Cravings Features

5 Easy Tips To Beat Your Food Coma This Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is the easiest time of the year to shamelessly add a couple of pounds to your frame, and as soon as you’re done gorging on three plates of turkey and mashed potatoes, you’re going to want nothing more than to take a nap on the couch and watch football. It never fails.

Food comas are usually caused by lots of sugar consumption, and overeating in general, so you can imagine why that’s a recipe for disaster during Thanksgiving.

We spoke with Jacob Bustos, cooking coach and author of When Food is Your Frenemy, and he gave some crucial tips on how to beat that usually inevitable food coma, AKA, The Itis.

Bustos said he doesn’t want to be “the food police,” and you should be able to enjoy every dish this Thanksgiving, but he also wants us to be aware that the average Thanksgiving meal consists of 4,500 calories, and it couldn’t hurt to be a little mindful of it.

However, if you still want to enjoy your holiday meals without feeling sleepy and useless, there are little things you can do beat that food coma:


Don’t Skip Meals Throughout the Day

It’s Thanksgiving and you’re starving yourself throughout the day so you can go apeshit on the big meal, but that’s a guaranteed one way trip to Snoozeville. Eat breakfast, eat lunch, and eat a snack before dinner. If you eat on your regular schedule instead of trying to go Hungry Hungry Hippo all at once, you’ll be in a lot better shape afterward.


Limit Your Portion Sizes

“Don’t feel like you have to deprive yourself of anything for Thanksgiving, especially since it’s the holiday that’s based around food,” Bustos said.

You can still eat everything, but if you can just cut down on the portion size of everything, maybe a little less stuffing, a little less mac & cheese, you won’t stuff yourself like crazy, feeling like Snorlax later on.


Don’t Eat The Pumpkin Pie Crust

A post shared by Debbie Vanni (@culinarycellar) on

“It’s one of my favorites (pie), probably the best part of Thanksgiving for me. I still enjoy it, but I just enjoy it without the crust.”

You may, or may not be a fan of pie crust, but Bustos suggests that getting rid of it is one of the easiest ways to cut the amount of food you eat during the night. Not to mention that it also reduces the sugar you’re taking in. You can go the extra mile and actually bake the pumpkin pie without crust, or just make life easy and eat around it.


Add Flavor To Your Food Without Adding Fat

Dear Burdy, you smell of oranges and rosemary. 🦃 🦃 #turkey#brine#thanksgiving#prep#yummy#gobblegobble#🦃#❤️

A post shared by Chef & Executive Pastry Chef (@chef_rana) on

There’s a lot of ways to do this one, but one of the examples Bustos gave revolved around the stuffing. Sure, most stuffing is made with bread crumbs, but adding cauliflower would reduce the calories immensely. Bustos also suggested using aromatics like oranges, lemon, thyme, and sage to give the turkey flavor, instead of relying on the stuffing. In lieu of buttering up the turkey, you can use olive oil as a bit of a healthier alternative.

“Layer by layer, it gives flavor without injecting (the turkey) with fat.”


Tweak Your Mashed Potatoes

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It’s not unusual to make your mashed potatoes with heavy cream, or mounds of butter, but you can get just as much flavor by using chicken stock. Chicken stock is about 10 calories, while heavy cream can easily be 200 calories by the time you get to the fourth tablespoon. No heavy cream, no heavy feeling.

Health Hit-Or-Miss Tastemade/Snapchat

6 Things You Didn’t Know About Food Comas


Postprandial somnolence doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, which is probably why you know this phenomenon as the food coma or the itis. When people eat large meals, they often feel a nap coming on, and there’s no bigger meal than Thanksgiving. That being said, let’s take a look at some of the truths and misconceptions about this little-understood phenomenon that… causes… ZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzz…


You’re Experiencing The Opposite Of Fight-or-Flight


Photo: Verbal Aikido

When you eat a lot of food, your brain switches focus from moving to resting, which is believed to cause the neurochemical switch towards restfulness. This is because your body’s priority has become digesting all that food and turning it into energy. You’re essentially feeling the opposite of the fight-or-flight survival response, where your mind releases energetic chemicals to protect you from gnarly predators.


