What Happens To Your Body When You Overeat?
'Tis the season for consumption, and it's not quite over yet. For most of us, the holidays are full of excess carbs from cookies, cakes, pies, and wine or cocktails served at social gatherings. This time of year, overeating feasts happen on a regular basis. New Year's is just a few days away, and we will all most likely do it all over again. The holiday season seems like an unavoidable practice of overeating, and it can be impossible to avoid.
The good news is that letting loose now and then on special occasions can actually be good for your metabolism, especially when holiday happiness is in the air and you’re with the people you love most. But have you ever wondered what happens to your metabolism when you overeat? And what can you do about it?
The type of overeating most people do throughout the holidays is high-fat, high-sugar, and relatively low vegetable, or metabolic boosting protein powder intake. You know... the brownies, cakes, and cookies, and if you’re a drinker, wine and alcohol.
Unfortunately, this is the worst kind of overeating you can do when it comes to your metabolism and health. Research proves that just six days of overindulging on high-sugar, high-fat, and low-protein rapidly increases fat deposition in the liver and all over your waistline, which is why your pants become hard to button.
And, if you overeat for seven days straight, your entire body becomes insulin resistant and can no longer clear the glucose in your system (you gain weight easily) and begin to store fat. The bad news for your health is that your immune system becomes impaired and weakened, increasing inflammation (the cause of your aches and pains) and oxidative stress increases. To make a long story short, nothing good happens!
If you continue to overeat, let's say until the holidays are over (for a month), your health can become permanently damaged, you become even more insulin resistant, and your liver fat increases (aka fatty liver). You gain weight and store more fat, your C-reactive protein increases dramatically (this is a marker of inflammation), and even your blood tests will begin to reveal evidence. Antioxidants called plasmalogens show and increase, which means your body is fighting oxidative stress. It's not just the number on the scale; prolonged overeating is not good for your health.
However, there is a way you can upzig (LynFit's term for cheating or going off-plan) without harming health or gaining an ounce.
The studies mentioned don’t distinguish between quality and quantity, or how overeating with different kinds of foods (like the kind that boost metabolism) can elicit different effects. For instance, in the study that looked at overfeeding’s effect on lipid/fat metabolism, the subjects overate by eating more cookies, potato chips, and cheesecake, and drinking an oil-based liquid supplement (like the kind many folks are adding to their coffee).
Overeating a bunch of that junk food like mentioned above, or adding additional fat calories like the kind found in coconut oils or creamers (many Keto supplements contain these fat-storing types of calories), without first increasing your metabolic rate, which forces your body to utilize the extra calories versus storing them for later, is VERY different than simply overeating.
The best news is the research proves that overeating on clean proteins can have little to no impact on fat or weight gain compared to overeating on excess carbohydrates, alcohol, or saturated fats, especially if your metabolism is sleeping.
One uber-important thing to keep in mind is our individual variability. If you’re like me and have been overweight or deal with hypothyroidism, you're most likely more obesity-prone than others, and how we upzig needs to be different to avoid weight gain.
Yet, if you’re like my husband or 20-year-old son (both male and over 6 feet tall), you may be more obesity-resistant, which allows you to get away with a lot more than we 5 foot over 40 females.
Studies prove that the obesity-prone and obesity-resistant subjects had different responses after three days of overeating. The obesity-prone people saw their fat oxidation (fat burning) rates drop during sleep; they burned less fat. Yet, the obesity-resistant subject's fat oxidation rates remained unchanged (they continued to burn fat normally) during sleep, so they barely gained weight, and in some instances, they even lost weight.
Knowing which kind of “burner” you are matters most when it comes to creating boundaries around food. Know before you go is my motto. I pre-plan what I'll splurge on and what I won't. Most foods we woof down aren’t even worth it!
Also, when we talk about the effects of overeating or are deciding where we will and where we won’t, it's important to keep in mind that the effects will differ between individuals. Most importantly, how they vary depending on whether you're eating a pound of seafood or eating half a pie or drinking a bottle of wine.
The bottom line is that overeating can make you gain weight, clog your liver (make it fatty), induce oxidative stress, cause insulin resistance, increase inflammation, and make you more prone to colds and the flu. It also puts you at risk for a worse illness like cancer, diabetes, strokes, and make it harder to lose weight the longer it goes on.
I'm sure you're wondering why I'm saying this now after Christmas. Hopefully, you aren’t already dealing with the effects of excess, and I'm hoping I can help you navigate the remainder of this holiday season, providing you with a few tips to help you live leaner for life.
Here are six tips to help you navigate the holidays, create some food boundaries, and, more importantly, minimize the damage to your health.
BOOST METABOLIC RATE 25% WITH METABOLIC BOOSTING PROTEIN BEFORE OVEREATING AND IMMEDIATELY THE DAY AFTER
The first rule of weight loss should also be to boost metabolism before you indulge, and also the morning after, As I explained, the overeating won't be as detrimental if your metabolism is in high gear. LynFit Metabolic Boosting Complete Protein Powder is the best way to do this (common store-bought shakes or vegan shakes will not have the same effect and can actually have the opposite effect). For more info on how and when, please see the Metabolic Boosting Lose 1 Per Day Plan.
