by Lisa Breitenwischer, CHHC
Food Coma or medically known as postprandial somnolence, occurs after consuming a large meal that triggers activity in the parasympathetic nervous system, that sends a signal to your body to “rest and digest”. The average American consumes up to 3,500 calories in a single meal during Thanksgiving, so it’s quite common for many to experience this “food coma” effect.
How to counter-balance this effect and fight off the food coma?
- Chew slower and more mindfully to aid the body in the digestive process.
- Lay on your left side after consuming a large meal to help the stomach do its duties.
- Sip on ginger tea or lemon water 20-30 minutes after the meal.
- Get active! Physical activity is directly related to good digestion.
- Eat lighter the next meal or next day to help the liver clear out the extra glucose.
Bottom line: These tips are good any time you eat, just remember the more food you consume at a meal, the more the parasympathetic nervous system fires up, causing your body to focus the bulk of it’s energy on digestion. It’s also why the body gets chilly after eating, as the blood flows more towards the core of your body and less to your extremities.