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Let's Banish Food Comas

SparkPeopleHello from Sparkguy

Hi SparkFriends

Last week I travelled for a business trip part of the week. I just returned late afternoon yesterday and have been catching up wtih the family today on Saturday and took my son to see a movie while the other son went to a birthday party.

As a result I didn't get to fully research the topic I wanted to write about this week, but I'll get started and then update this soon with some more research.

One morning on the business trip I went to a restaurant and ordered one of their regular breakfast dishes. This included:
  • 3 eggs
  • Hashbrowns
  • Ham
  • 2 pieces of toast
This was just too much food for one meal. I ended up not eating anything else until dinner because it was so much food.

But even worse I went into a dreaded "food coma" where you get tired and lethargic.

I decided that was enough of this and made a pledge to try not having food comas from eating too much very often. I don't eat out much, but this happens too much when I do eat out.

I researched this and it's called "postprandial somnolence" which is a fancy term for getting sleepy after you eat. It looks like there are a few reasons for this:
  • If you eat too much, your hormones get out of balance
  • This can cause your pancreas to release a larger spike of insulin, which then causes more sleepiness from extra serotonin in your brain
  • This is much more likely to happen if you eat a meal loaded with carbs (and is less likely to happen in a balanced meal with protein, carbs, and healthy fat)
  • Eating too much also causes more blood to flow to your stomach area to help with digestion
While the science is important, a more important lesson is that this is a form of "stupid stress." I call it this becuase there is enough stress in the world that we don't need to give ourselves more stress with bad decisions.

In this case the extra time to recover from a big meal can cause either reduced productivity or less time to do fun activities.

In my case on this trip it was a combination of both. I got behind on a work project (which then caused more stress) and I also didn't have as much fun during a fun activity because of the grogginess.

I learned my lesson quickly at least. Later in the week, I ate a smaller lunch at a restaurant just before a big meeting. As a result, I was a lot more SPARKY than I would have been in the event of a food coma.

Do you ever experience food comas?

Do you want to join me in banishing them? If so, let me know on this blog.


Chris "SparkGuy" Downie


Chris (SparkGuy)

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