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How do I avoid the Thanksgiving coma?



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This story is part of Holiday Survival Guide 201

9 and contains tips for optimizing the holiday season.

We were all there – you just had the biggest Thanksgiving meal in your life, and now you're in a coma eating and can not touch the couch anymore. This situation, known as postprandial drowsiness, if you want to impress the in-laws, is extremely common and completely preventable.

It's possible to have a great Thanksgiving holiday with all the foods you love and not feel like you're run over by a truck. All you have to do is find out what causes your drowsiness and stay away from the perpetrators. Let's just give you five reasons why you can not stay awake after Thanksgiving dinner and what you can do about it.

. 1 Protect the carbohydrates

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


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You may have heard of tryptophan, an amino acid that supposedly makes us sleepy. It occurs in Turkey and has long been blamed for the Thanksgiving dinner coma, but this connection is more complicated than it seems. It turns out that you can not really eat enough turkey to get tryptophan, but the effect multiplies when your insulin is higher. This means that foods with a high glycemic index – such as potatoes, stuffing and sugary desserts – are really the culprits. If you only eat turkey, you will not have any problems.

To counteract this effect, you should continue to eat turkey, vegetables, and carbohydrates with a low glycemic index, such as wholegrain bread instead of white, sweet potatoes instead of plain, and a brown rice dish instead of filling. In addition, ripened cheeses such as Swiss and Cheddar Tyramine contain a stimulant, so you now have permission to load all the sourdough bread and brie you can process.

. 2 Also save the alcohol -1007329904.jpg “/>

Try to slow the pace of drinking to a crawl.


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The holiday season is often a dripping time. When Aunt Margaret starts talking politics, who can blame you for rejecting an extra glass of wine? However, alcohol has a strong calming effect. If you go to the liquor cabinet more than once or twice, you will become even sleepier after dinner. The stress of the holidays can also make it difficult to fall asleep at night, but do not try to use alcohol as a sleep aid. While it may help you get drifting the first time, you suffer from poor sleep quality throughout the night.

If you plan to enjoy a drink or two for your holiday dinner, try to slip off alcohol slowly and in turns with at least one tall glass of water in between. It will slow down your pace and water is one of the best energy drinks out there. In addition, the extra hydration helps with headaches the next day, if you drink too much.

. 3 Do not overeat

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All these delicious desserts are sometimes too hard to resist.


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Maybe you tried to avoid the pecan pie and the stuffing, but it still happened. You exaggerate, and now you can not keep your eyes open.

There is a widespread myth that after overeating blood is being channeled from your brain into your gut, but that's actually not true. Instead, our gut hormones are much smarter than us and excrete hormones like melatonin and orexin to purposely make us sleepy after a big meal. Our gut also plays a role in activating our vagus nerve, placing us in a state of "rest and digestion" as opposed to the "escape or fight" mode. Your body does this to protect you – it wants to digest food quietly rather than having it in your gut while you consume energy in an adrenaline-fueled state.

The key to fixing is simple, not too much food. I know, easier said than done, but there are strategies to help. Drink two large glasses of water just before eating, eat slowly, or place your fork between the bites. You can also fill up with vegetable-based dishes first and then get small portions when you first pass through the buffet so you can try everything without filling up.

Here are some more strategies for a healthy diet during the holidays .

. 4 Fight the stress of traveling and spending time with the family

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Traveling on vacation is stressful and exhausting.


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Last year, over 50 million Americans traveled to Thanksgiving . Holidays to celebrate from home is stressful – there is bad weather to sleep in an unknown bed and does not have all the comforts of home . Also, even for the best of us, being close to family members is stressful, especially when associated with unpleasant childhood memories. All this stress accumulates, and if you've eaten a few drinks and a plate too much, you suddenly find yourself in an inevitable food coma.

A tool that you can pull out again and again Back pocket, when faced with travel and family stress, is the power to say no. No, Uncle Steve, I do not drive four hours from the nearest airport to your secluded Thanksgiving dinner hut. No, I can not go to three parties in one evening. No, I prefer not to stay with my older cousins ​​who have tormented me – I am booking an AirBnB.

Other Proven Tactics for Coping with Stress and Angst Spending Time in Nature Meditating Practicing and Getting enough Sleep . If you recharge all those soothing vibes before the big meal, you can handle your stress well enough so that Thanksgiving afternoons do not take a big toll.

. 5 Move Your Body After Eating

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A walk after a big meal helps digestion.


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Granny is sitting in a wheelchair playing football game and it is snowing outside. During the holiday season, there are a million excuses to sit on our butts and neglect all physical activity. But all that sitting around can make you feel even more tired.

Instead, avoid eating in the couch after eating. Take your niece out to catch you, force your parents to take a brisk walk after dinner, or even offer to do the dishes – all to get up and needed for moving . Even a light exercise boosts your energy, and a walk after eating helps with digestion and compensates for the blood sugar spikes and burglaries that you might otherwise experience.


The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to be considered as health or medical advice. Always consult a doctor or other qualified healthcare provider if you have questions about a disease or health goals.


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