Long Life and Health
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Aging Health

Overeating May Shorten Your Life

Americans love to eat. Because of it, portion sizes have gotten bigger. Many people think nothing of ordering super-sized drinks that are loaded with sugar and overeating. Of course, the result – which can be expected – is that many people are overweight and unhealthy by medical standards.

Many people do not realize that eating large amounts of food regularly will take years off your life. Besides expanding your stomach – which makes it harder for your other organs to work correctly while your food digests, it could give you heartburn and gas and may speed up your metabolism.

It could make you feel hot, sweaty, nauseous, and possibly dizzy. Most likely, you will also feel a surge of energy and then have a dip in your sugar levels – making you feel tired.

The Long-term Effects of Regular Overeating

We eat to obtain energy for our daily activities. When you eat more calories than your body will use, which is one of the causes of obesity – the excess calories are stored in fat. When you eat unhealthy foods, your stomach takes longer to digest them, which makes it more likely they will become fat.

As you gain more weight and become overweight or obese, your health risks increase. You could develop some of the following health issues: high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and more. It also increases the likelihood that you could die from any cause.

Realize What Causes You to Overeat

When you are stressed, your body will produce a hormone called cortisol. This hormone helps prepare your body for fight or flight. In either case, your body will need energy, and the presence of cortisol will make you feel hungry.

It is why when people feel stressed, they often seek comfort foods, which usually contain a lot of sugar or fat.

Eating comfort foods in between meals (or with meals) may help reduce feelings of stress – but it does not do so without some side effects. When stressed, people tend to neglect other things that help to control their weight.

They start getting poor sleep, stop exercising regularly, and consume more alcohol than usual. The increased calories and longer waking hours usually mean eating even more – and gaining more weight.

An Important Diet Factor in Living Longer

There are several Blue Zones in the world. These are places where the longest-living people in the world live. Their habits of longevity are carefully studied. The longest-living people are in Okinawa, Japan. One of their secrets is that they regularly eat only 80% of a plateful of food.

Restricting Calories Could Increase Your Lifespan

Studies using animals and humans have found that calorie restriction – without causing malnutrition – enabled longer than normal lifespans. Some creatures lived more than one-and-a-half times their regular lifespan.

The reduced calories gave them better metabolism and a stronger immune system – which delayed the appearance of diseases often associated with old age. The delay in diseases was the result of a healthier thymus – which produces the T-cells that help fight disease. Their production normally decreases with age.

A simple step in increasing your longevity could begin with eating less and stopping overeating. Besides reducing weight, consuming fewer calories at each meal would also help reduce inflammation – another cause behind the development of more than 100 diseases.

Additional steps you might take for longevity would be to have a regular exercise program and eat more healthy foods – including more vegetables and fruit.

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