Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Climbing out of the July 4th Food Coma

Move over, Thanksgiving. July 4th is turning into the new king and queen of food coma-inducing holidays.
Me at work on Monday. :(
Yes, I indulged. Juicy burgers, potato salad and ice cold beer. S’mores around the fire, cookies and a delectable cake that we fell on like a pack of wild dogs sometime around midnight. It wasn’t pretty.

Sunday, I could barely move. My brain was foggy and all I wanted to do was sleep and watch TV.

According to Scientific American, a large amount of any kind of food causes that lethargic, sleepy feeling known as a food coma. Common table sugar found in desserts causes the biggest crash.

Your body breaks food down into glucose, which is used for fuel, causing an increase in blood sugar. As that process happens, the hormone insulin is released and begins mopping up the excess glucose. That process causes your brain to produce serotonin and melatonin, and that makes you feel drowsy.

Here’s what I’m doing this week to get back on track.

  •  Get moving. In addition to all the goodies I ate this weekend, I skipped my workouts and opted to float in a lake instead. I don’t regret it because it was glorious way to spend a hot, humid weekend. YOLO. But it feels great to get back to my regular workout schedule.
  •  Eat nutrient-rich foods: lots of veggies, lean protein and fiber.  Yesterday’s menu included oatmeal, a mixed greens salad with carrots, cucumbers and avocado, a little chicken and some broccoli and grapes Greek yogurt for snacks.
  • Water, water, water. And more water.
  • Sleep. When I’m tired, I tend to opt for what’s easy and fast. Like cold pizza eating standing up in front of the refrigerator.

I’m feeling better already. And my motivation is strong. Or it will be until someone brings cake to the office.

What are you doing to recover from the holiday weekend?

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