People often use the phrase “food coma” to describe how they feel after a big meal, but it fits best after a few heavy plates of Thanksgiving food and a few desserts for good measure.
By late November, the stress of the whole year has usually built up to the point where people are ready to let loose for a holiday that is all about food. The obvious problem with taking in all that flavor is that it can leave your stomach in a scary state. This is a lesson I learn and forget every year.
Most people talk a big game about their Thanksgiving plans, but few play the long game to make sure they don’t spend the rest of the holiday weekend sleeping and feeling sick. With the right attitude and a few good tips, you can make the discomfort of overeating less noticeable.
It’s tempting to think that going into the once-a-year feast of Thanksgiving on an empty stomach is the best way to get the most out of it, but this might be asking for trouble. Before big meals, it’s a good idea to drink a lot of water.
This will stop your body from taking fluid from other parts of your body, which would leave you dehydrated and tired. Water will also give you a sense of fullness, which will keep your eyes from getting bigger than your stomach.
Try to stay away from diet sodas, which can make you feel bloated, and don’t drink too much alcohol, which can make you eat too much, feel sick, and have trouble going to the bathroom after a big meal.
Eat a Balanced Diet for the Next Few Days
It’s hard not to eat a big meal on Thanksgiving, since that’s part of the holiday, but having a variety of healthy foods in reasonable amounts for the rest of the long weekend will help a lot.
Foods that are easy to break down, like eggs, toast, bananas, chicken, and applesauce, can help the body get back to its natural rhythms. After a big Thanksgiving meal, baked, broiled, and grilled foods will also be better than fried foods.
By putting these tips into your Thanksgiving meal plan, you may be able to avoid the most uncomfortable things that can happen when you enjoy the holiday.
Take a Walk, Sleep on Your Left Side and Delay the Next Meal
Even though the couch might be calling your name after a big meal, it’s better to take a short walk or try to stay on your feet for a while. Gravity can help stop acid reflux when you stand up, and walking can help with the first stages of digestion.
When it’s time to go to bed, sleeping on your left side is a good idea. Gastric juices like pepsin and hydrochloric acid can’t get into the esophagus because of the way the stomach is built. When you sleep on your back, these juices can pool in your stomach and make it easier for them to get to your esophagus, which can make your heartburn worse.
Even though Thanksgiving leftovers are a big part of the holiday, you might want to pass on some of them if you are offered them. At the very least, you might want to wait 15 hours before eating your first meal after a Thanksgiving meal. This can help the digestive process in a number of ways, can ease stomach pain, and may help make up for the extra calories you ate the night before.
Peppermint and Ginger Will Help Settle Your Stomach
It’s hard to get over the feeling of having eaten too much, but a few natural remedies can help the body get better. Peppermint oil, which comes in capsule form, can help reduce bloating and pain. If heartburn is the main problem, it may make it worse, but once that goes away, peppermint oil will help with other problems, like nausea.
Ginger candies, capsules, and tea can also help with nausea after a big meal. This is because ginger is an anti-inflammatory spice that helps digestion. It also makes hormones that control blood pressure come out, which calms down the body.
Slowly and Mindfully Chew Your Food
There’s no prize for eating until you’re too full at Thanksgiving. Too much enthusiasm can cause a lot of pain and take away from the initial happiness of the mix of flavors. Mindful eating emphasizes how important it is to be present while eating and to pay attention to how your body feels and what you think about food before, during, and after meals.
When you pay attention to how food affects all of your senses and think about the occasion, it becomes easier to move at a healthy pace and be picky about how much you eat. It also makes choosing which foods to eat more deliberate, so you can enjoy the meal as a whole more.
Taking smaller bites and chewing food well before swallowing is also a good idea. If you don’t chew your food well enough, it takes longer to break down and stretches out your stomach, which can make you feel sick and give you indigestion.
When you slow down and pay attention to each bite, your body has more time to notice when it’s full. This helps you make better decisions about when to stop eating or leave room for more later.