We’ve all done it – eat ourselves into oblivion during holiday dinners. How could you not with a plethora of side dishes, turkey, ham, desserts – minus that Jell-O mold that Grandma made – the list of foods goes on! But what causes that feeling of exhaustion that overcomes us after we devour a large meal?
One would scientifically think that after eating a big meal full of calories that we would have a burst of energy because calories=energy, but that’s simply not the case. Although we tend to blame the exhaustion on tryptophan from the Turkey, the real culprit of food comas comes down to one thing: digesting carbs.
Did you know that consuming a large amount of carbohydrates can cause drowsiness? Here’s a quick science lesson: After eating a full meal that’s rich in carbs, our bodies produce insulin, the hormone that helps your body absorb sugar. To balance your sugar levels, your body produces glucagon. This process can send your body into overdrive, causing that food coma. The average person tends to overeat during the holiday season, filling up on pumpkin pies, sweet potato casseroles and other foods high in sugar, causing your body to work even harder to stabilize those sugars.
Now that you know what causes that drowsy feeling after holiday meals, here are some tips to avoid that feeling:
- Try eating less carbs
- Opt for more veggies versus a heaping piece of pie
- Avoid eating another helping of food before bed
- Avoid a large amount of alcohol
Of course, it is the holidays so if you want that extra piece of pie, go for it – we won’t judge!
All of us at Beautyrest Sleep Gallery wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and happy holidays!