CHOOSE LEANER PROTEINS
Clean proteins have more neutral metabolic and body composition effects than overeating on carbs and fats. In fact, some of the side effects of eating more lean protein can be positive when it comes to your health. For instance, they can boost energy and metabolism and reduce diet boredom.
The psychological effects are also very helpful when it feels like you’re eating off-plan. During holidays, load up on shrimp, shellfish, and all seafood. If you’re not a lover of fish, you can load up on some turkey or chicken breast or even some lamb.
If you're craving red meat, the holidays are the best time to indulge but aim for the leaner cuts like tenderloin and sirloin if you really must have a small amount of beef rib roast. Remember to keep the portions smaller.
If you're more of a stuffing, mashed potatoes, or pie person, keep your servings size reasonable for your body.
One advantage of overeating on lean proteins is that eating less of the other stuff tends to happen by chance because your focus is on what you can have versus what you can't.
MANAGE INSULIN LEVELS, BLOCK CARBS AND FATS
If you're not taking LynFit Accelerator Advanced (aka Keto Carb Edge), you should be!
This supplement delivers maximum strength metabolic-enhancing and health benefits than I can mention in this blog. But what you need to know is that this natural botanical works more efficiently when it comes to blocking the harmful effects of carbs, sugars, and fats than any other supplement or medication (can be taken with diabetic medications safely - just monitor your numbers). It blocks 65 percent of unwanted carbs and fats without any unwanted side effects and helps your body metabolize the food you eat, so it's converted and used versus stored. You still get the health benefits from the good foods you eat without the negative effects of the not-so-healthy stuff.
Taking this in the morning when you wake up and again at lunchtime keeps your body and your metabolism balanced, priming it for fat burning, which is where LynFit Cutting Edge comes in.
Cutting Edge contains nutrients that help your body convert fats eaten into fuel, so they get used and burned off versus being stored, which also has health-boosting benefits like protecting good cholesterol levels and preventing bad cholesterol from getting out-of-hand.
I always suggest that my clients take these two together for maximum benefits, especially during the holidays or anytime you're going to overeat, or your weight loss needs a kickstart.
These two (Accelerator Advanced and Cutting Edge) supplements, taken together, improves the body's glucose tolerance and keeps insulin levels toned down, making it easier to recover and lose weight after overeating. Don’t ever skip your supplements on upzig days!
The combination of a Compete Protein Shake and these two metabolic boosting, all-natural supplements is the best way to combat overeating and keep the weight off.
BE SURE TO USE VINEGAR ON YOUR SALADS WHEN YOU UPZIG/OVEREAT
Any Vinegar will do; it doesn’t matter whether it’s organic apple cider vinegar or store-bought white vinegar. Vinegar improves our body's response to glucose (aka glucose tolerance) and also helps postprandial (postprandial means "after eating") or reactive hyperglycemia, which occurs after we overindulge or overeat. During this type of hyperglycemia, the liver doesn't stop sugar production, as it normally would directly after a healthier, balanced usual-sized meal. It stores excess glucose as glycogen (energy sugar stores).
Vinegar (as do Accelerator Advanced and Cutting Edge) helps improve glucose tolerance and keeps postprandial hyperglycemia and insulin levels balanced. The goal is to eat/ingest the vinegar with, or in, a side salad before the big meal 20-30 minutes before you overindulge. This sets off a cascade of events in your body, starting with the enzymes in the salad that are released from chewing leafy greens (it's not the same when greens are juiced). This also helps with all digestion and is most important for meals containing carbohydrates or overindulgence.
GO FOR A WALK VERSUS OVER-EXERCISING
Walking right after you eat has been done for centuries and has proven to be one of the best ways to help your body digest the food you ate while reducing blood sugar.
The next time you overeat, take a 20-30 minute walk. Your back will thank you after sitting for a long period, and you'll also reduce blood glucose and speed up gastric emptying, helping you process the meal much faster and reducing the bloated, uncomfortable feeling after overeating.
The longer the walk, the better. Longer walks can also reduce the postprandial insulin spike, but keep in mind that your walk needs to happen immediately after. If you wait too long, your insulin levels will already be in spike mode. Waiting even 30 minutes will suppress the effects.
A note on over-exercising after overeating: While over-exercising can be exercise bulimia, a walk is a healthy middle ground. If you're one of the exercise addicts crowd (no judging - I've been there) and you routinely run to the gym as a method to help get rid of excess calories (therapists now refer to this as binge behavior and can be labeled under an eating disorder), so your cells can process and convert to energy to exercise until your body is back into a deficit, trying to avoid weight gain, this is a very slippery slope.
