If you’re following a healthy eating diet plan and trying to lose pregnancy weight or get healthy in a safe way and you’ve had a blow out meal and over indulged in way too many calories – don’t panic! Before you’ve decided to resort to a lifetime of drawstring pants, stop and breathe!
Realise you are human and we can sometimes over indulge. As long as we recognize this and take practical action about it. Here we explain what happens when you eat a calorific meal! And then what you should do to tackle the blow out meal…
Within Five Minutes
Your stomach is frantically working to dissolve food and shuttle it to the small intestine, which will ferry nutrients like fat and protein into your bloodstream.
Within 15 Minutes
Both your stomach and small intestine alert your brain—via hormones such as peptide YY—that they are beyond capacity. But if you hoovered your meal, your brain won’t get the memo until after you’ve helped yourself to seconds.
Within the First Hour
After dessert, your insulin levels have spiked in an attempt to control the sugar that’s coursing through your bloodstream.
Within 30 minutes of eating a salty meal, your blood vessels may become slightly less supple. If your diet is always packed with salty foods, you may develop stiff blood vessels, a heart-disease risk factor.
After One Hour
Feeling drowsy? This fatigue is really the result of your stuffed stomach. It sent a “rest and digest” signal to your brain, which, in turn, directed all available energy toward digestion.
Your stomach is stretched like a balloon and is pushing against surrounding organs, possibly leaving you achy or nauseated.
After One to Two Hours
Your liver has converted the food into nutrients that your organs can absorb. If you’re lucky—and your carb reserves aren’t already full—most of the fat and calories you ingested have been converted into short-term energy. Chances are, though, you’ve shovelled in twice as much as your body needs, which means the excess is converted into layaway triglycerides and may be packed into fat cells around your thighs, butt, and belly.
After Two Hours
Whew—your stomach has emptied and your blood vessels are back to normal.
So what can we do to tackle our indulgent meal? Start the following morning!
- Whatever you do, don’t skip breakfast because that could set you up for overeating later in the day. Something like warm cooked oats with a sprinkle of LSA and mixed berries.
- Eat a lunch that’s packed with feel-full veggies and satisfying protein.
- By mid afternoon you might feel peckish, drink a glass of water and wait about 10 minutes to determine if you are truly hungry. If you are, try some wholemeal crackers and a handful of grapes.
- Try having a healthy light dinner.
- If you didn’t get any exercise today, go for a 30 minute walk after dinner. Walking after eating can help relieve belly bloat and elevate your mood.
- If you usually exercise 3 days a week, add an extra day. If you’re not a regular exerciser, then try to walk for at least 5 minutes, 3 times a day to start—it’s okay to start small; any little movement adds up to calories burned.
Sarah Michelle Weir
Adv Dip in Nutritional Medicine