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How to Feel Less Full: Get Unstuft This Thanksgiving

We’ve all been there — going back for your third helping on Thanksgiving. We’re talking more turkey laden with gravy, all the mashed carbohydrates in the world, and not a hint of fiber on your plate! You’re already unbuttoning the first button of your pants to give your belly a bit of relief, 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!


Symptoms of overeating

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.
how to feel less full on thanksgiving
Feeling full on Thanksgiving can make you experience:
• Bloating
• IBS Flares (Constipation or Diarrhea)
• Gas in Stomach
• Acid Reflux
• Heartburn
• Stomach Pains
• Cramping
• Irritability
Suffice to say, having copious portions of turkey and all its fixings can put a damper on the rest of your holiday. Let’s discuss how to feel less full after going HAM on Thanksgiving dinner.


How To Feel Less Full After Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time to grub, don’t get us wrong! However, gluttony and too many nom-noms could leave us feeling pretty gross. Here’s how to feel less full during the 2020 holiday season.
how to feel less full after 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 than 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]. “

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.
While we fill up, the gut biome takes inventory of what’s coming in. Once we start getting full, our fat cells in adipose tissue release leptin. This hormone lets us know that you have a full stomach. Listen to your bacteria. Feelings of fullness mean no vacancy!
Take a breather. Don’t act like there aren’t going to be a multitude of leftovers. Start off with a small portion size, take a breath when you’re done, and then go back in a little bit. Even better, take some home and eat the extras for a snack or dinner over the next few days.


Chew More

Want to eat less food? Be preventative. Take more bites of your food. After all, this is a marathon, not a sprint.
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 stomach acids to break down the food particles [4].
Oh, and please chew your mouth closed. Don’t be that family member. This goes for the after-dinner gum, too. Thanks!


Don’t Lay Down

For those wondering how to feel less full, the worst thing you can do is lay down and take a nap. We know you just want to curl up on the couch and watch football. Unfortunately, your stomach is going to be upset with you.
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. 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 what 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, pancreas,  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 if they’re supposed to keep up with your Thanksgiving Day eating habits!
A great way for how to feel less full this Thanksgiving is to use digestive enzyme supplements. Consider getting a multi-enzyme supplement that has two primary enzymes responsible for breaking down the worst foods for our digestive tract.


  • Lactase (Helps Breaks Down Lactose in Dairy Used in the Milk for Mashed Potatoes or Mac and Cheese)

  • DPP-IV (Helps Break Down Gluten Found in Dinner Rolls, Turkey Seasonings, and Some Whole Grains)

These digestive enzymes will give your gut biome the support it needs to ease your gastrointestinal discomfort. Try to take your enzyme before munching down on your food. However, these supplements can still help the process when symptoms of a food intolerance or sensitivity manifest.


Drink Tea

We know adding more water to your stomach doesn’t seem very appealing on a list of 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.
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!


Drink a Glass of Water Before Eating

Try drinking water for at least a half-hour before you sit down to eat. Try to avoid cold water as it actually slows down the digestive process. Water is full of electrolytes that helps stimulate your digestive cells. That way, your bacteria will be energized and ready to break down food as it comes in.
Don’t drink water while you’re eating. One, it will slow down your chewing, which will confuse your digestive system. Plus, the water will cause larger food particles to end up in your stomach. Your bacteria have a harder time breaking down large chunks of carrots than when they’re mushy and chewed up. You’ll be left feeling bloated!
If you feel the thirst coming on mid-meal, cut down on your salt! Not only is it bad for your blood pressure, but too much salt masks the actual flavor of your food. A little goes a long way!
Also, don’t down water for at least a half-hour after you start eating. Water helps you clear out the system. Therefore, you might miss out on essential nutrients that you could be absorbing. Then, what was the point of eating?


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

“20 minutes after feeding and multiplying their numbers,E. coliswitch 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. colimay 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 Healthy Gut Specialized Probiotics.
Our customized probiotic supplements are formulated with variousLactobacilliandBifidobacteriumstrains that help curb hunger pangs and aid with digestion. By supplementing with probiotics, you set your gut up for success, and potentially thirds and fourths!
Of course, Thanksgiving is JUST the beginning of the holiday season. There are plenty of opportunities in the coming months to binge eat with the best of them. Be proactive with your gut health by arming your gut with the beneficial bacteria it needs. Consider getting a gut health test.
Start 2021 off right by getting 20% off your Thryve Gut Health Test Kit. Be sure to use the code: BFCM20at checkout. This Black Friday deal is available until November 30th. Act now and get your gut ready for 2021!


Click Here To View Resources


[1] Consumer Reports. “How Many Calories Are in Thanksgiving Dinner?” Consumer Reports, www.consumerreports.org/diet-nutrition/calories-in-your-thanksgiving-dinner/.
[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, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17212793.
[3] Jegtvig, Shereen. “Chew More, Eat Less? It Could Work, Study Suggests.” Reuters, Thomson Reuters, 22 Nov. 2013, www.reuters.com/article/us-chew-eat/chew-more-eat-less-it-could-work-study-suggests-idUSBRE9AL0YM20131122.
[4] Boundless. “Boundless Biology.” Lumen, courses.lumenlearning.com/boundless-biology/chapter/digestive-system-regulation/.
[5] Handwerk, Brian. “Your Gut Bacteria May Be Controlling Your Appetite Read More: Https://Www.smithsonianmag.com/Science-Nature/Gut-Bacteria-May-Be-Controlling-Your-Appetite-180957389/

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