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10 Doctor-Recommended Reasons not to Overeat this Thanksgiving

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With a holiday dedicated entirely to eating (and being thankful for said food), it can be hard to not over-indulge yourself. Add in homemade, traditional foods – because what’s Turkey Day without Grandma’s famous stuffing and your Mother’s classic baked ham? – and it’s practically a given that we’ll eat more than we should. However, with all the health issues that can come from over stuffing oneself – not to mention the awful feeling of a stomach too full to digest – there are plenty of reasons to stick to smaller portions this year.

Even the doctors agree.

10. It can Cause Acid Reflux

Because acid reflux is caused by stomach acid flowing up toward the esophagus, the more contents in one’s stomach, the higher than chances they’ll suffer from these acid-based pains. Stick to smaller portions, or take a break before dessert, to avoid this common symptom of eating too much dinner.

9. It Slows the Digestive Track

More food to digest means a longer wait before the entire meal cycles itself through. For some this can make it uncomfortable to relax throughout the day, fall asleep that night, or want to eat their next meal – even on an empty stomach. Look for a smaller plate of food to keep your intestines working smoothly throughout this eating-based holiday.

8. It can Stop up the System

Research (and experience) tells us that consuming too many rich foods can put a halt to our natural bodily functions. By slowing down the eating and drinking plenty of water throughout the day, eaters of all digestive healths can help encourage business as usual.

7. It Will Make you Miserable

No one likes being stuffed to the brim, no matter how delicious the food; consuming too much in one sitting can leave you feeling like a beached whale for the next several hours. Generally the more you eat, the longer it takes to get back to a normal level of “stuffed.”

6. It can Affect Sleeping Patterns

Because a person normally eats around the same times (generally, anyway), the body is used to a certain amount of digestion before bed. Consuming a significantly larger amount can mean the body is working well past normal quitting time to get everything settled.

5. You Can Take Home Leftovers

Maybe not every doctor recommends this reason (though they should): taking home food for leftovers can be a huge perk. Think of it as portion control, or just as an excuse to take a killer sack lunch to work the next day.

4. It’s a Good Way to Practice Self Control

Keeping to smaller portions as a rule will ready your body for more uniform meals.

3. You Could Become Nauseous

When too full, one of the body’s first responses is to evacuate the stomach as quickly as possible. While actual reversal doesn’t always take place, the feeling of an upset stomach still manifests when filled to the brim.

2. Allergies and/or Bad Reactions Are Hard to Track

Though it’s rare, unknown food allergies can present itself in adults – whether caused by a single ingredient or a combination of foods. When taking in so much, however, it’s hard to track which items caused the bad reaction(s).

1. It Could Become a Habit

When overeating, the stomach enlarges to make room for your growing meal size. This means that during the next sitting, your stomach will have grown, needing more food to fill it up. When repeated, it causes us to eat more at each meal, causing weight gain and other unwanted health reactions. [Dr. Weil]

To avoid the above, remember to keep portion sizes down this Thanksgiving.