When it comes to an all-you-can buffet, grandma’s holiday dinner or your favorite home made meal, sometimes there’s too much of a good thing.
If you’ve found yourself so full that you’re still uncomfortable after more than 10 minutes later, you might need relief from overdoing it. Using a few simple remedies, you can ease your stuffed tummy and get back to what you need or want to do.
How You Got Stuffed
As you eat, your stomach sends hormones to your brain telling you that it’s filling, fuller, filled! Your stomach literally stretches as it fills with liquid and solids, and it talks to your brain, saying, “Hey, ease up!” Unfortunately, these chemicals can take up to 20 minutes to reach your brain, allowing you to think it’s OK to keep putting food and drink in your intestine when it’s past its comfortable limit. Add to that the gas that builds up in your intestinal tract and all of a sudden, when those chemicals finally reach you’re brain, you’re stuffed. And sometimes, it’s painful.
If you find yourself getting stuffed more than a couple of times a year, consider eating in courses, or “spoiling” your meals with a snack beforehand to let your helper hormones get a head start on sending the right signals to your brain.
Hit the Road, Jack
While relaxing on the couch and not moving might seem like a good idea to alleviate your discomfort, raising your metabolism is a better way to start burning those calories. Take a walk, either in place, outside or up and down the stairs. If you’re really full, don’t hop on an elliptical and try to break a sweat and get rid of all those calories at once – this can lead to more problems as you struggle with your pain and discomfort. You might even trigger a heart attack. Maintain movement, even if it’s just helping clear the dishes and putting away leftovers, to keep your body active.
While you might be tempted to take a nap or just lie down on the couch to relieve your discomfort, you’ll probably just prolong your problem for two reasons. Not only will you lower your metabolism, but you’ll also let your food sink to the back of your stomach. You digest food better when you’re sitting or standing, so help your body digest that food that’s causing you problems by avoiding a horizontal position.
How About a Good Burp?
Drinking a carbonated beverage adds more gas to your stomach, helping you get to the point that it induces a belch. A good burp can help release more gas than you take in from your soda, giving you some quick relief by reducing pressure inside your gut.
Antacids to the Rescue!
Head to your medicine cabinet for a Tums, Rolaids or whatever antacid you have. Antacids absorb stomach acid that can cause you pain. If you don’t have any, head to the store. You’ll raise your metabolism as you get out of the house and add a second method of relieving your pain and discomfort.
Yes, I said it. Sticking your finger down your throat and causing yourself to vomit can help you quickly empty your stomach of some of the contents that are causing your pain. If you’ve eaten spicy food, are sweating or feel your condition is serious, you might want to call your doctor before you try this method. If you’ve eaten acidic food, including fruit juices or unfamiliar ethnic dishes, this can be a painful way to relieve your symptoms. If you’re concerned about triggering an eating disorder in you or one of your kids, remember that bulimia and anorexia are psychological conditions that don’t seek to relieve pain and discomfort from an accidental stuffing. If you or a loved one is eating too much and then inducing vomiting on a regular basis, you might have a more serious problem.