Thanksgiving is almost here and we can’t wait to enjoy a delicious meal with our families! Before you sit down to a scrumptious feast, take a minute to find out what happens to your body during Thanksgiving dinner!
According to the Calorie Control Council, the average person eats about 3,000 calories throughout the entire turkey day dinner—and that’s not including the 1,500 calories coming in from just drinks and appetizers! Here are four changes your body goes through while enjoy a thanksgiving feast!
- Your stomach and brain send rapid fire messages to each other. Ever wonder why your stomach is more bloated on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday? The secret is all in the messages your stomach and brain send to each other during your meal. Once you take that first bite, your stomach begins to expand and make room for more. After a few minutes, it sends a signal to the brain that you’re full and don’t need any more food. Your brain ignores this message and you continue eating—this explains why you know you’re full but keep eating anyway.
Eating too fast or seeing others at the table continue to munch away can encourage you to ignore this signal and help yourself to seconds. To keep this under control, ask yourself if you are still eating because you are hungry, or if you are eating just to eat.
- You grow a “food baby”. The high proteins and fats in a traditional Thanksgiving meal take longer to empty out of your stomach, leaving you feeling bloated until you fully digest your meal. Your stomach on average can only hold six cups of food—that’s the size of six tennis balls!
- You get sleepy. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not a chemical called tryptophan in the turkey making you sleepy and likely to doze off. It’s actually your stuffed stomach! When you eat a large meal, blood flows to the GI tract to help you digest and absorb the food. About thirty minutes after you finish eating all your carbs, your blood sugar peaks and you get drowsy. Carbs also help trigger serotonin, a chemical that creates a sense of calm and sleepiness. To help you pep up, try a calming weight loss tea to encourage digestion.
- You feel uncomfortably full, but also starving. The extremely full feeling you get after devouring a delicious Turkey Day spread comes from the high-fats and proteins in the dishes. Both of these create overwhelming feelings of fullness in the body because they take longer to digest. In addition, the amount of protein helps you feel fuller for a longer period of time. However, the refined carbs and sugars in buttery potatoes and pies make them easy to binge on. Once these calories settle into your body (and get stored as fat), they flow into the bloodstream, making you feel hungry again even though you’ve just eaten a load of calories.
The best way to enjoy thanksgiving without completely wrecking your diet plan is to enjoy everything in moderation. You should also try to eat your meal slowly so that you will be less likely to over indulge.
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