Overeating is when you eat so much food that it makes you feel uncomfortably full. You could be eating more calories than you burn that day, this would be the reason you get fat, right? No.
There are so many reasons your body builds up fat and overeating for one day won’t be the reason for it. You will see an increase in your weight the next morning, but it’ll be short-lived. This is if you don’t make a habit of it.
This one is for your mental health to ensure that you don’t overthink about one day where you find yourself indulging in food that may or may not be healthy but leads you to feel this sensation and sometimes feel guilty.
What Happens to Your Body When You Overeat
Overeating causes your stomach to expand beyond its normal size to accommodate this excess food. It affects other organs around it which causes the uncomfortable feeling of fullness. You can even see it in your stomach.
The discomfort may lead to you feeling tired and sluggish because it takes a lot more energy and a lot longer for your body to digest the food.
Your body releases hydrochloric acid to breakdown the food and if you overeat, sometimes, that acid can cause heartburn as it runs back up your oesophagus.
You do feel heavier the next morning and your weight may be higher the next morning too, but don’t let that discourage you from making the most of the day ahead in your fitness journey.
When you regulate your eating again, these side effects do subside. You must drink some water or warm tea to assist with relaxing your stomach and body.
How to Prevent Overeating
There are the usual triggers that occur where your brain sends a signal to your body to let you know that you are full. There are things that you can do to prevent you overeating if it is something that bothers you.
These are tips you can use before, during and after your meals:
- Do not be distracted while you’re eating. This could lead to you not paying attention to your mind and body’s signals.
- Drink water or a low-calorie drink before, during and after your meal to help you feel satiated faster.
- Eat your food slow enough to enjoy it and not rush through it (I struggle with this haha). You can do this by taking your next bite after you swallow your last one.
- Plan your meals ahead of time. Know how many meals you plan to eat during the day. It will help you not turn to fast highly processed foods, drinks and snacks. Meal preparation is always a great plan to prevent this.
- Fill your meals and snacks with fruits and vegetables. They are low in calories and you can eat them in high volumes to help you get full without going over your calorie goals.
You are human, so you will tend to overeat every now and then, this is normal. You must not beat yourself up for it and look forward to the next day.
How Do You Get Fat After Overeating
Fat is a macronutrient that your body requires to absorb nutrients, protect your organs and produce energy. It has the highest calories per gram with 9 kcal vs 4 kcal per gram of carbs and protein each.
You get fat over time when you consistently eat more calories than you burn because your body cannot breakdown the excess food you’ve been consuming so regularly, therefore it decides to store it as fat. In essence, when you overeat for a long period of time fat builds up.
Overeating can also be a prolonged process because you’re doing it in waves. This is where one day you feel uncomfortably full and then the next day, you basically fast. This is an unhealthy cycle that can do more wrong than good.
You will build up an unhealthy relationship with your body and food because you’re in “punishment mode”. You’d only be fasting because you eat a lot every second day, instead of fasting with a healthy lifestyle in mind. It is usually the case that you’ll probably binge on junk food these feeding days anyway, which isn’t nutritious and healthy in the long run.
The problem is that by the time you realize it, it has taken weeks and months down the line for you to build up that fat in your body.
How to Prevent Getting Fat
It becomes inevitable to get fat when you’re consistently eating in a calorie surplus. Your weight is always fluctuating due to water, muscle mass and how much you ate the day before.
The first thing to do is to not feel bad about overeating. This can lead to negative feedback on yourself, where you decide to starve yourself afterwards or even binge on food because you feel like you’ve already dropped the ball anyway. Both of these side effects are a NO-GO.
You must keep track of your eating the day after and the rest of the week to ensure that your calories in the week aren’t in surplus. You can do this using MyFitnessPal app to help you or send me an email to help you.
Exercising the next day can also help you burn the excess weight you’ve put on because other than help you burn those calories, you can sweat off any water that has been stored in your body as a result of your overeating.
Bottom line is never make overeating a habit, whether you’re eating low-calorie food or not.
Food That Is Likely to Make You Overeat and Get Fat
There is food that is high in calories due to its high carb and fat content. As mentioned before that fat carries 9 kcal per gram vs 4 kcal per gram of protein and carbs.
The foods that are high in calories? Highly processed food which you don’t know how it is being processed, it just tastes good and usually helps you feel good too. This food is deep fried or using animal (saturated) fats to add to its flavour. The pizza, cheeseburger, deep fried chicken and the fries are usually the problem. One serving of these is usually enough during the day to swing you over your calorie requirements.
Alcohol also plays a huge role because it’s never just one drink and our favourites are usually high in calories. The high-calorie alcohol is the beer, red wine and high mixture cocktails with extravagant names.
The low-calorie options are the spirits such as vodka, tequila and rum. There are other options out there but these are general options to look out for in your journey.
It is all about balance. Do not go out of your way to eat highly processed food and alcohol every second day of the week, but once a week isn’t a bad idea either.