You know that feeling when after a session of excess eating, you feel too lazy to move and too heavy to carry your own weight? Like you’ve not only eaten up to your throat, but the food particles have also reached your head. That’s called overeating, overindulging in food which can harm your health on more levels than one.
Regardless of the reason you entertain the idea of eating more than the nourishment you require, it is harmful. Stress and habit are two vices that can trigger the need to consume more food than necessary. Unfortunately, both of these can be rather uncontrollable.
A cheat day every now and then doesn’t hurt, but when these cheat days become regular, you’re health is at risk. Wondering what overeating does to your body? We’ve compiled a list of the impacts of gorging yourself with food.
It is associated with obesity
This is an obvious one. Did you know that above 70% of the American population is obese? Research also shows a link between overeating and obesity. When you eat more than the amount that your body requires, the excess of it is stored in the form of fats. Your six pack tends to become softer if overeating becomes a habit. That’s because an extra layer of fat is formed. You see, junk food has never served many health benefits anyway.
Moreover, overweight individuals are less likely to exercise which only catapults the health risks. Therefore, it’s important to note that you shouldn’t be consuming more calories than your body can manage to melt off.
It can cause digestive problems
Overeating can pressurize your digestive system and result in acid reflux, bloating, gas and other digestion-related concerns. You see, when you stuff your stomach with excessive food, your digestive system cannot produce enough of the fluids and substances required to handle the quantity of food. A large volume of food also exerts pressure on the muscle that holds digested food. This results in heartburn. Overeating also makes the digestive system function sluggishly.
Binge-eating can also increase the intake of insoluble fiber which can be harmful. It can lead to the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome for those who have the condition. One can also experience constipation and diarrhea as a consequence of the stomach’s reaction to overeating.
It contributes to diabetes
Gas and obesity are not the only evils birthed by obesity. There is much more to it. Essentially, obesity can lead to diabetes as it causes insulin resistance. What is insulin resistance, you ask? It’s when your body produces insulin but refuses to efficiently use it. This happens when cells lose their ability to convert glucose into energy. Hence, glucose builds up rather than being absorbed by the cells. This leads either to diabetes type 2 or to prediabetes.
The issue of insulin resistance is not one that develops overtime. No; it can attack you if you overeat consecutively for a few days even. Therefore, very obviously, one can have to deal with the highest level of diabetes if he is a binge-eater.
It induces sleep and fatigue
Ever noticed how after indulging in a bowl full of chips and then a container of ice-cream makes you want to curl up and power off for the day? Yes, that’s your body signaling your brain to nap. Overeating makes you want to sleep because the small intestine signals the brain that your body needs to rest and work on digesting the food you’ve stuffed into it. However, this sleep is not a calm and deep one. More on this later.
When you eat a lot, your body’s insulin levels shoot up to manage all the sugar in your blood. And high markers of insulin are directly proportional to sleepiness. Along with sleepy, your body also feels exhausted. That happens because while trying to eliminate the sugar, the body can be over-efficient leaving you with decreased blood sugar levels and in turn, fatigue.
It ruins your sleep
Remember when we said just above here that overeating can make you feel sleepy, but the sleep is not restful? That’s true. You see what you eat, how much you do and when you do so impact sleep quality. Shifting eating choices and patterns can actually influence the sleep pattern as well. If you eat a lot before heading to bed, chances are you’ll have a disturbed sleep. That is because too much food can cause digestive discomfort, heartburn, etc. which can result in wakefulness.
Overeating also messes with sleep by altering the circadian rhythm. Avoid spicy and fatty foods before sleeping. Also, do not snack too much or when it’s too late at night. Not only does overeating cause sleep issues but lack of sleep can also cause one to eat more. So, this is basically a vicious cycle. Drinking too much before going to bed can also lead to an interrupted sleep.
It messes with the skin
There’s not only one beauty-related problem caused by overeating. Along with becoming overweight, overconsumption of food can also ruin the texture of your skin. When you eat too many foods that suck out the water content from your skin, it is left derhydrated. This causes it to lose its youthful glow. That’s not all. Your skin also loses its nourishment and thanks to the lack of moisture, fine lines and wrinkles also form.
Secondly, it can also mess with the oil markers of the body which can make acne ready itself for a visit. An unhealthy diet and overeating do not only cause these problems. In fact, overeating junk food can also cause serious skin concerns such as eczema.
It can result in organ failure
Overeating can result in organ failure as well. There’s this myth that says that if you eat too much your stomach can burst. While the chances of that exist, they are minimal. This does not typically happen. However, when one eats too much, pressure is exerted on the digestive organs which can cause organ failure. The kidneys and the liver are under risk in this department. If someone already has kidney problems, these can increase with the stress put on them due to overeating.
The strain caused can also show itself in the form of stomach malfunctioning. The heart and the pancreas can also become the victim of such a condition. This is why it is recommended to eat in moderation so as to ensure no digestive organs are harmed.
It increases appetite
When you start making broader eater sessions a norm, don’t expect your appetite to not expand. This is because regular overeating alters the amounts products of the hormone which is responsible for maintaining your weight. A study showed how excessively stuffing yourself with food can stop the production of the hormone which signals the feeling of fullness to your brain. Breaking the routine can then become tough as you become accustomed to eating a lot at a time. Hunger pangs continue to strike until you don’t overeat.
Your cravings will rise, and you’ll be unable to escape overindulging. This is why one must be mindful about how much he eats on a daily basis. Your appetite also increases because overeating is addictive as eating releases dopamine that plays the role of making one feel better.
It causes mental health problems
While overeating is addictive, the good feelings it makes one feel don’t last. The reason is simple; overeating makes one get fat. Being overweight lowers one’s self-esteem and self-confidence. This consistent dislike of one’s own looks can trigger depression and even anxiety. Emotional eating is a thing but in the long run, its only harmful. No matter how good eating feels in the moment, there’s no problem-solving it does. It does create problems though.
Anxiety and Depression Association of America talks about how most people who binge-eat have one or another mental illness. This again is a cycle as the stress of being unhappy with one’s looks is linked to eating more to cope with the emotions.
To sum up, overeating is associated to several health concerns. It can exert pressure on several organs. The kidneys, stomach, liver, pancreas, and even the heart are at risk when overstuffing the system with food becomes a habit. Overeating can increase one’s cholesterol levels. It can introduce diabetes. It can disrupt one’s sleep cycle and induce too much sleep as well. Sleep coma and sleep apnea can both be caused due to overgorging oneself with eatables.
It’s common knowledge that obesity is a major side effect of overeating. It can also cause skin troubles. Furthermore, one’s hair can also thin by overeating. Obese individuals are at more risk of being infertile. Overeating can alter one’s appetite, making one crave more food. Therefore, you must not eat too much and must eat healthy.