end of every year, a strange phenomenon occurs.
People who, for the most part, watch what they eat and think about their diets suddenly develop eyes-too-big-for-stomach syndrome, complete with the ability to consume large quantities of food.
The side effect? Regret and a food hangover.
Yep, food hangovers are a thing and you’re bound to experience one at least once over the next two months, especially if there’s roast dinner in your future.
Here’s The Telegraph:
The 2018 Waitrose Food Trend Report recently revealed that a third of us are changing our eating habits to avoid the aftermath of indulgence. But we’re about to enter into the Christmas period – the season where the nation turns into an army of Bruce Bogtrotters, scoffing our way through pigs in blankets and mince pies with glee.
Bruce Bogtrotter, for those of you who missed out, is the ample-sized kid from Roald Dahl’s Matilda, who eats an entire chocolate cake in one sitting. He had a pretty hardcore food hangover afterwards.
“When we eat a sudden large influx of food, something the body is never prepared for, we can often feel sluggish and lethargic as a result of the excess of salt, sugar, fat or caffeine” explains Harley Street Nutritionist and Author Rhiannon Lambert.
Yes, great, but if it’s going to happen anyway, I think we’re all more interested in the cure than the cause. So here’s how to combat the food hangover:
“I think all things should be enjoyed in moderation, but if you do find yourself in the midst of a food hangover, the general rules are that you should avoid lying down if you’re prone to reflux, go for a gentle walk, drink lots of water and return to a healthy diet the next day.”
OK, but the problem is that not all food hangovers are created equal. Some food hangovers manifest differently depending on their cause.
An excess of salt, for example – normally the case when you’ve been indulging in ready meals and takeaways – may contribute to acid reflux or heartburn. When this hits, Lambert advises to drink as much water as possible to help dilute the stomach acid and flush out the excess sodium.
Similarly, that Friday night vindaloo will undoubtedly be the source of your gurgling, unsettled stomach and acid reflux. “Spices can be very active in our GI tract and those who are particularly sensitive can experience a lot of bloating” says Lambert. For this, she advocates a high-fibre meal the next day to aid digestion and again, a tall glass of water.
…For a fat hangover, time is the ultimate healer. “It’s going to take a little while for your digestive tract to get up to speed and build up the necessary enzymes to process the fat, causing you that leaden, bloated feeling, possibly along with indigestion or heartburn.”
In other words, there’s no quick cure for the food hangover – but this might not be such a bad thing.
There’s nothing like a night spend slumped on the couch, chewing on Rennie to get you to that place where you vow never to overindulge again – at least not until next year.
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