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What Are the Dangers of Overeating?

By William McCoy

Visiting an all-you-can-eat buffet can be satisfying, but this behavior should be the exception rather than part of your typical dining routine. Overeating, which occurs when your caloric intake exceeds what your body needs, can lead to a long list of serious health repercussions that can harm your quality of life.

Weight Gain

Overeating leads to weight gain, which you might notice in a matter of weeks if you carefully track your weight. The calories you should consume per day depend on how old you are and the physicality of your lifestyle. For example, if you're a 30-year-old woman with a sedentary lifestyle, your daily caloric intake should be between 1,800 and 2,000 calories. Overeating to the extent that your daily caloric intake exceeds this range puts your body in a caloric excess and causes weight gain.

Physical Health Issues

Short-term effects of overeating can include bloating and lethargy. Longer-term effects, however, are more serious. The weight gain that results from overeating can lead to you being overweight or obese. Associated health risks of having this body type include an increased risk of issues such as coronary heart disease, stroke, cancer, high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes. You can also experience joint pain, sleep apnea and gallstones.

Emotional Health Issues

The dangers of weight gain as a result of overeating aren't merely physical. You can also experience emotional health issues related to your body, such as poor self-esteem, an unhealthy body image and depression. The implications of dealing with these emotional consequences of overeating are vast and can affect your social life and ability to function in the workforce. For example, you might feel bullied by colleagues or lack the self-esteem to strive for a promotion at work.

Ownership Over Your Diet

Take ownership over your eating habits by understanding how many calories you should consume per day and carefully track what you eat and drink to avoid surpassing this number. Foods high in protein and fiber can promote a full feeling, which might help you avoid the temptation to overeat. When possible, avoid foods with a high glycemic index, such as white bread, crackers and rice. These products cause a rapid blood sugar rise and fall, which results in increased hunger.

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