What happens when you eat too much?
Nothing! Literally. Nothing.
Okay but to be fair, the reason you are asking is because you feel a little guilty from all that feasting. And you are probably worried that all that food have thrown your gains down the drain or all that feasting has caused your abs to disappear and you are just feeling a little icky and gross about yourself because you have gave in to your deepest darkest temptation and cravings.
We are only human, and eating is a social event, it is more emotional and comforting than we really think about it. It can be a solitary act but it’s more fun when we are around a group of friends or just people in general. It is also a way we stay connected with our friends and family especially during the holiday season. We feast and we enjoy conversations as we spend time with our loved ones. It is also a way we bring our culture to the table when we meet friends from around the world. Stressing about avoiding the Cheese Tower or the Tiramisu just isn’t worth it.
So, lets talk about what really happens physically when we eat too much.
Your stomach stretches.
Food is there for enjoyment and pleasure. It is not limited from you.
Before you freak out over the image of your stomach stretching (I did too when I first learned this) …Your stomach is SUPPOSED to stretch.
To an extent.
The stomach is covered in little folds called rugae. They allow the stomach to stretch and shrink, depending on how much food is inside. But if we overeat, it stretches beyond what it’s really supposed to after a regular meal. And it’s uncomfortable.
How much your stomach can comfortably stretch depends on how much you eat on the daily. On average, your stomach is about the size of a fist but can stretch as much as you like as you consume more food.
You might feel a little nauseous.
Before you freak out over the image of your stomach stretching (I did too when I first learned this) …Your stomach is SUPPOSED to stretch
“I ate soooo much I wanna puke and die.”
Haven’t we all said that at some point?! I think it’s an exaggeration most of the time, but that nauseating, “too full” feeling is definitely a familiar one. So can you actually get sick from eating too much? Kinda.
When the stomach stretches beyond it’s comfort level, the extra pressure makes you feel nauseated. ESPECIALLY if it stretches too quickly (like if you eat too much AND too fast).
It doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to actually puke, but you’ll feel uncomfortable for at least an hour or until some food digests and the pressure is relieved.
You can help your stomach by getting up and take a walk or if it’s really uncomfortable, you can lay on your left side, which encourages things to move along. Which also means…. NAP TIIIMMMMMME!
A big meal always makes me sooooo sleepy
A big meal always makes me sooooo sleepy. I feel like I’m pretty much done for the rest of the day after I eat too much.
Obviously being uncomfortable is the big reason. You just want to get horizontal and let that food digest because your body prioritizes digestion when it has a lot of food to handle and it can overwork the body. That triggers a neurological response that can make you feel a little drowsy.
Get ready to bloat!
Life is unpredictable. And we deserve to live and thrive and feel worthy in the body we are given
Ugh. Story of my life
I don’t know if I will explain this right but when you are on a low caloric diet for long periods of time, your stomach shrinks, and it takes time to eat more food even when you are really hungry. Thus, the bloating happens. Your digestive system gets a little overwhelmed with all that food coming in, especially if it’s fatty, salty food that you have not been avoiding. So it starts working in overdrive.
That brings in extra water and gas, making you super bloated and maybe even a little gassy. Eating too fast makes this even worse.
Will you instantly put on weight from one meal?
Probably not. But you might feel physiologically different even though physically you are the same size. And I am not talking about the scale. I honestly do not care about the scale because the scale do not define you or anything.
If you wake up 2 kilograms heavier the day after feasting, it’s probably water weight from all of the hard work your body is doing to digest the food, combined with water retention from eating more salt than usual.
Our body is a beautiful machine, and it knows what to do with the extra calories and then store some as fat, but one meal isn’t going to cause a noticeable difference. Weight gain and weight loss happen over a period of time. Focus on your overall eating habits and fitness lifestyle over the course of days, weeks, and months.
Do not stress.
No more punishment exercise to work it off.
No more overly restricting calories to make up for it
Just hop back right on track the very next meal, and the very next workout.
Get back on your usual routine.
Literally that is all you need to do. No looking back. Only looking forward.
Do not worry nothing drastic is going to happen overnight when you eat too much.
Remember, food is joy and a huge part of tradition and socialisation! ENJOY IT. But if you want to avoid being uncomfortable and binging every time you are out on a social event. Change your mindset. If you are reading this, you are probably lucky enough (or work you ass off) to have plentiful food. There is no shortage of food. Food is there for enjoyment and pleasure. It is not limited from you.
This shift was absolutely huge for me: life is incredibly short, and it was time to stop constantly engaging in negative self-talk when all I did was be human, so what? I went out and I ate a little more food than usual. I am only human, and I very well enjoyed my time with my friends and all the yummy food I ate.
Life is unpredictable. And we deserve to live and thrive and feel worthy in the body we are given. Our bodies are more than just the way it looks. What about the value that gives us to life to move and to breathe.
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