It's about balance and intention. If you're constantly overeating and then over-exercising to the point that you keep getting injured and yet you still continue to abuse your body, there is nothing healthy about that behavior. There is help available, and there’s more hope than you think. Seek help, as the damage you're causing can be permanent. How do you know if you've crossed the line?
Take this short quiz:
- Feeling upset when you miss a workout
- Not listening to your body when it tells you to rest
- You exercise as a way to escape feelings or overeating
- Your workouts are interfering with relationships
- Your priorities have changed
- Your workouts keep getting longer and/our harder
- You feel like exercise is a waste of time if you're not “killing it,” as they say in the gyms (aka no pain no gain)
- Loss of menstrual cycle (women)
Exercise addiction is no joke and is affecting more people than you think, thanks to our workout-obsessed nation and social media, who think more is better.
BETTER is better, and exercise is science. When used appropriately, it can work miracles in your life. If you or someone you know needs help, please let us know, and we can help you set realistic fitness goals that are in alignment with your health goals.
Weight loss is 90 percent what you eat and 10 percent sweat equity. Most people who over-exercise don't lose weight, as this backfires damaging metabolic health versus boosting metabolism. LynFit's plans are designed to work without the need to over-exercise, and we keep exercise in perspective, so you learn how to eat without over-exercising. It works every time and restores sanity, so you can get back to living your life.
Don’t misunderstand, we aren't giving you a free pass to sit on the couch. Our bodies do need movement. Exercise is a way to energize the body and throwing energy toward your mitochondria and giving them a job to do. If we don't move, the opposite happens, and our bodies break down because of disuse.
Exercise shouldn’t be about weight loss or weight gain, necessarily. It should be about overeating and correcting that first, so you don't need to over-exercise. It’s about being good to our bodies. If you overeat and fail to energize your cells (aka movement) and do nothing, you are wasting that potential to strengthen your body at the cellular level.
Research agrees that exercise can counteract the short term negative effects of overeating, including the damage done to our DNA (epigenetics), as well as the insulin resistance that makes it impossible to lose weight or burn off stubborn belly fat. So, next time you need a reason to push yourself away from the table, go take a walk, or do some push-ups, sit-ups, squats or walking lunges immediately after.
Keep in mind that if your belly is too full to move, you've gone too far. Plan to scale back next time, so you feel good and pleasantly energized.
LET IT GO AND ACCEPT THE THINGS YOU CANNOT CHANGE
Now that you know that overeating the wrong kinds of food can harm your body and can induce enough oxidative stress to trigger the release of antioxidant compounds and can act as a stressor, it's also important to remember that upzigging can actually make you stronger in the long run. It's short and sweet, and you over-eat and re-seed your body with good, nutritious, and delicious food. In fact, upzigging is actually good for your metabolism, provided you have been boosting or plan to boost your metabolism to offset the excess.
Did you know that research proves that most people who gain weight during the holidays never quite lose it? It's not because they ate dessert on Thanksgiving or had a glass of wine. They gain and retain it because they consistently overindulge for too long (usually for the entire duration of the holidays), and the body can't handle it.
Most people figure, “Oh, I ate badly yesterday, which means this entire week is shot.“ Or, ”I’ll just do better starting next Monday.” We all know that usually, Monday never comes. There is always an excuse or reason to keep from doing what inevitably needs to be done. Many live in this lifestyle, and it goes on for months, or even years (it did for me).
The best way to break this cycle is to follow the Lose 1 Pound Per Day Plan. It's the most effective way to stop the "this week/month" or "I'll start tomorrow" mindset.
Forgive yourself; let it go, and remember that just because you ate badly yesterday, or at your last meal, doesn’t mean you should eat badly today and tomorrow. Continuing this unhealthy mindset and behavior only compounds your problems, and you wind up needing to lose even more weight, often harming your body on the process.
Overeating happens, but self-sabotage doesn't have to go along with it. My motto is let go, let God. Take it one meal at-a-time, focusing on progress, not perfection. Don't worry after you’ve filled your stomach with your family’s signature dish and being with the ones you love. There is HOPE, and you now have the metabolic boosting plan that will get you back on track the same day you start!
If you've never used the entire Lose 1 Pound Per Day System together, as you age, you'll realize why it's necessary, and you may want to give it a try now. Your hunger will go away, cravings will vanish, and your body will thank you for restoring it to healthy again. It's so effective at lowering blood sugar levels that even your aches and pains will diminish, as inflammation is driven by what we eat! Plus, when you live on this plan (I do... ), you get to upzig every week versus binging/feasting like you're never going to eat again. It helps manage your weight loss and keeps excessive overindulging in check easily.
The fact that this plan has a built-in detox/cleanse and follows intermittent fasting makes it easy to plan your guilt-free cheat days!
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Heinrich H, Goetze O, Menne D, et al. Effect on gastric function and symptoms of drinking wine, black tea, or schnapps with a Swiss cheese fondue: a randomized controlled crossover trial. BMJ. 2010;341:c6731.
- Lisa Lynn