It happens every year… Thanksgiving comes, there is more food than you know what to do with, and the next thing you know everyone is asleep on the couch. A “food coma” is never fun, even though all of that food tastes so amazing A food coma is actually a real thing, also know as “post-prandial somnolence.” What this means is that your blood sugar is elevated (much, much higher than normal) from a large, carbohydrate-rich meal. You begin to feel sleepy because your body is using blood and energy to aid in digestion, rather than normal functions. Here are some tips to avoid the dreaded food coma this year and keep your waistline where you want it:
- Go for a walk after eating to help you digest and keep blood sugar levels in check.
- Have a game to play after dinner, preferably one that does not require sitting for long periods of time.
- Eat earlier, so you aren’t also tired because it is late at night.
- Alcohol adds a lot of calories, makes you tired, and can lead to overeating. Just drinking a little less can make a world of difference!
- Eat fewer carbs. Stick to the turkey, salad, veggies, fruit, and other dishes that are not overly starchy or sugary (which make you feel sluggish!).
- Don’t overeat. Just because it is Thanksgiving doesn’t mean you need to stuff yourself. Take small portions of the dishes you really love, then wait about 15 minutes before going back for seconds. It takes a while for your brain to recognize that you are full, so if you slow down and wait, chances are you will rethink the second helpings.
Use these tips and enjoy Thanksgiving—remember that it’s not just about the food, but the people you are with and the time you spend with them!