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  • Dr. Stephanie Bayliss ND

5 Tips for Avoiding the Holiday Bloat

It is now that time of year where we are indulging more than we typically do. A complaint often reported by patients is the additional pounds gained throughout the holidays, as well as subsequent bloating. Below are some simple tips to help mitigate this!

1. Probiotics

There are many variations of probiotics, and no two are made equally. Therefore, it is important to know what to look for in a good probiotic! Purchase a probiotic with a variety of strains in it that requires refrigeration, and aim to get a minimum of 10 billion CFU’s per day. Some specific strains of bacteria have different areas of research demonstrating effectiveness with certain health conditions, such as Lactobacillus rhamnosus in depression.1 While some strains of Bifidobacterium can alleviate anxiety.2

2. Digestive Enzyme

Consider adding a digestive enzyme to assist your gastrointestinal system in breaking down the extra carbohydrates and protein you will likely be consuming. Many options exist on the market for digestive enzymes, but be sure to look for a full-spectrum digestive enzyme that includes lipase (supports the breakdown of fat), betaine HCL & pepsin (adds to stomach acid ), lactase if dairy digestion is a concern, as well as pancreatic enzymes which are often listed as pancreatin. As well - take note of how many additives are in the product you choose and attempt to find one with minimal unnecessary ingredients.

3. Eat slow and enjoy your food!

Instead of eating on the fly and rushing to get meals in, attempt to take the time to enjoy your food. This is the time of year to spend time with friends and family and to savour the food that you or your loved ones have spent time cooking. The more you chew your food, the easier it will be on your stomach to break down the food and your small intestine to absorb the nutrients.

4. Get enough sleep

Despite how hectic things are, ensure you are still making sleep a priority and getting a minimum of 7 hours of sleep per night. This will allow your body to enter a parasympathetic state - encouraging both resting and digestion.

5. Exercise

Keep moving! Take the opportunity over the holidays to take a walk by the seawall, through Beacon Hill Park or down Government street and enjoy the Christmas lights. For those who have a fitbit or other step counting devices, 10,000 steps a day is a good target to reach for!

Keep in mind - if bloating does persist, there are many potential causes that should be explored further through your primary healthcare provider.

For additional information about how to get your

health back on track after the holidays

book a 15 minute meet and greet appointment with Dr. Stephanie


1. Evrensel, Alper, and Mehmet Emin Ceylan. "The gut-brain axis: the missing link in depression." Clinical Psychopharmacology and Neuroscience 13.3 (2015): 239.

2. Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2014 Nov;26(11):1615-27.

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