How to Feel Less Full: Get Unstuft This Thanksgiving

We’ve all been there — going back for your third helping on Thanksgiving. You’re already unbuttoning the first button of your pants, and you haven’t even had pie yet. There’s a reason why they call Thanksgiving’s most popular side dish, “stuffing.” The average person eats up to 4,500 calories on this holiday season kickoff [1]. Here is how to feel less full this Thanksgiving!

How to Feel Less Full After Thanksgiving

Feeling overstuffed on the holidays is the worst. You are trapped in a warm house that wreaks of the food you devoured. The family is loud and laughing, and that tryptophan is kicking in.

turkey dinner
Feelin’ as stuffed as this?

Feeling full on Thanksgiving can make you experience:

  • Bloating
  • IBS Flares
  • Gas in Stomach
  • Acid Reflux
  • Stomach Pains
  • Cramping
  • Irritability

Suffice to say, overeating on turkey, and all its fixings, can put a damper on the rest of your holiday. Here is how to feel less full after going HAM on Thanksgiving dinner.

Stop Eating

We’re gonna start with the obvious here. Stop eating! When you notice that you’re getting full, then that’s your time to stop.

Our hunger levels are regulated by two main hormones — ghrelin and leptin. They have a better idea of what kind of space we have inside that we do out here. Pay attention to them.

An analysis of these two hormones explained,

“Leptin is a mediator of long-term regulation of energy balance, suppressing food intake and thereby inducing weight loss. Ghrelin on the other hand is a fast-acting hormone, seemingly playing a role in meal initiation [2]. “

Department of Endocrinology, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

As we sit down for Thanksgiving dinner, our enteroendocrine cells in the GI tract release the hormone, ghrelin. This hormone stimulates the endocrine system, letting the hypothalamus in the brain know it’s time to get grubbing.

how to feel less full
Maybe slow down on the seconds

While we fill up, the gut biome takes inventory of what’s coming in. Once we start getting full, our fat tissues release leptin. This hormone lets us know that we’re full. Listen to your gut. No vacancy!

Take a breather. Don’t act like there aren’t going to be a multitude of leftovers. Just go back in a little bit. Even better, take some home and eat the extras over the next few days.

Chew More

Be preventative. Take more bites of your food. After all, this is a marathon, not a sprint.

Take more bites!

Research shows that chewing 50% more reduces your caloric intake by 15% [3]. As soon as we smell our food, the digestive process begins. Our system kicks this shebang off by causing salivation.

The presence of saliva gets other gears going, including the esophagus muscles for swallowing and hydrochloric acid to break down the food particles [4].

Oh, and please chew your mouth closed. Don’t be that family member. Thanks!

Don’t Lay Down

For those wondering how to feel less full, the worst thing you can do is lay down. We know, you just want to curl up on the couch and watch football. Unfortunately, your stomach is going to be upset with you.

how to feel less full
Fight off the tryptophan crash!

Laying down can allow the fool pooled in your stomach to creep back up your esophagus. All you’re doing is brewing up a pot of acid reflux. If you must lie down, try to be as flat as possible. You want to keep your head, heart, and gut in as best alignment as possible. This positioning allows more room for the digestion of food.

In reality, try sitting up straight. Play a card game around the table. Get up and go for a walk. Do something that keeps you upright.

Take Digestive Enzymes

We rely on digestive enzymes to do the name implies — digest food. Enzymes help us every step of the way. They are catalysts for breaking down food and absorbing nutrients..

Some enzymes are present in our saliva, while others are in the stomach, fat tissues, and intestines. Sure, enzymes cover a lot of ground; however, you’re eating a lot of food. You need to help them out a bit.

A great way for how to feel less full this Thanksgiving is to use digestive enzyme supplements. They will give your gut biome the support it needs to ease your gastrointestinal discomfort.

Drink Tea

We know adding more water to your stomach doesn’t seem very appealing on a list for how to feel less full. However, tea is therapeutic for parts of the body traumatized by your binge-eating, such as the esophagus and digestive tract.

Fall tea for fullness!

Try the following teas for specific GI problems:

  • Peppermint – Gas
  • Ginger – Nausea
  • Black – Boost Probiotics
  • Licorice – IBS
  • Oolong – Acid Reflux
  • Chai/Cinnamon – Digestion
  • Chamomile – Relaxation

If you’re really in the Thanksgiving mood, we highly suggest some cinnamon tea. It will get you and your unhappy stomach in the spirit of things!

Take a Probiotic Supplement

To your gut, Thanksgiving is a lot like a store getting ready for Black Friday. They need as many workers on-hand. In fact, they might even hire someone seasonally. Your gut bacteria might need that sort of backup, too.

An article written by Smithsonian looking at a study looking at the role of Escherichia coli (E.coli)in the digestion of food summarized,

“20 minutes after feeding and multiplying their numbers, E. coli switch from pumping out one set of proteins to another…Further analysis showed that one protein stimulated the release of a hormone associated with satiety. Another of the chemicals found in the animals’ bloodstream appears to increase the firing of brain neurons that diminish appetite…E. coli may be hijacking this molecular pathway to produce the signals that make animals feel full [5].”


Breaking down so much food can be a lot of work for these tiny microbes. That’s why we include bacteria strains that ease digestion in Thryve Inside Probiotics. Our customized probiotic supplements are formulated with various Lactobacilli and Bifidobacterium. By supplementing with probiotics, you set your gut up for success, and potentially thirds and fourths!

Thryve Probiotics Gut Health


[1] Consumer Reports. “How Many Calories Are in Thanksgiving Dinner?” Consumer Reports,

[2] Klok, M D, et al. “The Role of Leptin and Ghrelin in the Regulation of Food Intake and Body Weight in Humans: a Review.” Obesity Reviews : an Official Journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Jan. 2007,

[3] Jegtvig, Shereen. “Chew More, Eat Less? It Could Work, Study Suggests.” Reuters, Thomson Reuters, 22 Nov. 2013,

[4] Boundless. “Boundless Biology.” Lumen,

[5] Handwerk, Brian. “Your Gut Bacteria May Be Controlling Your Appetite Read More: Https://