A healthier way to eat on Thanksgiving day that will avoid the post-meal coma.
Thanksgiving; friends, family, turkey, stuffing and tons of heavy stuff that leaves us passing out on the couch after the meal. This is the traditional post-meal coma.
Most of us have experienced this, and most of us overeat during the holiday meal.
The Miami Herald offers some great advice on how to eat, what to avoid and how to avoid that post-meal malaise.
Avoiding a food coma after the Thanksgiving meal
BY SHEAH RARBACK
The season for postprandial somnolence, or as it is more commonly known, food coma, is upon us.
Food coma is that feeling after a huge meal of not being able to keep your eyes open and barely having the strength to slowly walk over to the couch and pretend you are watching football. The stimulation of a Thanksgiving table covered with luscious food often leads to overeating. Don’t blame the tryptophan in the turkey for a food coma. The condition is caused by overeating everything else on the table, particularly the carbohydrate-rich stuffing, potatoes, and rolls. Turkey has no more tryptophan than chicken, fish eggs and other protein foods.
After a big meal the parasympathetic nervous system, which controls digestion, kicks into rest and digest. Your GI tract is on hyper-drive, which can lead to lethargy. In addition, the release of the hormone cholecystokinin (CCK), which leads to fullness after eating, also activates the area of the brain associated with sleep. Overeating releases more CCK.
It is possible to enjoy holiday meals and avoid food coma. Start with your clothing. Wear something with a waistband that will provide a gentle physical reminder of fullness. Will you want to be the person at the table loosening the pant button to fit in a few more bites? Don’t fast all day in anticipation of a big meal. Extreme hunger leads to overeating.