This Is Why You Should Never Eat Until You're Full

Everyone has overeaten at some point in their life. Perhaps you've unbuttoned your pants during Thanksgiving after a particularly filling dinner, or gotten into an eating competition with a friend. Overeating is defined as eating too much in one sitting or consuming more than your body needs for energy, explains VeryWellHealth. Usually, this means eating until you feel full or more than full, which can cause discomfort. While it may feel satisfying to eat a large meal, it's actually unhealthy to eat until you feel full. Some complications from overeating include feeling bloated, sluggish, difficulty sleeping, or acid reflux, explains Insider

If you feel like you're overeating, try following a tip from Japan. The Japanese have a phrase called "Hara hachi bu," which means "eat until you're 80% full" and which originated in Okinawa, explains Cleveland Clinic. It's good advice, essentially meaning that you should eat an amount of food that will make you feel satisfied but not completely full. Slowing down when you eat can help you understand how much food it takes to make you feel full. There are other things you can do to manage your food cravings and avoid overeating, but sometimes the simplest solutions are the best.

Eating slowly can help with overeating

When you eat, your stomach expands. The more food you eat, the larger your stomach will expand to accommodate. The stomach has stretch receptors that activate when water or food enters the stomach, and these receptors send signals to the brain through the vagus nerve that connects the gut and brainstem, according to Harvard Health. The faster you eat, the less time there is for these signals to reach your brain, making you think you're not as full as you actually are. That's why there is no gradual increase in feeling full when you overeat. When you feel full, it is your body's way of telling you, "Hey, it's time to stop eating, you've eaten too much." When you eat, it's actually not a good thing to feel completely stuffed.

Interestingly, some researchers believe that overeating does not cause obesity, but rather it's what you eat rather than how much you eat that drives obesity, according to the Oxford University Press. Still, overeating does have risks, including creating excess body fat depending on what you overeat, increasing your risk of disease, and it can even impair brain function, according to Healthline. Overeating can also cause other health problems, such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Eating smaller portions at a slower pace can help you avoid eating until you feel full. Listen to your body and make sure to stop eating if you start to feel full.