Pigging Out Every Now and Then Isn't That Bad, and Your Body Can Adapt

May 14, 2019

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If you're planning to eat-and-drink your way through Memorial Day weekend, this might help with the guilt. A new study found our bodies actually bounce back fairly quickly after a big day of gluttony. And occasional overeating probably won't cause long-term issues. But that doesn't mean you can overindulge every weekend.

Researchers had people overeat for five straight days to simulate how you might act around a big holiday weekend. Each person added 1,000 calories a day to their diet. And it turns out our bodies are pretty good at coping with it. Because it didn't have any significant long-term effects on metabolism or insulin levels.

Here's the catch though: All the volunteers were YOUNG people who were in decent shape. So it's not clear how an overweight 50-year-old body responds.

The researchers also don't want us to use this as an excuse to overeat all the time. Because they also had volunteers increase their calorie intake for a full month. And that did affect things like weight and insulin response. 

It also had a much larger effect on visceral body fat. Which is the fat around your vital organs that can lead to things like type 2 diabetes.

But if you normally exercise and eat healthy, they say you shouldn't feel too guilty about cheat days, or eating more around the holidays.