Thanksgiving, a time for gratitude and grand feasts, can sometimes lead us into the aftermath of overindulgence. But fear not! With the right approach, you can rediscover the joy of the holiday without the gut woes. 

This guide will dive into the post-Thanksgiving gut health reset, focusing on natural and simple ways to detox.

Digestive System and Post-Thanksgiving Issues

Thanksgiving is a time of joy and feasting, but it often leaves our digestive system grappling with the aftermath. The indulgent spread, from sweet potato casserole to cranberry sauce, can lead to bloating and discomfort. 

Overeating, especially meals high in sugar like pumpkin pie, can disrupt our blood sugar levels, leading to sluggishness. Additionally, carb-heavy dishes like stuffing and potatoes can slow down digestive processes, causing that all-too-familiar bloated feeling. 

Combine that with the high salt and fat content of many Thanksgiving dishes that we all love to eat, and it’s clear why our body might be pleading for a detoxing session.

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Why Do You Feel So Bloated and Constipated?

Indulging in a Thanksgiving feast is a cherished tradition, but the after-effects on our bodies often leave us feeling less than thankful. 

Excessive salt, sugar, and fats play a significant role in this discomfort. Consuming too much salt can cause the body to retain water, leading to a bloated feeling. 

Then there are sugary delights like pumpkin pie which can draw more water into the intestines, exacerbating the bloating. 

On the other hand, rich, fatty dishes, such as the beloved sweet potato casserole or luscious gravy, slow down the digestive system. This can cause food to linger in the stomach and intestines for longer, leading to constipation

All these factors combined can drastically affect our gut health, leaving us searching for ways to detox and restore balance.

How Overeating Affects Gut Motility and Digestion?

People are helping themselves to a variety of foods at a big thanksgiving table

Overindulging at Thanksgiving can lead to a “food hangover,” indicating an overwhelmed gut. This overeating hampers gut motility, causing bloating, gas, and constipation. 

A sudden shift to the richness of Thanksgiving dishes means our stomach may not produce enough enzymes for proper gut function. High sugar levels in dishes like pumpkin pie and sweet potato casserole cause fermentation in the gut, leading to further discomfort. Additionally, fatty meals prolong the feeling of fullness. 

The aftermath? A disrupted digestive balance and the quest for post-dinner recovery.

Tips For Post-Thanksgiving Detox

A detox isn’t about buying expensive supplements or restrictive juice cleanses. It’s about returning to basics and allowing your body to recover and heal naturally. Let’s delve into natural ways to support the body and foster a swift recovery from indulgence.

Clean eating

Transitioning back is pivotal in aiding the body’s detoxing process. Focus on whole foods that provide proper nutrition and encourage the gut to function optimally:

  • Leafy greens such as spinach, kale, and Swiss chard are packed with nutrients and chlorophyll, aiding in cleansing the body. Their fiber content also helps in waste elimination.
  • Beets and carrots boost liver function, the body’s primary detox organ. They are rich in antioxidants that help neutralize toxins and prevent oxidative stress.
  • Opt for healthy fats like avocados, coconut oil, and olive oil. These can help in restoring balance to the body, promoting cell repair, and reducing inflammation.


Hydration plays an indispensable role in flushing out toxins and supporting the digestive function. It’s crucial to drink lots after Thanksgiving.

  • Lemon water, when consumed in the morning, acts as a gentle detoxifier. It aids in alkalizing the body and kickstarting the liver into its detox mode.
  • Bone broth is nourishing and healing for the gut. Rich in collagen and minerals, it can help in repairing the gut lining and reducing inflammation.


Including fiber in your post-holiday diet helps in clearing waste from the body and supporting a healthy gut.

  • Whole grains like quinoa, barley, and oats can be beneficial. These grains provide essential nutrients and bulk to aid in waste elimination.
  • Legumes and seeds, such as lentils, chickpeas, and chia seeds, are excellent sources of both soluble and insoluble fiber. This dual action supports optimal gut health and ensures regular bowel movements.
  • Don’t forget to include products like ColonBroom in this phase. Its specific fiber formulation aids in fostering a healthy gut environment and promoting detoxification.

