When you eat a large meal, there is about a 20-minute span between when your stomach is full and when your brain recognizes that fact. For 20 minutes, you can continue eating and not realize the feeling of fullness in your stomach. This can result in severe overeating with uncomfortable after effects. Although you cannot take back your overindulgence, a few simple remedies help reduce fullness so you feel better as soon as possible.
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Lie down and place something warm on your stomach for about 10 minutes directly following the meal. A warm water bottle or a heating pad that does not place too much pressure is best. This aids your stomach in digesting the food and often calms the initial discomfort of fullness.
Take a walk. Although a feeling of fullness creates the desire to continue lying down for hours, gentle exercise helps relax your stomach and ease discomfort. Walking also gives your metabolism a boost, encouraging your body to start using some of the food you ate. Walk slowly and do not push yourself; allow your stroll to be leisurely. Walks as short as five minutes often do the trick, but lengths upward of 20 minutes do no harm to your body.
Drink a glass of water to aid in digestion. One 8-ounce glass is plenty; drink it slowly so you do not increase the intensity of your fullness feeling. Some individuals find greater relief from drinking carbonated water, or water with 1 teaspoon of baking soda mixed in. However, no scientific research definitively supports this claim. In addition, many individuals enjoy a drop of peppermint extract in their water or opt for peppermint tea instead. The peppermint is reputed to settle a full stomach.
Engage in light stretching to relax your abdominal muscles and relieve discomfort. Reaching your hands over your head and bending back slightly from a standing position elongates your stomach. In addition, trunk twists stretch your obliques, the muscles alongside your stomach, aiding in further relief. Stretch for two to five minutes and never push your muscles to the point of pain.
Take an over-the-counter antacid medication to lessen the chance of discomfort later. One dose reduces bloating that commonly follows uncomfortable fullness. Follow the package instructions and take only as much as necessary to relieve your symptoms.
Consume fiber-rich foods such as legumes, oat bran, berries, whole grains, green vegetables, nuts and potatoes. The fiber helps regulate your digestive system, keeping things moving after overeating. Continue eating fibrous foods for about two days after the fullness feeling; if your system gets backed up, you will experience a second bout of discomfort.