- Overeating causes the stomach to expand beyond its normal size to adjust to the large amount of food. The expanded stomach pushes against other organs, making you uncomfortable. This discomfort can take the form of feeling tired, sluggish or drowsy. Your clothes also may feel tight, too.
- Eating too much food requires your organs to work harder. They secrete extra hormones and enzymes to break the food down.
- To break down food, the stomach produces hydrochloric acid. If you overeat, this acid may back up into the esophagus resulting in heartburn. Consuming too much food that is high in fat, like pizza and cheeseburgers, may make you more susceptible to heartburn.
- Your stomach may also produce gas, leaving you with an uncomfortable full feeling.
- Your metabolism may speed up as it tries to burn off those extra calories. You may experience a temporary feeling of being hot, sweaty or even dizzy.
What are the long-term effects of overeating?
When you eat, your body uses some of the calories you consume for energy. The rest are stored as fat. Consuming more calories than you burn may cause you to become overweight or obese. This increases your risk for cancer, diabetes, pain in various parts of the body also other chronic health problems.
Overeating — especially unhealthy foods — can take its toll on your digestive system. Digestive enzymes are only available in limited quantity, so the larger the amount of food you eat, the longer it takes to digest. If you overeat frequently, over time, this slowed digestive process means the food you eat will remain in the stomach for a longer period of time and be more likely to turn into fat.
Overeating can even impact your sleep. Your circadian clock, which controls your sleep cycles, causes your sleep and hunger hormone levels to rise and fall throughout the day. Overeating can upset this rhythm, making it hard for you to sleep through the night.