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Physical activity

While the urge to lounge is tempting, some gentle physical activity can do wonders for your body and gut. 

  • A simple walk after a meal can expedite digestive processes, reduce bloating, and enhance blood sugar regulation. 
  • Exercises like yoga or pilates can be helpful in stimulating the digestive function and helping alleviate any discomfort.

Thanksgiving Foods That Are Most Likely to Cause Bloating and Constipation

An image of pumpkin pie on a blue table

Let’s explore the typical Thanksgiving meals that might be responsible for that bloated, uncomfortable feeling:

  • Stuffing: A favorite side dish, stuffing is often made with bread, which contains gluten. Ingredients such as onions, celery, and apples can also lead to gas and bloating. Opting for gluten-free bread or reducing high-gas ingredients can help mitigate these effects.
  • Mashed potatoes: This creamy side meal, typically made with milk and butter, can cause discomfort for those with lactose intolerance or sensitivity to dairy. Considering alternatives like using olive oil or non-dairy milk can be beneficial.
  • Gravy: While gravy adds flavor to the meal, it’s often laden with fat and salt. Excessive salt can cause water retention, leading to a bloated feeling. Opt for homemade gravy, where you can control the salt and fat content.
  • Cranberry sauce: Many commercial cranberry sauces are high in sugar. Sugar can draw water into the intestines, causing bloating. Making cranberry sauce at home allows you to manage sugar levels better.
  • Brussels sprouts: Although a healthy vegetable, Brussels sprouts belong to the cruciferous family. This means they contain compounds that can produce gas in the gut. Limiting the portions or combining them with digestive-friendly foods might help.
  • Beans: Beans are known for causing gas and bloating due to certain carbohydrates they contain. Soaking them properly or opting for canned beans, which are often easier to digest, can reduce these effects.
  • Pies and desserts: Desserts like pumpkin or pecan pie often have high levels of sugar, dairy, and refined carbs. Overindulging can strain the digestive function, leading to discomfort. Enjoy in moderation or opt for low-sugar versions.
  • Carbonated beverages: Fizzy drinks can introduce gas into the gut, exacerbating bloating. Limiting intake or choosing still beverages can help in reducing this aftermath.

Being aware of the potential pitfalls of these dishes and moderating portions or choosing alternatives can help ensure that your celebration is memorable for all the right reasons.

Quick Tips Before the Thanksgiving Dinner Feast

An extremely cheerful girl holds two medium-sized pumpkins in her hands against a purple background

Thanksgiving is a time for indulgence, but with a little foresight, you can enjoy the feast without the digestive discomfort. Here’s how:

  • Eat smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day. This can help prevent overloading your digestive processes at dinner.
  • Chew your food thoroughly and avoid eating too quickly. This aids digestive processes and reduces the air swallowed, preventing gas and bloating.
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Hydration aids the gut’s function and helps offset the effects of salty food.
  • Limit intake of bloating meals, such as stuffing and mashed potatoes. If you do indulge, consider eating them earlier in the day.
  • Avoid carbonated beverages, as they can introduce gas into the gut, leading to bloating.

By following these simple guidelines, you can approach the table with confidence, knowing that you’ve taken steps to care for your digestive health.

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Your Post-Thanksgiving Survival Guide: Key Takeaways

After indulging during the Thanksgiving holiday, it’s natural to seek ways to rejuvenate and recalibrate your body. A Thanksgiving detox, focusing primarily on hydration and clean eating, can be immensely beneficial

Opting for water and leafy greens can aid your liver in its detoxifying process, while maintaining proper hydration with warm water aids the digestive function and helps flush out toxins. It’s equally crucial to incorporate a balance of healthy fats, protein, and vegetables to rebuild and nourish

To top it off, even a gentle walk after a Thanksgiving dinner can assist in digestion and reduce stress. By being mindful of dishes known to cause discomfort, and intertwining these actionable steps, one can fully relish the Thanksgiving feast without compromising on gut health and overall well-being.

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