Although it is not a real medical term, nor is it in anyway similar to actually being in a comatose state, the word "food coma" tends to get thrown around a lot, especially during Thanksgiving. The holiday is that special time of the year where the majority of people let go of their inhibitions for a night of sheer gluttony. After consuming mass quantities of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie and all the other delicious delicacies of a Thanksgiving Day feast, it's no mystery as to why people just plop on the couch and pass out. However, there are ways to avoid the Thanksgiving Day food coma, if you're up to it. Here are 10 tips you can try:
A good way to help you digest all that great food without falling into a deep slumber is to head out for a walk around the block. Take friends and family with you and make it a group activity. Any physical activity is good for controlling blood sugar levels after a meal.
Get the group in on some lively board games, or group games to keep everyone's energy levels up. Try playing trivia games, or games that challenge your mind to keep your brain stimulated. Choose a game that is lively and upbeat to keep everyone's spirits up and try to avoid games where everyone is seated for long periods of time.
Instead of leaving the dishes for Mom and Dad, or your dinner hosts, volunteer to help with the clean-up. Your hosts will surely appreciate the kind gesture, and you'll be doing something active to avoid crashing from all that food. If you're the one hosting Thanksgiving dinner, suggest that everyone clean and wash their own plates to keep your guests from passing out on the couch or in a guest room.
Thanksgiving Day is known, not just for food, but also for football. Since people love their food and football, why not suggest a quick game of touch-football, or just go in the backyard to throw around the pigskin after dinner? If not football, then consider playing something else that you and your guests can agree upon. The night air and a little physical activity should be enough to keep everyone from falling asleep.
If you are hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year, why not start your dinner time a little earlier. People are more likely to crash after a big meal when the sun goes down and the lights grow dim, so open up the blinds, flip on those light switches and start your Thanksgiving feast before it gets too late. This will also make planning an outdoor activity a little easier if there is still light outside when Thanksgiving dinner is over.
In case a walk around the block sounds too boring, and nobody is interested in playing sports after Thanksgiving dinner, then set up a scavenger hunt for you and your guests. You can set up an indoor or outdoor scavenger hunt depending on available space and time. Also, make sure to set up prizes to motivate your guests to get them really excited for the post-meal festivities.
Sometimes, a Thanksgiving Day food fest is not the culprit of a post-meal snooze. During Thanksgiving, people tend to celebrate a little too heavily with more beer, wine and alcohol than they are used to consuming. If this is the case, go easy on the booze if you want to avoid passing out right after you're finished eating.
Mashed potatoes, stuffing, cornbread and pie are just a few of the carb-heavy foods that most people are used to having on Thanksgiving. Having too many carbs can leave you feeling sluggish and groggy, so go for the veggies and lean protein on the table instead to avoid a food coma.
There is the possibility that your Thanksgiving Day food coma wasn't caused by the food. If you were up earlier than usual preparing for the day's festivities, your body just might be exhausted, especially if you were up early preparing the turkey. To avoid crashing after dinner, try to take a quick power nap beforehand so you feel refreshed and energized.
Overeating is probably the main culprit for most people's Thanksgiving Day food coma. It's practically a common tradition to eat more than twice the amount you're used to on during Thanksgiving. With all that food in your system, your body is working extra hard to digest rather than fueling you with the energy you need to stay awake. If you really want to avoid a Thanksgiving Day food coma, the best thing you can do is just eat like a normal person with healthy portions rather than overindulging on turkey and other Thanksgiving dishes.