High Glycemic Index = Low Activity


Photo: Low Glycemic Foods

Hand in hand with the shift in neurochemistry, there are certain foods that release their sugars into your bloodstream more quickly than others. This means that your body has to work super hard and divert resources to soak up all this sugar in your bloodstream. This only serves to reinforce the not-fight-and-not-flight response. These high glycemic index foods include starches (potatoes, yams, and corn), fruits (cranberry sauce) and processed grains (dinner rolls). So basically everything at your table this Thanksgiving.


You’re Not Experiencing Loss Of Blood Flow To The Brain

Photo: Huffington Post

Though extra blood flows to your stomach to help in digestion, it’s not coming from your brain or respiratory system. The extra blood comes from your muscular system (which is the same reason that you’ll get a cramp if you run or swim after eating). So the myth that sleepiness is a result of decreased blood flow in your brain is completely ridiculous and, by the way, is also not one of the things that can cause an actual coma.


Fight It With Blue Light


Photo: The Backstage Beat

While nothing can completely overcome a belly full of turkey, gravy, and pie, blue-enriched white light might give you a bit of a head start on fighting the dreaded food coma. In a 2015 study published in the journal Ergonomics, researchers found that the presence of blue lights during daylight hours actually improved alertness among workers following their meal breaks. In other words, plugging a cooler blue-white light over the Thanksgiving centerpiece might help you rally for a third round of pie.


Nap Attack


Photo: Greatist

Though the need for sleep might be overwhelming, there are serious risks associated with sleeping immediately after eating, especially with a large meal. Your food is often not metabolised the same while you’re lying down, which can lead to anything from weight gain to heartburn to acid-reflux. The worst risk, however, might be increased incidents of strokes among people who fall asleep sooner after eating. A study from the University of Ioannina Medical School in Greece showed the correlation between sleeping after eating and increased risk of stroke, though the causes remain unclear.


Don’t Blame It on the Bird


Photo: Medical Daily

The bird is the word when it comes to inducing sleepiness, according to the uninformed, because of high levels of the amino acid tryptophan. Turkey, however, contains levels of tryptophan roughly equivalent to beef or chicken. On the other hand, soybeans, sunflower seeds, and sesame seeds are extremely high in the amino acid — meaning you’d be better off avoiding sushi on Thanksgiving. But the harsh truth is that the main culprit behind your sleepiness is stuffing your face like Jabba the Hut.


Man Catches a Sick Food Coma at Golden Corral, Nearly Chokes on Food


It’s not unusual to want to knock out after stuffing your face with an unlimited amount of spare ribs and bacon-wrapped sirloin steak, but rarely do people actually fall asleep face-first onto their plate in a life-threatening manner.

According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, a couple took a little nappy-poo together at a Georgia Golden Corral. They must have been in a pretty deep sleep because the police had to be called.

It’s unclear if the couple was under the influence at the time, but Angela Denise Reece was charged with two counts of drug possession. As far as her male counterpart, who was chin-deep in a plate of food, he had to be awakened by police before he could snort up his food and choke on it.

“The officer saved the man’s life by waking him up so he didn’t inhale food and choke.”

Good thing they called the police and the man’s life was saved, because apparently no one on staff thought about, like, maybe waking up the man themselves.

The couple’s food-coma game was at level Snorlax.

H/T AJC, PicThx @Dom_Tucker


In-flight Full Power Charge Men’s Meal is Carbo-loaded For His Pleasure


There is literally no reason I can think of that warrants the incredulous carb nature of this meal other than to induce a sick case of food coma.

Garuda International, an Asian airline, is rolling out these men only in-flight meals for travelers bound for Jakarta and Denpasar, Bali. The full name for this crazy meal is “In-flight Full Power Charge ★ Men’s Meal Garuda: Naniwa Special Lunch Fried Rice, Yakisoba, Fried Chicken.”  Yes, the totally unnecessary star is part of the name. Because it wasn’t already a mouthful why not mix things up and add a superfluous symbol in it.

As noted by the name above the masculine meal includes fried rice, fried chicken over yakisoba and is served with a roll. The whole thing seems like a bit much but Garuda’s reasoning behind the Full Power Charge was to create “a satisfying, high-volume meal for men onboard”. Still, I think it’s to get the dudes full and happy before they slip into a deep carb ridden sleep.

H/T + PicThx Rocket News