It is that time of year again: when celebratory food is ever-present, and temptations are equally abundant. A time when even the most health-conscious diner succumbs to the lures of the holiday buffet.
Holiday eating can result in an extra pound or two of weight every year - but is pigging out a harmless indulgence or a real health concern?
The most common side effects,
indigestion, flatulence and a large dose of drowsiness. Stuffing and mashed potatoes travel on an epic journey around the body, activating a simultaneous release of hormones, chemicals and digestive fluids.
Research from the Calorie Control Council indicates that the average American may consume an enormous 4,500 calories and a whopping 229 g of fat during a typical holiday gathering. This gastronomical excess can quickly amount to 45% of calories derived from fat and a holiday meal equal to three sticks of butter.
The human stomach can comfortably hold a volume of around 1 liter of food, about the size of a burrito, and can stretch to a capacity of 3-4 liters after a blowout meal. While the stomach will not burst, overeating will make your body work harder.
When we finally flop on the couch, feeling sluggish, either submitting to or fighting off the urge to nap, our body is busy dealing with the gastric acid in stomach
Heartburn occurs when the acid contents of the stomach pass backward up into the food pipe (called the gullet or esophagus).
The stomach is jam-packed full of culinary delights resulting in it squeezing against other organs and giving you the sensation of feeling "stuffed." The stomach and intestines fill with gasses, adding to the swollen feeling along with air jetting along for the ride with every bite - especially if soda or beer is also consumed.
The gasses that make drinks fizzy fill much more space in the stomach than the liquid it arrived in, leading to your body expelling the excess gas in one way, or another!
Heartburn is often an unwanted after-dinner guest. The stomach produces hydrochloric acid to break down food - more food means more acid - irritating the stomach lining and creeping up the esophagus to create an unpleasant burning sensation.
Antacids, such as calcium carbonate, use bases to neutralize the acid, which causes more carbon dioxide to increase the feeling of fullness, until your next burp.
During a big meal, cells in your intestines secrete a hormone called peptide tyrosine-tyrosine. When this hormone reaches the brain, it binds with receptors that give you a belly-busting feeling of fullness or perhaps even makes you feel a little queasy.
Some hormones react more strongly to meals that are high in fats, carbohydrates and proteins, but they all serve the same purpose - to get you to stop eating and avoid seconds.
Top 10 tips to feel less stuffed:
- Eat breakfast, do not fast
- Drink plenty of water
- Quality not quantity
- Load up on veggies and fruits
- Eat slowly and consciously
- workout - although not immediately after dinner
- Do not go crab crazy
- Do not treat as your last meal on Earth
- Eat seconds of dessert later in the day
- Eat "clean" the next day.
Symptoms of food borne illnesses include stomach pain, vomiting and diarrhea. They can start hours or days after eating contaminated or undercooked foods.