How to Recover From Your Thanksgiving Food Coma Slideshow
November 22, 2016
Walk around, drink some water, and — whatever you do — avoid napping
You don’t need to put in an extra two hours on the treadmill just because you overdid it on Thanksgiving, but after eating a big meal, it’s helpful to move around and be active. Twenty to 30 minutes of cardio such as walking, jogging, dancing, or maybe even a little pick-up football can help deliver oxygen to your digestive tract, which can aid in moving things along.
Drink Lots of Water
Feeling bloated after a big meal is a result of a combination of swallowed air and gas produced by bacteria after breaking down food during digestion. Drinking water can help reduce the bloating and facilitate the digestion process. Water can also be an especially powerful tool in alleviating any holiday hangover.
Get Back on a Normal Eating Routine
After eating to excess the night before, it’s tempting to avoid food altogether the next day, but skipping meals will just lead to overeating later on. If you’re reluctant to sit down to a full meal, try incorporating some snacks into your post-feast eating regimen. A cup of Greek yogurt, a granola bar, and some trail mix can get your diet back on track.
Your digestive system has just been traumatized by an endless supply of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and gravy, so go easy on it the day after. Steer clear of coffee, carbonated beverages, and acidic foods that can disrupt your stomach and lead to a day of heartburn and acid reflux. Try to stick with alkaline foods like avocados, nuts, fish, and legumes.
Sleep — Eventually
Once dessert is over, it’s tempting to kick off the shoes and lie down on the couch, but napping immediately after a big meal will likely lead to heartburn and acid reflux. When the valve between the stomach and esophagus doesn’t close completely, stomach acid can slosh into the throat, which causes the signature burning sensation. Therefore, it’s best to be disciplined and avoid the post-Thanksgiving rest, and hold out until the nighttime for a full night’s sleep. A University of Colorado study showed that subjects who slept at least nine hours were more likely to show better “food restraint” the next day than those who only got five hours of sleep.