By Briana Boehmer
Sure, we all know eating too much has its implications. Let’s not dwell on the obvious. And we all know the saying “everything in moderation.” Clearly, Thanksgiving throws a big hand in the face of that one. However, have you ever taken the time to really think about what happens when you overeat? Have you ever wondered if there is more to it than meets the eye? Well let’s sit down with our nemesis overeating and see what we find when we dig into the facts…
The Good News
Your body is SMART. Oh yes, very smart. The key is to understand how the body operates, which at its purest level is survival. When researchers and scientists look at how the body reacts to various stimuli, the pattern is almost always linked to survival. Our body is wired to adapt to sudden changes in order to achieve balance or homeostasis as quickly as possible. In the face of a change in the norm, your body will do its best to counteract that change to create what it is used to. Case in point, if the only day I ever overeat is Thanksgiving, my body is going to do its best to take care of those calories and get “back to normal”.
We never JUST overeat on Thanksgiving Day. The trend?…To overeat from Thanksgiving up to the New Year. It is this CONSISTENT overeating, albeit a short period of time, that wrecks havoc on your waistline. In a recent 2010 study out of Linkoping University in Sweden*, researchers found that short bouts of consistent overeating lead to long-term weight gain. While further research needs to be done, the study confirmed what we already know from years of looking at weight gain and loss – everything in moderation. One day of overeating a year – no big deal. One month of overeating – Houston, we have a problem.
The Take Home
Don’t beat yourself up over that piece of cherry pie or extra piece of turkey. Be more aware of what you are doing throughout the holiday season to keep your eating on track. Counter excess eating with regular exercise and see if you can aim to NOT gain weight during this most wonderful time of the year!
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*Ernersson, A. Nutrition & Metabolism, Aug. 25, 2010