This is everybody’s favourite time of the year when people are merry, bright and over indulge themselves with loads of office, family, friends and street parties going on every single week. It is equally the time for indulgence and over indulgence too!
According to research by Wren Kitchens, Brits consume over 5,905 calories during the course of Christmas Day alone! For any ordinary person, this corresponds to three times the average daily amount recommended for women. Even before the nation’s population manages to sit down for lunch, the average Brit will have eaten nearly a day’s worth of calories, stuffing the mouth with chocolate, crisps, nuts and sweets!
Furthermore, a 1/3 of Brits actually “hits the bottle” before lunch, while 37% inaugurate a bottle every single day of the festive week. Needless to say, this kind of negative and excessive behaviour is really hazardous for one’s general wellbeing. Unfortunately, according to the same study, 70% of the national population simply does not care about the consequences of such excessive behavior either!
The British Nutrition Foundation research kindly revealed that the extra calories consumed during the festive season, can lead to gaining around 1kg of excess weight, which in turn may increase your cancer risk. On top of that, over eating a large meal can negatively impact on the quality of sleep, the personal weight and the internal organs over both the short and long term.
Therefore, it only makes sense to explore now the notorious effects of overeating on the human body:
- As the body metabolism sprints to burn off the extra calories, you will probably feel hot, sweaty or even dizzy.
- To make things worse, the overloaded tummy may also accumulate gas, leaving you with an uncomfortable full feeling.
- The simple act of overeating forces your organs to work harder in order to secrete the necessary hormones and enzymes to break down the food.
- To break down food, the stomach produces hydrochloric acid. If you overeat, this acid may recede into the esophagus resulting in heartburn. To make things even worse, consuming excessive food high in fat (pizza, chips and cheeseburgers for example) may worsen the effects of heartburn.
- As overeating causes the stomach to expand in order to accommodate the large amount of food ingested, the expanded stomach puts pressure on other internal organs, thus causing you discomfort, tiredness, sluggishness or drowsiness.
In case you remain still skeptical, let’s explore the long-term effects of overeating:
- Whilst the body only uses some of the calories for energy, the rest is just stored as fat. In turn this may easily cause someone to become overweight or obese. Thus, the heightened risk for cancer and other chronic health problems.
- The larger the volume of food eaten only places more stress upon the digestive system as it takes longer for a person to digest it. Now, if you overeat regularly as a habit, this slowed down digestive process forces the food you eat to be stuck in the stomach for a longer period of time and turn to fat.
- Overeating can affect the quality of your sleep as well. The circadian clock (responsible for controlling sleep cycles) causes the sleep and hunger hormone levels to rise and drop during the day. Overeating may disrupt this rhythm, making it hard for you to sleep through the night.
As Christmas dawns upon us all, I hope this valuable data will inform your choices of behavior over Christmas and guide you towards more sensible and mindful eating during the festive season. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all!!!