- Step 1: Don't blame the turkey Don't blame the turkey for your annual Thanksgiving dinner food coma: It's a myth that the amino acid tryptophan in turkey causes drowsiness. More likely, your lethargy is a result of too many carbohydrates in the form of stuffing, potatoes, and pie.
- Step 2: Loosen your pants Loosen your pants -- or whatever garment is hugging your tummy -- if you can. Helping your stomach expand aids the digestion process.
- Step 3: Resist the urge to lie down Resist the urge to lie down: Being horizontal won't just interfere with your body's ability to digest your meal; it may send food into your esophagus, causing heartburn.
- TIP: If you must lie down, put pillows behind your back so you're not lying completely flat.
- Step 4: Enjoy an after-dinner drink Enjoy a digestif -- a cordial or liqueur taken after a meal to aid digestion; it will help you survive the annual Thanksgiving dinner food coma by relaxing the muscle that empties the stomach.
- TIP: If you prefer not to drink alcohol, sip a cup of ginger, peppermint, or chamomile tea to help digestion.
- Step 5: Get moving Take a 15-minute stroll. Light exercise, like walking, helps food move along the digestive tract so you won't feel so sluggish. If bloating is making you feel like a beached whale, put on some lively music and get everyone dancing; working up a sweat can help release fluids your body is holding onto. Not to mention help burn off that second piece of pumpkin pie
- FACT: The scientific term for "food coma" is "postprandial somnolence."
You Will Need
- Loose clothing
- or chamomile tea (optional)