You pigged out at the holiday office party, or your friend’s tree trimming. Here’s what happens to your body when faced with a feast:
- In the first minute, your taste buds are going crazy, sending pleasure signals to your brain saying "eat, eat!"
- Within 5 minutes, your stomach is frantically working to dissolve food and shuttle it into the small intestine. Once there, nutrients will be transferred to your blood stream.
- By the 15 minute mark into a feast, your stomach will alert your brain that it’s at capacity. But if you’ve hoovered in your meal, your brain won’t get the memo until after you’ve loaded your plate with seconds.
- If your meal was particularly salty, within 30 minutes, your blood vessels will become stiffer. If your diet is always packed with salty food, that stiffening becomes a risk factor for heart disease.
- An hour after you gorge yourself, you’ll feel drowsy. That’s’ because your gut sent a signal to your brain to “rest and digest.” In return, your brain directed all available energy toward digestion.
- As far as your stomach is concerned, it’s stretched out like a balloon. If you feel achy or nauseous, that’s because it’s stretched so big it’s pushing on your other organs.
Now, chances are, you shoveled in twice as much as your body needs. So what happens to the excess, that isn’t converted into energy? It turns into fat. And why are you hungry again 2 hours after gorging yourself? Because you probably ate a bunch of refined carbohydrates and foods with high sugar and fat content. They burn up quickly in your system and you feel hungry again. The fix? Eat foods that digest more slowly, things with protein, fiber and complex carbohydrates.