Best Advice on curing the effects of overeating on the stomach

effects of overeating on the stomach

On a Friday evening as I was reading, I came across the story of Dr. Shweta.

Dr. Shweta is a gastroenterologist who came across a patient with bloating issues in the stomach. She asked the patient, “What was the last meal that you took? How much did you eat? When did you have your last meal?”

The patient responded,” I had a heavy lunch consisting of 4 plates of chole bhature.” She asked the patient if he had a history of such issues to which the patient declined. Dr. Shweta understood that this is a case of overeating.

She asked the patient to do some medical tests and on seeing the result she told the patient to avoid overeating, do some exercise, gave medicines and follow a diet plan.

This made me realize that there may be so many people who are dealing with health issues caused by overeating. Overeating can be the root cause of many health problems. In the context of this blog, I am referring to effects of overeating on the stomach. There have been so many people dealing with these issues.

I want you to have a great health and have a scientific understanding on the effects of overeating on the stomach. My desire to serve you has led me to write this blog.

But before we get into the effects of overeating, it’s important to understand what overeating means.

What is overeating?

Overeating refers to the consumption of excess food than is needed by an organism to produce energy and excrete. It can also be referred to eating more calories than is required by our body. We tend to overeat on special occasions.

Overeating on special occasions is fine but making it a habit is not. If someone is eating a lot consistently then it could be a symptom of an eating disorder.

Before getting into the effects of overeating on the stomach it’s important to understand why people tend to overeat.

Why am I overeating?

Have you ever wondered why people overeat even when they are not hungry?

Let us find the answer to this question by understanding the causes of overeating.

  1. You don’t have a fixed mealtime and you eat while using the phone, laptop or TV.

Most working people have meetings during the day and eat on their desks in front of their laptop while working. This causes our body to overeat. Our stomach sends a signal to our brain when it is full. Our brain directs the action to our body to stop eating. But when we are working and our brain is engaged in any other activity then it misses out on the signal that it receives from our stomach when it is full.

  • Our diet lacks nutrition. So our body craves for more of what it gets and fulfills its requirement from what it is getting. If we are eating a diet full of carbohydrates and fats then our body will crave more of it because it does not know anything better. Instead we should feed our body with what nutrients it needs.
  • Our hunger is for something beyond food: When we are stressed about something or exhausted we tend to eat more. Many foods rich in carbohydrates have substances that make us feel calm. We should make a list of non food activities that nourish us.
  • You have placed unhealthy foods near your counter (wherever you sit and work for most of your time). Unhealthy foods tend to make you eat more of them to make you addicted and obese. The addiction causes overeating. Instead you should keep healthy foods near your counter.
  • You are not drinking enough water: When you are not drinking enough water, sometimes, your brain can get confused between hunger and thirst.
  • You are living on processed foods: Processed foods are designed to let your brain think that you are still hungry. You should eat fruits and veggies instead of processed foods.
  • You are unable to sleep for 6-8 hrs a day- Your body hormones work differently the next day when you are unable to sleep/get less time to sleep.
  • Eating food is a source of reducing your boredom.
  • You are skipping meals. Skipping meals can cause overeating when you are hungry.

Before coming to the specific effects of overeating on the stomach, let us understand the effects of overeating on our overall body.

Overeating effects

Frequent overeating can lead to:

  1. It can cause excessive accumulation of fat in our body making us look obese.
  2. Overeating can be one of the major causes of type 2 diabetes.
  3. Overeating can ruin our sleep pattern.
  4. Overeating can lead to heart health issues.
  5. Weakening the functioning of the brain.
  6. Our liver, pancreas and intestines need to work harder to secrete digestive enzymes and aid the breaking down of our food.
  7. Obesity caused by overeating can become a cause of cancer.

According to Asa Ernersson, (a researcher and PhD student at University of Sweden), ‘short term overeating can lead to increase in body weight and fat mass for the long term in individuals with normal weight.’

Our stomach has the capacity to hold from 1.5 litres of food to slightly more than 3 litres. Beyond this point, it becomes very risky.

Ever wondered why your stomach feels uneasy when you overeat? Let’s understand the effects of overeating on the stomach.

Effects of overeating on the stomach

Here is what happens to your stomach when you overeat:

  1. Overeating causes our stomach walls to expand while causes movement of the other organs of our body. This leads to discomfort, drowsiness and fatigue.
  2. The hydrochloric acid secreted by our stomach can back up to the esophagus which may cause heartburn.
  3. The digestion process becomes slower.
  4. The excess fat gets stored in our belly and other parts of our body.
  5. Our stomach may produce gas leading to an uncomfortable full feeling.
  6. Digestive enzymes are limited in number. So frequent overeating can cause a large amount of undigested food to remain. This undigested food in the stomach can become the cause of a lot of other health problems.
  7. Overeating can cause pain in your stomach.
  8. Uneasiness in your stomach can also lead to vomiting.
  9. Your stomach may get bloated due to gas.

