Just How Unhealthy Is it to Eat That Humongous Meal?

posted: 11/24/15
by: Courtney Reimer
thanksgiving dinner
Loren Kerns

As we prepare to dig into the biggest meal many of us will eat all year, in the back of our minds somewhere is the nagging question: how unhealthy is it to gorge on so much food in one sitting? The answer, as with so many things, is: it depends.

The New York Times' Upshot blog recently published a feature that analyzed the various studies on eating large quantities in one sitting, and what they basically found is this: as long as you make allowances for that extra food you'll be intaking, you should be fine to indulge from time to time. Put another way: eat a smaller breakfast and lunch, and pull back on what you're putting in your body for the rest of the day, it's really no big deal. They write:

"Of course, it's not healthy to eat yourself sick -- consuming too much, too fast, can lead to indigestion and other problems. People at high risk for heart disease, blood clots or diabetes shouldn't throw out their doctor's recommendations. But for most people, this isn't the day to worry about food."

One thing Greatist notes: is it's probably not a good idea to make a habit out of big meals. Why? Well, there appears to be some truth to the whole "eating a big meal stretches your stomach" thing. That, in turn, sends your brain the signal that big meals should be the norm.

So, go ahead and indulge on that special occasion -- you'll just probably be better off if it's a treat and not the norm.