Overeating and restricting food are both unhealthy practices that often stem from unhealthy places. Though we (obviously) don’t encourage either, we want to explore how each one affects your body.
There are both short-term and long-term effects of overeating. The direct effects may be bloating, heartburn, and even a change in temperature and feeling dizzy. However, it is the long term practice of overeating that causes the most problems. Firstly, overeating can cause weight gain, which when it reaches a certain point, can cause health complications. The digestive system goes into overdrive when one is overeating, therefore slowing down the digestion process. If this is done often, damage to the digestive system can get more severe. Being overweight also increases the risk for chronic diseases. Overeating can also confuse natural hormones that encourage eating, making one eat for pleasure (cravings) rather than actual hunger. This, in turn, encourages more overeating.
Similarly to overeating, restricting food also has short-term and long-term effects. The direct effects of not eating enough may be feeling dizzy, weak, or nauseous. If the restriction happens sparsely and is fixed right away by eating, these effects should go away. The long-term effects, however, can cause damage to the body. Firstly, not consuming the amount of calories that the body requires can cause metabolism to slow down, which causes muscle loss and slower the body’s ability to burn calories. A restrictive diet most likely does not provide all the nutrients that the body needs, which can cause weakness and fatigue. Though a lack of different nutrients causes different problems, most will reduce the quality of how one feels and looks. In women, restricting food can affect fertility as the reduced number of calories consumed messes with the natural hormone cycle.
Overall, both practices have damaging effects to the body and should not, if possible, be practiced. If you struggle with an eating disorder, please seek help: +1-866-633-4220.