Holiday eating: What really happens to your body when you overindulge


YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Millions of Americans will be sitting down to enjoy their Thanksgiving dinner this week, and the tendency to overeat is a battle that is not easily won.

A lot of people look forward to this time of year because of the food. Things like turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, and of course all those desserts are hard to resist.

It may help to know that the human stomach can hold about one liter. That’s about the size of a large burrito. When the stomach is overfilled it squeezes against other organs, giving you that overfull feeling.

Taking several bites also incorporates a lot of air into your intestines, creating gas. This can be exacerbated with alcohol and carbonated beverages.

The more food you eat, the more stomach acid that is created which could lead to heartburn.

Dr. Mike Sevilla of the Family Practice Center of Salem, says Thanksgiving eating tips is the most common question he’s been getting from his patients the past few weeks.


Sevilla says there is nothing wrong with indulging during the holidays but we need to make sure we’re not overdoing it.

There are a few simple things you can do to keep yourself in check at those holiday parties, especially for those wanting to stick to a diet or with health issues like heart disease and diabetes.

Hidden calories are everywhere on a holiday table including in gravies, eggnog, alcoholic beverages, and dressings.

“Try to take everything in moderation. Try to eat slower. People get really excited, and they smell these great foods. And if you load up, try to load up more on fruits and vegetables,” Sevilla said.

It’s also important to keep up with your exercise routines during these weeks. Dr. Sevilla says if it’s not too cold outside, go for a walk before or after your meal.

Sevilla says the most important thing we should do over the holidays is to enjoy our food and families.

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