How To Avoid A Post-Thanksgiving Food Coma

How To Avoid A Post-Thanksgiving Food Coma

Thanksgiving comes but once a year and most people use it as an excuse to eat themselves into a food coma. For many people, especially as they get older, the unpleasant food coma that results from overeating is not a pleasant experience. You don’t want to barely “survive” the holiday; rather, you want it to be an enjoyable time that doesn’t leave you in digestive discomfort or serious pain. 

Is Thanksgiving a food-focused holiday? Yes, but that doesn’t mean your nutrition has to go out the window. You can enjoy your food without completely abandoning your health goals. That doesn’t mean that you have to eat leaves all day, just in case you were wondering. You can eat for pleasure, as you should. Approaching Thanksgiving, or any big food holiday, in this way can help you develop a healthy relationship with food. This practice keeps your overall health and weight in check. Here are some tips to keep in mind as you prepare to attend or host the Thanksgiving feast.

No Such Thing As Saving Room

There is no sense in avoiding food before the big meal. The plan to “save room” always backfires because you are so hungry by the time food is ready that you eat everything in sight. Additionally, failure to eat all day can cause your blood sugar to dip and make you moody or aggravated. The best approach to enjoy your Thanksgiving meal without hating yourself is to eat a balanced breakfast and a light lunch, depending on when you serve your meal. Before you head out to the giant table of food, consider having a light snack, such as carrots and hummus. This helps stabilize your blood sugar, so you’ll be less likely to have cravings and overeat. 

Try A New Healthy Recipe

Don’t worry, folks, the glistening turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and gravy aren’t going anywhere. Perhaps, though, it’s time to invite a new dish to the big feast. There is nothing wrong with enjoying the classic, and the same sentiment applies for adding more nutrients to the holiday meal. Consider some food swaps for healthier takes on classic recipes. Instead of loading up your potatoes with butter and cream, try mixing in some Greek yogurt and broth. Consider adding a large salad, sautéed green beans with onion and garlic, or fresh, homemade cranberry sauce to your feast. Lighter options can help balance the heavier, carbohydrate-rich dishes. 

There Should Be An “Off Limits” Section

It’s hard to avoid an encounter with a classic Thanksgiving dessert over the holiday weekend. As unfortunate as it is, Thanksgiving desserts are some of the most calorically dense, sugar-laden, and fattening dishes on the menu. In fact, pecan pie is probably the unhealthiest dish you can eat during the holidays. Give your body a break and stay away from the dessert area. There are so many real food options, so there’s no need to push your body to the breaking point just because something looks interesting. 

Always Go For The Homemade Dishes

First of all, should you continue to invite or even talk to people who bring store bought dishes or foods to your holiday feast? We’ll leave that decision up to you. What we do know is that you should focus your eating efforts on homemade dishes. The reason for this is because store bought foods contain processed ingredients, damaged fats, refined sugars and flours, and artificial colors and flavors. When you stick with homemade food options, you know exactly what went into them, especially if you try healthier food swaps. 

Savor Slowly

For some reason, the goal of Thanksgiving is to cram as much food into your body as quickly as you can. This never ends well, but you don’t have to go down that road this year. Eat slowly and savor the food you put on your plate. Put your fork down between bites and make sure to chew your food thoroughly, as this helps with digestion. Experts say that you should feel satiated after one plate of food. Try your best to eat dishes with vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lots of fiber, as these will help you feel full, but in a comfortable way. 

It’s Okay To Say “No Thank You”

Bakers seem to come out of the woodwork during the holidays. All of a sudden, neighbors and friends bring you cookie platters, cakes, breads, and more. People show love through food, but you can respectfully refuse the offer. If you have regular sweet deliveries from people you know, you can reach out to them ahead of time and communicate that you are working hard to avoid sweets these days. Compliment their baking skills and say that someone else would love to try their famous pie or shortbread. It is what’s best for your body, but if you do end up eating sweets, don’t shame yourself for it. A little indulgence is perfectly acceptable!

2022-11-16T04:08:55-07:00

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