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How to avoid Thanksgiving food coma



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This story is part of the Holiday Survival Guide 201

9 with tips on the best ways to manage your vacation.

We've all been there – you just ate the biggest Thanksgiving meal of your life, and now you're in a food coma that can't move from the couch. This situation, called postprandial somnolence if you want to impress the in-laws, is extremely common and completely avoidable.

It is possible to have a big thank you with all the food you love and not feel like a truck drove you afterwards. You simply have to determine what is causing your drowsiness and avoid the perpetrators. Let's go into five reasons why you can't stay awake after Thanksgiving dinner and what to do about it.

first Get Easy Carbohydrates

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Adding turkey and vegetables is never a bad idea – protein and fiber help keep you full.


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You may have heard of tryptophan, an amino acid that probably makes us sleepy. It is located in Turkey and has a long sign for the food coming after Thanksgiving, but this link is more complicated than it seems. It turns out that you can't really eat enough turkey to experience drowsiness from tryptophan, but its effect is multiplied when your insulin is higher. This means that foods with a high glycemic index – such as potatoes, fillings and sugar desserts – are really the culprit. If you only eat turkey by yourself, you will not encounter any problems.

To combat this effect, stick to eating turkeys, vegetables and carbohydrates with a low glycemic index, like whole wheat bread instead of white, sweet potato instead of plain, and a brown rice dish instead of filling. In addition, aged cheeses such as Swiss and Cheddar contain tyramine, a stimulant, so you now have permission to replenish all the sourdough bread and Brie you can handle.

2nd Easy on the alcohol too

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Try to slow your drinking rate to a crawl.


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The holiday season is often a beautiful time. When Aunt Margaret starts talking politics, who can blame you for knocking back an extra glass of wine? But alcohol has a strong sedative effect. If you make more than one or two trips to the liquor cabinet, it will make you even more boring after dinner. Weekend stress can also make it difficult to fall asleep at night, but does not try to use alcohol as a sleep aid. While it may help you to drift off from the start, you will get poor quality sleep throughout the night.

If you are planning to enjoy a drink or two with your holiday meal, try slowly sliding and alternating portions of alcohol with at least one high glass of water in between. It slows down your pace, and water is one of best energy drinks . In addition, the extra hydration will help with your headache the next day if you happen to overindulge.

3rd Do not overdo

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All these delicious desserts are sometimes too hard to resist.


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Maybe you tried to avoid pecan pie and stuffing, but it still happened. You overpower, and now you can't keep your eyes open.

There is a persistent myth that blood is diverted from your brain to the gut after overeating, but that is actually not true. Instead, our intestinal hormones are much smarter than we are, secreting hormones like melatonin and orexin to consciously make us sleepy after eating a big meal. Our gut also plays a role in activating our vagus nerve, putting us in a state of "rest and melt" as opposed to "escape or fight" mode. Your body does this to protect you – it wants to calmly digest food instead of sitting in your gut when you spend energy in an adrenaline-fueled state.

The key to fixing this is simply not eating too much. I know, easier said than done, but there are strategies to help. Try to drink two large glasses of water just before the meal, eat slowly or put the fork down between the pieces. You can also first fill up vegetable-based dishes and get small portions of your first pass through the buffet so you can taste everything without filling yourself.

Here are some more strategies for to eat healthy during the holidays .

4th Fighting the stress of traveling and extended family time

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Traveling during the holidays is stressful and exhausting.


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Last year, over 50 million Americans traveled for Thanksgiving. Celebrating holidays from home is stressful – there is bad weather, sleeping in an unknown bed and not having all the creatures away from home. In addition, being close to family members, especially those who may be tied to unpleasant childhood memories, even for the best of us. All this stresses up and once you have had a few drinks and a plate of food for many you have suddenly entered an inevitable food coma.

A tool that you can always pull out of your back pocket when encountering travel and family stress is the power to say no. No, Uncle Steve, I don't drive four hours from the nearest airport to your secluded cabin for Thanksgiving dinner. No, I can't go to three parties in one night. No, I'd rather not stay with my older cousins ​​who tormented me – I'll book an AirBnB.

Other proven and true tactics for managing stress and anxiety are spending time in nature meditation exercise and getting enough sleep . If you load up all the soothing vibes before the big meal, you can handle your stress well enough so that it doesn't take a big toll of thanksgiving afternoon.

5th Move the body after the meal

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A quiet walk after a big meal helps with digestion.


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Grandma is in a wheelchair, the football game is on and it's snowing. During the holiday season there are a million excuses to sit on our shafts and neglect all physical activity. But everything that sits around can actually make you even more tired.

Instead, when you're ready to eat, try to avoid melting on the couch. Take your niece outside for a catch game, force your parents to take a quick walk after dinner or even offer you the dishes – all to rise and to move . Even a little very light exercise will increase your energy, and a walk after a meal will help you digest and smooth out blood sugar levels and dips that you might otherwise experience.


The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified healthcare provider about any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objective.


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