Photo: Dining table full of food

The holidays are just around the corner and I couldn’t be more excited. I love the holidays because I get to hang with my family and connect over good food. Over the past couple years I was so sick and tired of becoming bloated after a big holiday dinner that I’ve become more aware of my actions. Here are some tips you can follow to avoid that holiday bloat. And good news! You can still have a fun and indulgent holiday season without the discomfort.

Don’t arrive at your holiday party starving! You usually won’t be eating immediately when you arrive, so if you aren’t starving when you get there you most likely won’t be tempted by all the indulgent appetizers.

Drink lots of water! Dehydration causes bloating, so make sure you hydrate everyday (not just for the holidays).

Take post-meal walks. Instead of crashing on the couch after your meal go on a walk! This will help your body digest better. Try going on a walk before your meal too, to work up that appetite.

Eat slowly! I used to always be the slow eater at the table—everyone would finish their meal, get up, and leave me there to finish eating by myself. I hated that so much, so I started devouring my food, which always made me sick afterward. When you eat too fast it can cause you to swallow more air, which makes the bloating worse. I finally realized that being a slow eater is a good thing and now I am back in that habit of eating slowly and enjoying my food.

Eat smaller portions. Sometimes that’s a hard one for me, my eyes are always bigger than my stomach. If there’s a lot of food out I always want to try a little bit of everything. Try starting with small amounts and if you are still hungry you can always go back for seconds.