Physical effects of Overeating

Some research has shown that overeating may be caused by the neurotransmitter Dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical that helps us feel pleasure, thus when we eat, we often feel a slight high. This system causes us to want to seek out food and eat at regular intervals so we stand a better chance of gaining a full range of nutrition, thus have a better chance of surviving.

The Effect of Overeating on Dopamine Levels

Research into the dopamine system has also shown that when we overeat, dopamine receptors are slightly depleted in the brain. In fact, many obese patients who have previously had trouble cutting down on food show strong evidence of Dopamine receptor depletion.

If there are fewer Dopamine receptors in the brain, a person would have to eat more just to get that same good feeling. This means:

Resisting temptation goes a long way toward keeping those receptors active, which is why slimmer people may be satisfied after eating a bite of cheesecake, rather than a whole slice.

This gives credit to the argument that individuals can, in fact, have an addiction to food. It is a condition that needs to be treated like any other addiction, through counselling, education, and constant monitoring. Unfortunately, individuals addicted to food have to regain control of their eating habits while continuing to face food everyday.

Processes in your body when you eat too much

Saying that you are stuffed is not just a figure of speech, when you eat too much at once, you are stretching your stomach beyond its normal capacity. When you pull up to the table, your stomach is somewhere around the size of your closed fist. Before you start shoveling it in, take a look at the food on your plate, as compared to the size of your clenched hand.

Overextending your stomach’s capacity repeatedly through overeating not only causes considerable discomfort in the short term, it can compromise your health in the long run. If you recognize any of the following symptoms, you are probably eating too much in one sitting!

While it can be tempting to eat big at family dinners and holiday gatherings, a little common sense can help you overcome the urge to gobble as much as you can:

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