Prevea Health

Big meal do's and don'ts


Thanksgiving is one of the most popular holidays in the United States and for good reason. Who doesn't love mashed potatoes, gravy, turkey and pie? With anticipation of the big meal, here are some do's and don'ts to ensure that you digest your food properly and don't get a stomach ache. 

  • Eat something first. Sitting down to the table on an empty stomach may cause you to eat a lot more than usual and eating too much food quickly can lead to a stomach ache. Have a snack that is rich in fiber a few hours before you plan to have your large meal. The fiber will help keep your digestive system on track.
  • Go for a jog. A few hours before you feast, go for a job or brisk walk to boost your metabolism. Invite family members and turn it into a fun new tradition. After you eat, wait half an hour before going for a walk or wait 2-3 hours for a run. This can help digestion and may get you out of doing the dishes. 

  • Take a nap. Many people want to take a quick rest after their Thanksgiving meal, but this can hamper digestion and lead to bloating, heartburn and discomfort. The myth surrounding turkey making you sleepy has been busted. In fact, turkey isn’t any more sleep-inducing than other foods. Rather, it is merely from an overabundance of food.
  • Eat fruit. This can sound a little strange – after all, fruit is good for you! But your body tends to digest fruits quickly, so if you eat them after a meal, they end up sitting on top of the other food, and causing gas. Instead, try eating fruit before your meal.
  • Do an intense workout. After you eat, your body focuses most of its efforts on your digestive system. If you try to do a high intensity workout right after your meal, your digestive system doesn’t get the resources it needs to function.

Keep these do’s and don’ts in mind as you sit down for the biggest meal of the year with your friends and family.