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Post-Mealtime Slumps are Real, Study Finds

Tuesday Nov 6, 2018
Burgers are the number one food that cause a post-meal slump.
Burgers are the number one food that cause a post-meal slump.  (Source:Getty Images)

The average American spends 213 hours — nine full days — in a post-meal slump every year, according to new research.

A new study exploring the effect of heavy, meaty meals showed that the average American will spend the next hour and 22 minutes in a slump after indulging in one.

Americans will experience three of these slumps every week, and go on to describe feeling too full, sluggish, and tired after eating such a meal, as well.

Half of the respondents even admitted that eating a heavy lunch makes them less productive at work, with the average respondent saying their production dips 33 percent after a heavy lunch.

The biggest offenders? Burgers (53 percent), pizza (50 percent), mashed potatoes (44 percent), and, yes, even burritos (31 percent).

The new survey, conducted by drpraegers.com, revealed that the post-meal slump is a very real phenomenon, but there seems to be a way to avoid it.

The secret? Eating more vegetables. Seventy-one percent of Americans agreed that they are less likely to experience a post-meal slump after eating a meal comprised of more vegetables and fewer meats or carbs.

In fact, 36 percent of respondents said they don't experience any post-meal slump after eating a vegetable-based meal, and those that do say the slump is only a third the length of a meat-based meal (28 minutes.)

Nearly every respondent (84 percent) agreed that their diet directly impacts their mood, and a half (49 percent) said that eating a vegetable-based meal actually puts them in a better mood.

"I think we all know we should be eating more vegetables, but a lot of people either don't have access to fresh produce or the time to prepare it," said Larry Praeger, CEO of Dr. Praeger's. "Your freezer can be your secret weapon when it comes to fueling a vibrant life through food."

The survey also split the results by how the respondents judged their own eating habits and found that your eating habits may impact more than you might think.

For example, those that described their eating habits as lighter and healthier side were 22 percent more likely to strongly agree that they're very optimistic than those who prefer a heavier, more meat and carb-based diet.

Heavier eaters were also 30 percent more likely to agree that they often feel stressed than those who eat on the light side.

But is access to healthy foods the problem? One-third of Americans (32 percent) feel they don't have easy access to healthier foods, which may be why they tend to eat poorly.

But of those that feel that way, four out of five (80 percent) said they'd eat healthier if they had easier access.

"Eating a veggie-rich meal at home can be as convenient and delicious as going out to fast food — without the negative implications on energy level and health," continued Praeger. "This is why when we develop our easy-to-prepare plant-based foods out top priorities are flavor, nutrition, and versatility."

TOP 10 FOODS THAT CAUSE A POST-MEAL SLUMP

Burgers 53%
Pizza 50%
Mashed potatoes 44%
Burritos 31%
French fries 29%
Hotdogs 22%
Tacos 19%
Other foods 18%
Cheese 15%
Potato chips 15%

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