We’ve all been there. You’ve just chowed down on your favorite feast-worthy meal. You know you should have stopped minutes ago, and now you’re suffering from what is colloquially called a “food baby.” You’re stomach has expanded, pants buttons popped, and soon you’ll be feeling cramps painful enough to make you cringe.
According to Shape, when empty, the stomach holds as little as a shot glass. As you eat, the stomach expands. You typically feel full after 1 to 1.5 liters. However, the stomach has the capability to expand to a massive 4 liters. That’s more than a gallon! When you tip past those first 1.5 liters, the bloating and cramping begins, as do other symptoms like gas and hiccuping.
If you overeat regularly, your stomach muscles will stretch out and eventually stop shrinking back to their normal size. This is how weight gain occurs. So while it is okay to use the below tips to make your food baby disappear when you over-indulge, try to stick to appropriately-portioned, nutritious meals to prevent obesity and other health complications.
1. Breath into the cramp. Who better to take advice from than cannoli eating competition winner Yasir Salem? He told Shape to imagine breathing into the stomach cramp for one full minute in order to release the muscles.
2. Burp. It may not be ladylike, but it’s sure to make you feel better. Yasir Salem explained to Shape, burping works because it expels gas swallowed while eating and drinking. When you burp, you release air and bring more space into your overloaded stomach.
3. Pineapple juice. If your food baby is still with you when you wake up the next morning, author of The Bloat Cure Robyn Chutkan, MD suggests, in an article on Health.com, to drink a fiber-rich juice or smoothie with papaya or pineapple to aid digestion.
4. Fennel tea. A piping hot cup of fennel tea can deflate your bloated stomach, says Health.com. If you’re experiencing stomach cramps, try ginger, peppermint, or chamomile tea. You can also chew on fennel seeds, as recommended by Mind Body Green.
5. Caraway seeds. Everyday Roots recommends chewing on caraway seeds or nibbling caraway crackers to release gas and puncture your food baby. The home remedy can be trusted, as it has survived since the Middle Ages.
6. Cumin, coriander and fennel seed tea. In an article for Huffington Post, acupuncturist Brodie Welch recommends drinking a tea made from 1 teaspoon each of whole cumin, coriander, and fennel seeds. Each of these seeds has been used for centuries in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine to aid digestion and decrease gas and bloating.
7. Seated cat cow. Yoga is a fantastic remedy for a food baby because the gentle poses can activate the stomach muscles and encourage the digestive tract to work properly once again. Sonima recommends seated cat cow, in which you sit with legs crossed and a straight back. Inhaling, push the belly and chest forward and your shoulders back. As you exhale, contract your belly backwards while pushing your shoulders forward. Repeat several times, following your breath.
8. Acupressure. Massage the Triple Heater 6 acupressure point, located on the back of the wrist, three inches above the inch crease. Co-owner of Toronto Community Acupuncture Naomi Frank tells Huffington Post, “This point can almost instantly reduce bloating.” For best results, apply pressure for 1- 2 minutes on the right and then the left hand. Repeat, alternative hands, until you feel relief.
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