The Thanksgiving holiday is all about family and food. While it is hard to determine when you have had “too much” family, it is clear when you have had too much food.

Are your favorite skinny jeans fitting a little snug at the waistband? Are you feeling that energy drain that often occurs after a large meal? Is your skin looking more oily than normal? Are you experiencing all of these symptoms three or four days after Thanksgiving? Then you may be suffering from Post-Thanksgiving bloat.

Cedric Bryant, chief science officer of the nonprofit American Council on Exercise said that Americans eat around 3,000 calories during just one Thanksgiving meal. That number does not include any other meals for the day, so having 4,000-4,500 calories in one day is the reality for most Americans.

One day of indulgence is okay and should be enjoyed sparingly. However, where some people go wrong is, extending the Thanksgiving decadences beyond the next day’s leftovers.

It is important to return to your regular eating patterns during the four weeks between the caloric holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas. While it may be hard to avoid the pies, cookies and other seasonal treats, you must remember that having sugary or greasy treats each day during is what leads to winter weight gain that many people complain about.

Although you cannot go back in time and turn down that second helping of grandma’s famous dressing, there are things that you can do today in order to reduce the belly bloat from your Thanksgiving meal.

1) Flush the bloat with water

Although it may sound counterintuitive, upping your water intake will help decrease bloating. One reason our bodies experience bloating is due to excess salt. The salt acts like a sponge by drawing in water and holding on to it. This leads to excess water in bodies, especially that gathers in the stomach area. This can make fitting into your regular jeans uncomfortable. When you drink more water, you are able flush out extra salt through the excretory system (urine, sweat, etc.) and decrease bloating.

2)Limit Salt Intake

The Center for Disease Control recommends 1,500 mg of sodium a day in a healthy diet. However, a traditional Thanksgiving meal with dishes such as gravy, stuffing and ham can easily add up to 2,500 to 3,000 mg of sodium.

Not only is this a seriously unhealthy level of sodium, but also, as mentioned previously, excessive salt is what leads to bloating. The days following Thanksgiving, watch your salt intake. Aim for a little less that the daily recommendation in order to let your body recover and stabilize.


Making your body sweat provides numerous benefits after a day of seemingly limitless eating. A hot session at the gym or a cold jog around the block is going to jump start your metabolism. Not only does a workout after dinner begin the burning of calories and fat from your Thanksgiving meal, but it also keeps you on track of fitness goal and provides natural energy (even after all that turkey).

Sweat is also another key to shedding excess the salt from your body that leads to bloating. If your skin is still feeling greasy from the deep fried turkey or buttery biscuits, then some time in a steamy sauna after your workout will help to draw the excess oil from your pores.

Indulgence on a holiday is bound to happen, but sweat pants and oversized hoodies do not have to be the main part of your wardrobe after Thanksgiving. You can control the damage of a high calorie meal with an increase of water and a decrease of salt. Along with the continuation of your exercise routine, one day of feasting will be a welcomed treat instead of the destruction of you healthy lifestyle.