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Ever Wonder Why You Fall Into a Food Coma After Lunch? Here Are 4 Reasons Why

If you’re prone to feeling sleepy right after you eat, Time says findings from new research may help you perk up and even prevent those nagging feelings of fatigue after a meal. While the studies so far have been mostly restricted to animals and fruit flies, one scientist believes they could be applicable to humans.

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Plus, a different, smaller study with truck drivers suggests that heavy meals filled with carbs, processed foods and soft drinks can make you sleepy, too.

In summary, here are four things that science so far suggests may be contributing to that food coma:

1. Your DNA — From ancient times, your body has been programmed to stay alert during times of famine, and to rest once you’ve eaten.

2. Your digestive system — Changes in the way your blood circulates to the stomach and intestines to speed up digestion after you eat may trigger feelings of sleepiness in your brain.

3. You ate too much — It may not be what you want to hear, but filling up invokes neurological processes that make you feel sleepy.

4. You’re eating the wrong foods — Pointing at the trucker study, this finding shows that high-protein, high-carb, high-sugar meals slow you down, and veggie-filled, healthy fat meals keep you perky.

While the jury’s still out on just how much of this research applies to humans, the most interesting findings come from the one study with humans — and that is that healthy fat, vegetable-filled meals don’t put you in the food coma that heavy meals do.

If that sounds like a ketogenic diet, it’s because that’s what keto is. A dietary approach like this focuses on minimal carbohydrates, moderate amounts of proteins and high healthy fat consumption. It’s that simple.

It also involves consuming high amounts of fiber, i.e., as what you’d find in whole, fresh, organic veggies. The things keto doesn’t involve are sugars, sodas and processed foods.

If you’re interested in perking up your diet by going keto, there are several good things beside feeling more alert during the day that you can get from it, including:

• Weight loss — If you're trying to lose weight, then a ketogenic diet is one of the best ways to do it, because it helps access your body fat so that it can be shed. Obese people in particular can benefit from this method.

• Help in fighting inflammation — Since sugar fuels inflammatory processes, adopting a ketogenic diet can help you decrease your risk for inflammation.

• Help in increasing muscle mass — The ketones produced on a keto diet allow higher levels of muscle-building amino acids in the body, which can help promote muscle mass.

• Help in reducing your appetite — It’s easier to eat less and feel fuller, longer, when you eat the healthy fats and bulk that a keto diet calls for. In plain language, reducing your carbs can reduce hunger symptoms.

• Help in lowering insulin levels — When you consume carbs, they are broken down into sugars in your body. In turn, this causes your blood sugar levels to rise and leads to a spike in your insulin.

By altering your diet to a ketogenic approach, you can reduce your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. In a study published in Nutrition & Metabolism, researchers noted that diabetics who ate low-carbohydrate ketogenic diets were able to significantly reduce their dependency on diabetes medication, and may even reverse it eventually.

To further boost your results, you may want to pair the ketogenic diet with intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting is an effective strategy to shift your body from burning sugar to burning fat for energy — and the good news is, if you do it correctly, intermittent fasting won’t leave you feeling hungry.

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