We all have experienced the painful effects of overeating at a holiday meal – the dreaded “food coma” and even though we all know that we should listen to our body and stop when we are satisfied, we somehow end up revisiting the food coma every year. There are few strategies you can put in place to help you enjoy a meal-centered holiday without ending up sprawled on the couch with your pants unbuttoned.1. Put your favorite Thanksgiving foods on the menu before or after the holiday. Knowing that you’ll see your favorite foods again can prevent “now-or-never” bingeing.
2. Eat a decent breakfast – don’t go into Thanksgiving meal starving because excessive hunger leads to overeating.
3. Try to keep your Thanksgiving plate balanced: ¼ meat, ¼ grains, ¼ starch. Start out with normal-sized portions and keep second helping to your absolute favorites.
4. Make visiting a priority – slow down during the meal and enjoy some conversation. This will allow your body time to register when it is beginning to be full.
5. Plan some fun physical activity after the meal. Knowing that there is a family football game or even a walk around the block after the meal is cleaned up not only aids digestion but also gives one more reason not to push our eating over the brink.
One thing worse than a food coma is food poisoning, s o be sure to:
- not leave food out for more than 2 hours
- use refrigerated leftovers within 4 days
- if you can’t use leftovers that soon, toss them in the freezer and use within 2 to 6 months
- always reheat your leftovers to 165 degrees F.