Chances are your motivation to eat less and commit to foregoing that second (or third) helping of mac and cheese is at least partially tied to your desire to lose weight, get ripped, and look better overall. But in case your six-pack fantasies aren’t enough to motivate you to push back from the table, you should probably know that overeating will do a lot more than just pack on the pounds. This simple act can trigger wide-reaching health consequences—from sleep disturbances to the development of digestive problems like leaky gut syndrome or IBS.
While calorie needs vary from person to person, based on factors like age, height and weight, fitness goals, and overall activity level, the bottom line is this: You’re much more likely to overeat and consume too many calories if you eat lots of processed foods (which are high in refined grains and sugar), don’t get enough fiber, and drink a lot of sugary drinks or alcohol.
Now that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy a burger and a beer from time to time, but it’s all about balance. And when you know the true impact that all of those excess calories can have on your body, it’ll be much easier to practice moderation.
Here are five ways that overeating might be taking a toll on your body: