Top Tips For Overeating And Hangovers During The Party Season
We’ve all been there – the belly so full you can barely move, feeling like you could never eat again! The pain of the skin and muscle stretched beyond imagining across your abdomen after a festive season feast! This is a time of excess in pretty much everything and in our abundant western world we all tend to overindulge. The other thing that is too easy to overdo is drinking alcohol – often just as a way to get ourselves through yet another obligatory party with people we don’t really like, or the family Christmas where tensions are always just under the surface! Hangovers abound during the festive season. To learn how to avoid and also deal with the symptoms of overindulgence read on!
What happens in our bodies when we overindulge in food or drink?
Whenever you eat chemical messengers set off to and from the brain. When your stomach begins to stretch, messages go to your brain’s appetite centre to reduce your sense of hunger and make you feel full. At the same time messages are sent to your cardiovascular system telling it to increase the flow of blood to your digestive system so that food breakdown can begin. This increases your heart rate and metabolism. When you overeat the continual increased heart and metabolic rate can actually make you feel hot and dizzy. Physical pain can be experienced as the stomach produces gases resulting from digestion. You might also experience painful acid reflux, which can be triggered by consumption of a high volume of food in one sitting. It takes a great deal of energy to process a high volume of food, especially those that are rich and high in fat.
A hangover is really just a large group of potential symptoms that occur when you have consumed too much alcohol. The over-consumption of alcohol has a number of effects on the body and the resulting reactions are what is known as a hangover.
Potential symptoms of hangover are:
– vomiting and/ or diarrhea
– blood shot eyes
– sensitivity to light and sound
5 Star Wellbeing Top Tips to Avoid and Manage Overeating and Hangovers
- Don’t do it!
Listen to your body. It will definitely tell you when you’ve had enough – that is how it’s designed! To avoid drinking too much alcohol, make yourself the designated driver!
2. Don’t beat yourself up!
You are human and the Festive Season is meant to be enjoyed. If you lose your self control for one day of the year, or even a few days during the festivities, it is not the end of the world, right? Overeating or drinking too much will make you feel uncomfortable in the acute sense but it is only dangerous to your wellbeing when you make it a chronic habit.
Drink lots of it (ideally filtered and purified)! Water fills up your stomach for a while and will stop you eating too much as well as counteracting the dehydrating effects of alcohol.
The main problem is that alcohol is actually a diuretic, so it causes more frequent urination, and this means that your body loses more water than usual. Don’t be fooled into thinking that you don’t need to top up your water because you are consuming a mixed drink containing soft drink, as well as alcohol. Soft drinks are generally very high in sodium and this also causes dehydration. The easiest thing to do is drink a glass of water for every alcoholic beverage.
Caffeine should be avoided when you have a hangover as it is also a diuretic
2. Types of alcohol
Alcohol cannot be stored by the body so it has to be broken down as it is consumed, when the body can’t keep up with consumption you may get a hangover. Some alcoholic drinks are more easily broken down by the body and are therefore less likely to cause hangover symptoms.
When alcohol is produced through fermentation, toxic by-products are created, along with alcohol. One of these by-products – congeners – have been found to be strongly associated with hangover symptoms. Drinks that contain high levels of congeners are whiskey, bourbon and tequila. Clear drinks like gin, vodka and rum contain significantly lower levels of congeners.
Bear in mind as well that many drinks, especially wine, contain preservatives, which the human body is not designed to break down, and any rapid build up of toxins can cause you to feel pretty unwell. Look for organic, preservative free wine if that is your tipple of choice!
When you overeat, why not do a fast the next day? If you make sure that you give your digestive system a rest for at least 12 hours before you eat again, this will be really beneficial for improving your overall feeling of wellness. If you can go longer even better!
However when you are drinking alcohol, food is your friend! Hangover symptoms are more pronounced when your body is also low in blood sugar. This occurs when you have not consumed enough food before and during your drinking session. Alcohol stimulates the production of stomach acid so if there is food in your stomach it gives that excess stomach acid something to do!
4. Liver Support
Especially if you have consumed a lot of high fat foods or a lot of alcohol it is great to stimulate the function of your liver and lemon water is the simple go-to for this. Just squeeze half a lemon into your hot or cold water and drink it down – it’s delicious and refreshing as well in our hot Aussie festive season!
Sleep allows your body to rest and expend all available energy on processing the excessive amounts of food and/or alcohol that you have consumed.
Sleep is also essential for the cells in the body to cleanse and repair themselves, which is especially important on these occasions!
You definitely want to move your body the day after eating too much, but not too close in time to your overindulgence because your digestive system needs all available energy to do its job!
When you have a hangover remember that dehydration is a big part of your problem so drink a lot of water. It’s a good idea to undertake some light exercise when you’re hungover because your lymphatic system requires muscle contraction to remove toxins and exercise also produces feel-good hormones which will help you to feel better overall.
Essential oils can provide great support when we are suffering from the symptoms of overindulgence. You can diffuse them or apply them topically (diluted as required for your skin type) on your abdomen, bottoms of your feet, temples, or the back of your neck.
To support digestion:
- DigestZen by DoTerra
For hangover relief:
- Peppermint or DeepBlue by DoTerra for headache
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