Can eating too much make your stomach burst?

Yes, overeating can cause the lining of the stomach to get ruptured. If it gets ruptured beyond a certain extent then it may cause the stomach to burst. It is a very rare situation but it is a possibility. According to a research, a handful of Japanese doctors had written in a report that they believed that it was the overeating of the 49 year old that made his stomach to rupture, causing his death.

Most of the reports of ruptured stomachs come from people who are suffering from an eating disorder or a limited mental capacity. People with eating disorder have a habit of unusual eating to the extent that their body is unable to respond the way that it does for normal people. If the food does not come out through vomiting, then it needs to go somewhere. It goes to the stomach causing the stomach lining to rupture. Stomach ruptures should be dealt with surgical intervention or it may lead to death of the person.

What to do when you overeat and your stomach hurts? How to relieve stomach pain from overeating?

  1. Practice mild asanas of yoga or try brisk walking outside your home.
  2. Avoid taking a nap after overeating. It slows down your digestion process.
  3. Drinking herbal tea can be very useful for digestion. You can also try green tea as it is rich in antioxidants and aids digestion.
  4. Peppermint tea or candy can be very useful to relieve gas, indigestion and nausea.
  5. Try a pinch of turmeric in hot water. Turmeric helps to aid digestion, is rich in anti-oxidants and is an anti bacterial spice commonly used in our kitchens.

What to do after overeating?

You have eaten enough to cause your stomach pain, now it’s important for you to understand what to do after overeating.

  1. Go for a walk
  2. Drink a sip of water
  3. Engage yourself in an activity that will help you burn those calories.
  4. Workout – Run, lift weights and play an outdoor game.
  5. Have a light next meal. Plan it beforehand.
  6. Seek for a doctor’s help when you are really feeling very uncomfortable.

How to aid digestion after overeating?

  1. The moment you realize that “you’re done”, stop eating.
  2. Sipping Apple Cider vinegar can be a great help to your digestive system.
  3. Plan for your future meals in advance and make sure that you eat light and right the next time.
  4. You can watch a cardio class video on YouTube or go to the gym.
  5. Try drinking some lemonade to detoxify your body.
  6. Try meditation and relax your body. Relaxing your mind and body helps your body to function more efficiently and aid the digestion process.
  7. Eating a papaya can be really useful.
  8. Watermelons help to detoxify our body in big way.
  9. Asparagus helps in roughage and aids in cleaning our body from undigested food.

Remedies for overeating

Have you ever had a tummy ache in childhood after coming from a party? Has your mom or grandma ever suggested you to take home remedy for overeating? I remember my grandma used to do so. There is a scientific reason for such home remedies.

  1. A small teaspoon of fennel seeds (saunf) is great to have after eating food as it aids digestion.
  2. Dry fenugreek (methi) seeds with watery buttermilk is good for digestion.
  3. A powder made with seeds of cumin, coriander, fennel and carom stored in an air tight container is ideal for digestion.

These are a few home remedies that I remember, if you remember any such remedy then you can comment below.

Ways on how to detox your body after overeating

  1. Include probiotics in your diet such as yoghurt, khimchi, kefir, etc.
  2. Boost your metabolism with chamomile or ginger tea.
  3. Include antioxidants in your diet.
  4. Consume foods that are lighter to digest such as soups, salads, porridge or khichdi.
  5. Include green leafy vegetables in your diet.
  6. Eat fruits that help in detoxification such as the ones that have high amount of water.

We have learnt how to deal with overeaten food. But to avoid making overeating as a habit we need to know how to avoid it. Let’s understand how to stop overeating.

How to stop overeating?

  1. Get rid of distractions (using the mobile, laptop) while eating.
  2. Understand the kind of foods that tempt you.
  3. Don’t ban any of your favourite foods, just avoid consuming them too frequently.
  4. Put your food in a plate instead of eating from a container. Putting a portion of food in a plate helps define how much to eat. So if you plan to eat popcorn at a theatre then ask for a plate and put the popcorn on a plate and eat it. Some goes with namkeens /mixtures.
  5. Eat regular meals and avoid skipping any meal. Skipping meals tend to make you hungry after sometime, which can lead to overeating when you are unable to control your hunger.

You can read a few more articles to learn more on health and fitness:

  1. Click here to learn the importance of physical fitness and wellness for good health
  2. Click here to read on Yoga or Gym Which is better for weight loss? Look smart by reducing weight
  3. Click here to read on An Actionable Guide of How to Start Workout at Home
  4. Click here to read on Unbelievable tips for Healthy Lifestyle and Eating Habits

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