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Thanksgiving is the perfect occasion to destress and catch up with relatives and friends. But with the presence of delicious food, great company, and a good mood, the event might also be the perfect excuse to overeat and ditch your diet. Before the perfect occasion turns into an eating catastrophe, here are the top tips to not go beyond your portion.
Why Overeating is Bad
Aside from the extra pounds you could gain, overeating also poses a ton of health risks to your body. Among the most common problems associated with overeating include:
- Tummy Troubles
Overeating means consuming food beyond what you can normally handle. Naturally, this could injure your digestive system as your organs will need to work harder than normal to keep up with your food consumption. This, in effect, might trigger gas and bloating, especially if you’re consuming spicy foods and carbonated drinks.
Another common side effect of overeating is nausea. Generally, adults share the same stomach size regardless of differences in their body weight. On average, an empty stomach is said to be the same size as a human fist. Although it does expand as we take in food, consuming too much will cause a general feeling of discomfort. Worse, it could lead to indigestion and nausea.
The stomach secretes digestive juices containing acids to break down food. As we eat, our stomachs expand. The more a person eats, the more his stomach expands. In effect, this could prevent the lower esophageal sphincter from closing. When this happens, stomach acid could rise into your esophagus, causing heartburn.
Techniques to Avoid Overeating
- Take your time
Slowing down is one of the top ways to avoid eating beyond your limit. Generally, it takes about twenty (20) minutes before the brain can communicate feelings of fullness. By eating slowly, it will give your brain more time to know if the stomach is already full. You can add extra time by chewing slowly and/or eating in small sizes.
- Hit the veggies first
Instead of going straight for the turkey or pasta, it’s best to reserve your first bite to your humble veggies. Since vegetables are rich in fiber, these foods will help slow down your glucose peaks and hence regulate the levels of hunger hormones in your body.
- Be mindful of your alcohol intake
Getting drunk on Thanksgiving won’t just expose you to a possible hangover the next day; it could also cause you to overeat. In a recent study, researchers found that exposure to ethanol could lead to hyperactivity of the hypothalamic Agrp neurons, causing ethanol-induced overeating.
A single occasion could lead to various disasters. Make your Thanksgiving an occasion to remember by creating good memories with family and friends without going beyond your healthy portion. Talk to your doctor if you’re having problems with overeating and unwanted weight gain.