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Surviving Christmas on the Low FODMAP Diet

This time of year is full on! Juggling in-laws, shared lunches, Christmas shopping, social events… and that’s before adding the low FODMAP diet into the mix! We thought we’d make your life a little easier. Read on for our go-to guide to surviving Christmas on the low FODMAP diet. 


1. Know the menu and be prepared

If you’re going out to a restaurant, look at the menu online beforehand. You may even like to call the restaurant to let them know about your FODMAP dietary requirements. They’ll appreciate knowing in advance, and may be able to prepare something for you. If you’re going to an event that’s catered for, avoid turning up hungry. We recommend eating a small low FODMAP meal prior. At the event, stick to plain meats such as ham or roast chicken, potatoes and low FODMAP vegetables. We also recommend ensuring all of your other meals that day are low FODMAP to reduce FODMAP stacking. 


2. Choose your drinks wisely 

Alcohol is a stimulant and will only worsen your IBS symptoms. Many alcoholic drinks are also high in FODMAPs, and bubbles are just a recipe for bloating. If you’re not wanting to avoid alcohol altogether then we recommend opting for some lower FODMAP options. These include white or red wine, beer or spirits such as vodka and gin. Just be sure to watch the FODMAPs in the mixers, alternate your alcohol with glasses of water and drink in moderation. For further information on low FODMAP alcohol options, check out our blog post ‘What Alcohol Can I drink on the Low FODMAP Diet?’


3. Take time for you

The brain and the gut are connected via the Vagus Nerve. So stress you feel in the brain, is always reciprocated by the gut. Therefore, running yourself into the ground will only result in an IBS flare up. Although a spa day is likely out of the question, try little pockets of self care weaved into your day.

Try some of these ideas: 

  • Eat lunch outside rather than at your desk
  • Play some relaxing music whilst you cook dinner
  • Do 10 minutes of yoga or deep breathing before you start your day
  • Wake up to watch the sunrise


4. Comfort is key

There’s nothing worse than wearing a tight dress and feeling 6 months pregnant… trust me, we’ve been there! Wear clothes that make you feel confident and comfortable. This will help to put you at ease and you’ll enjoy yourself so much more! 


5. Don’t leave things to the last minute 

With challenging dietary requirements, it’s important that you plan your meals and snacks in advance. Last minute decisions whilst hungry, often leads to irrational food decisions and can cause you more stress than needed. Planning low FODMAP snacks and meals in advance, means you’ll have options that are both satisfying and won’t leave you in pain. 

Published: 2nd December 2022

Author: Bianca Berton-Scarlet & Kelsey Paterson, Monash FODMAP trained Dietitians

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