If you’re someone who savors a good meal, then you’ve probably done it at some point: eaten more than you should have, to the point of feeling bloated.
There’s a difference between this occasional, harmless occurrence and being an overeater, when you consume, over a long period of time, more food than you need to maintain good health and a sense of well-being. For most adults, this means consuming a healthy 2,000 calories a day.
Overeating can manifest itself as compulsive eating, also known as binge eating. Compulsive eaters often consume unusually large amounts of food on a regular basis — often up to 20,000 calories a day. At this point, they usually suffer from a bona fide eating disorder.
If you fear that someone you know is either an overeater or compulsive eater, but aren’t quite sure of the difference, the consequences are usually abundantly clear.
Overeating Is One Thing
Beyond feeling bloated and gassy, overeating can trigger:
- Chest pains
- Shortness of breath
Often, but not always, overeating can lead to obesity, which can raise the risk of:
- Heart disease
- Vitamin deficiency
- Along the way, many people often suffer in intrinsic ways, too – mainly in terms of their mental health, self-esteem and their family and social lives.
Compulsive Eating Is Something Else
Compulsive eaters often distinguish themselves by exhibiting several of the following signs:
- Eating alone
- Eating large amounts of food, even when they feel full
- Eating large amounts of food rapidly
- Frequent proclamations of dieting without actual weight loss
- Hoarding food
- Preoccupation with food
- Shame after eating
In addition to all the risks posed by overeating, compulsive eaters are often prime candidates for:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Kidney disease
- Major depression
Judging the issue by weight alone can be misleading: not all compulsive eaters are overweight; and not all overweight people are compulsive eaters. Weight control issues and obesity can be the result of poor dietary choices or “emotional eating,” or when people eat for relief or comfort, and not because they’re hungry.
Consulting a physician for help is a wise move – and certainly makes the occasional overeating episode tame by comparison. For those days, there is CharcoCaps, an over-the-counter caplet that provides relief from gas and bloating – and perhaps even a renewed sense of enjoyment over that good meal we all sometimes indulge in.