Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Avoiding Constipation this Christmas!

Christmas is almost here -12 days to go, yes I am 'countdown-ing'.
During the holidays, we are bombarded with deliciousness everywhere - I mean my mom and tetas make the most amazing food and resistance can get quite hard! Therefore, our dietary habits tend to change, often to the worse. We tend to ditch the water for alcohol and coffee as well as salads for more fat-drenching cuts and fries, ending our masterpiece with overdosing on that buche we’ve been putting our eyes on all night! Aaaand voila! Constipation.

So long story short, here’s how constipation can be avoided!

Don't neglect your fruits and veggies - The most common cause of constipation is a diet low in fibers! Fiber is necessary to help move food around your digestive tract and thus alleviates constipation. Therefore, whether you are preparing Christmas dinner this year or you are helping in devouring it, make sure to include vegetables in your main meal as well as fruits as dessert. And make sure to eat them as well.

Eat wisely - Mindful eating goes down to the ‘non-existing’ level when we are confronted with all these food options! I know how Christmas dinner looks like, I’ve seen ours. We have almost every type of food you can think of, making us want to have a bit (or a lot) of everything. So to avoid getting constipated all the way to New Year’s (and to watch your weight and health), choose the foods that you love the most and have them within reason. Listen to your body and eat when hungry, not to socialize. Instead of nibbling on roasted nuts, chocolate and alcohol, try to stick to lighter options like nibbling on green veggies, carrots, bell pepper, cauliflower or a bit of raw nuts. And if you are hosting this dinner, please have these crunchy munchies available for us, with mustard, lemon, vinegar, soy or low fat sour cream dip, please.

Stay Hydrated - Without enough water, your body extracts the needed liquid from your colon – leaving your stool dry and increasing your risk of constipation. During the festivities, we tend to prefer alcohol or coffee which intensifies the dehydration process since these 2 make you lose more water! Therefore, to combat these dehydrating effects, try to limit your coffee intake to 1 or 2 per day and if you decided to have some alcohol, try to either dilute it with water/ice or have 2 cups of water for every drink you have!

Squeeze in some exercise! Exercise is known to improve your bowel movements, but during the holidays, it seems like we take a holiday off of exercise as well! Steady exercise can regulate intestinal muscle contractions and reduce the time food stays in your digestive tract and thus can be a very efficient natural way to relieve constipation. So try to fit in at least 30 minutes of exercise and if you are way over your head celebrating, try to split the 30 minutes into 2 15-minute workouts or dance your time away with family & friends!

Don’t ignore the urge to go – If you’re busy hosting dinner and family & friends are all around your place, you tend to ignore the fact that you really need to use the bathroom! Ignoring bowel signs can leave food longer time in your colon, resulting in more water absorption from the stools. So when you feel like going, just go!
If you're traveling for Christmas,
don't tell us!

And last but not least, if you are traveling for the holidays, I hate you. Nevertheless, traveling can disturb the microflora in your intestines, damaging beneficial bacteria. So watch your diet, avoid the booze on the plane, drink lots of water, have lots of fruits and vegetables and help yourself with some yogurt, it contains probiotics that  can stimulate the growth and activity of bacteria in your guts!


  1. Paty thank you for talking about Xmas a lot

  2. Great tips! I'm only plagued when I travel...and am not eating my usual food!

  3. Waw very beautiful photo christmas on the beach! Merry christmas paty!!!!