It’s bound to happen every once in a while. You go to a holiday dinner or your favorite restaurant and eat a bit more than you should have. The temptation to finish that last bite of juicy turkey or apple pie was too strong. You know how you feel after you eat too much, but have you ever wondered what effect that “over-indulging” has on your body? Let’s take a look.

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The Health Impact of Eating Too Much

If you didn’t already know, your body is an amazing machine. It works continuously and (seemingly effortlessly) without you even noticing. But don’t be fooled–just because you can’t always feel your body working, it is. And when you over-eat, it’s working overtime.

There are many systems at work in your body when it comes to digestion. All arriving promptly (if you’re a healthy individual) for duty when slammed with an overload of food. Thankfully, your body responds every single time. (Again, amazing machine!) But the way your body responds can sometimes make you a bit uncomfortable, because, well, you made it uncomfortable. And sometimes, if you overeat too often, it starts to make you really uncomfortable and that can lead to some serious long-term health repercussions.

Here’s How Your Body Responds:

  • Your belly physically expands, making it feel like your pants are two sizes too small.
  • You may experience heartburn, that really uncomfortable burning sensation that happens in your chest. It’s the result of stomach acid moving up into your esophagus, a place it doesn’t belong, hence why it “burns.”
  • At a large eating session, you’ve likely consumed more calories than your body needs. So it has to figure out what to do with them and if your body can’t use them directly for energy, it’ll save them. Saved energy (aka – calories) equals weight gain.
  • Depending on what you’ve over-indulged in, other things can happen too. If you’ve consumed lots of saturated fat, that can have a negative effect on your cholesterol and blood pressure. If you’ve eaten too much sugar that can negatively impact your triglycerides and your blood sugar. And if you’ve eaten too much sodium, that can increase your blood pressure. If over-indulgence in these things happens often, you’re putting yourself at greater risk for developing diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, or a having a stroke.

Tips On What To Do After You Eat Too Much

Is all hope lost? If you eat too much, is there anything you can do to improve the after-effects? The answer, of course, is yes! Here are some tips to try if you’ve overdone it.

  • Don’t Sit, Move – That’s right, get up out of your chair and move your body. Going for a walk is sometimes the easiest way to move, but there are other things you can do too. If it’s cold, make a date with the ice rink for an after-dinner skating session. If it’s warm, put on your hiking shoes and take a stroll up a nearby hill. Go easy, but just get moving.
  • Stay Upright – After you’ve eaten too much, your body will be working overtime to digest all of that food. Do yourself a favor and don’t lay down. That will only make your digestive system work harder. Sit or stand upright to allow digestion to happen.
  • Drink Water – Do your body a favor and drink plenty of water. Getting enough fluids will help with digestion and preventing constipation. Here are some delicious (dietitian-approved) recipes if you struggle to get enough H2O in a day.
  • Make Nutritious Choices – Don’t dwell. Move forward. Sure, you ate too much, but now it’s time to make good food choices for the rest of the day. Find balance in the food you select for other meals and snacks. Load up on plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Your body will thank you. Need ideas? Try Luvo’s line of delicious, nutritious meals.

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