The Day After Thanksgiving…What Happens to Your Body When You Overeat?


Imagine: You’re preparing to go shopping and score all of the deals major stores have to offer. But as your getting dressed (at 3AM) and prepare to hit the streets, you notice something about you feels a little off. You may feel like you have a headache or you may even feel a bit bloated.

So, what is it exactly that happens to your body the day after Thanksgiving?

Read more as I reveal 4 reasons why you may not feel too great the day after the feast, as well as explanations as to why you feel that way.  

Finally, I will give 3 super easy tips help you revive and recover from yesterday as well as how to keep energy levels up and cravings at bay while you “shop ‘Till you drop” either virtually or in stores.


The Day After Feeling #1: You feel thirsty

Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night after a day of drinking or eating a lot of sodium-filled foods such as meat supreme pizza? The same can happen the night following a massive Thanksgiving feast.

Eating lots of salty foods, such as stuffing, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, turkey, and gravy, can leave you feeling not only puffy and bloated, but also extremely thirsty.

The solution?

Make sure you continually hydrate throughout the day so that you don’t disrupt your sleep, and drink plenty of water the day after as well.


The Day After Feeling #2: You feel lethargic

Usually the amino acid in turkey tryptophan is often to blamed for post-meal fatigue. This is not the sole reason you feel ready for a nap after a large Thanksgiving dinner.

Eating a big meal, especially one high in carbohydrates, takes a lot of energy for the body to process. Blood is redirected from other areas of the body to the digestive system to work on breaking down the big meal, which can lead to fatigue.

Not to mention, eating a lot of foods full of simple carbohydrates such as sugary foods like pecan pie and cheesecake can cause your blood sugar to spike, which of course will eventually lead to a crash and cause you to feel ready for a nap.

The solution?

Listen to your body and stop eating (take a break) when you start feeling full.


The Day After Feeling #3: You have a headache

Eating a salt-heavy meal, not drinking enough water, and having a few alcoholic beverages can leave you with a pounding headache, even without the hangover. High amounts of salt in a short period of time can contribute to higher blood pressure, and alcohol is also a diuretic. The combination of both can contribute to headaches in some.

The solution?

Drink plenty of water throughout the day, including at the dinner table, as well as after dinner. Instead of going for that extra glass of red wine post-meal, opt for a glass of ice-cold water.  A very helpful tip to prevent dehydration when drinking alcohol is to drink at least 16 oz water after.


The Day After Feeling #4: You may feel hungrier than usual the next day

This seems a bit backward, right? Well, here’s the situation. When you overeat, your body goes into overtime to digest the excess calories, and the next day it can feel exhausted. Fatigue then signals hunger, and what gives quick energy? Carbs, of course, because they are the most easily digested. Carbs begin digesting as soon as they hit your mouth.  Fat and protein, on the other hand, don’t truly begin to break down until they reach the small intestine and the stomach, respectively.

The solution?

Enjoy Thanksgiving, Christmas and other meals at special meals without overindulging to the point of pain. Take your time by eating slowly and enjoy eat bite. Again, listen to your body when it signals fullness.


The Day After Holiday Shopping #5: How to Revive and Stay Fueled for All the Shopping (both in store and virtual)?

As you can see that there’s a lot going on when you overeat on a food holiday like Thanksgiving!

3 Easy tips to help fuel, hydrate and recover:

  • Don’t Skip Breakfast  – simply as oatmeal or whole wheat toast with fruit and an egg
  • Eat out Sensible – Review the menu and select a carb (rice, hamburger bun, potato, etc), lean protein (not just chicken – fish, lean steak, lean pork, etc)
  • Water, Water, Water  – There is no replacement for water. It’s perfectly fine to add crystal light or lemons in water.


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