Proof our metabolism can cope with isolated overindulgence
If you’ve overindulged on lockdown takeaways don’t beat yourself up too much. A new study from the University of Bath compared the effects of normal eating (until you’re comfortably full) and maximal eating (until you can’t manage another bite) and found that our metabolism can be surprisingly good at coping with isolated overindulgence.
The researchers ran an ‘all you can eat pizza trial’ involving healthy men (aged 22-37) consuming an average of more than 3,000 calories worth of pizza in one sitting – some participants managed 2.5 pizzas each! Despite ticking off well over the daily recommended calorie intake in one go, the number of nutrients in the participant’s bloodstreams remained within the normal range.
This indicates that if an otherwise healthy person overindulges occasionally, there are no immediate negative consequences when it comes to losing metabolic control, say the researchers. “The body actually copes remarkably well when faced with a massive and sudden calorie excess,” explains lead researcher Aaron Hengist. “Healthy humans can eat twice as much as 'full' and deal effectively with this huge initial energy surplus.”
The researchers do note that the term occasional is key, acknowledging that prolonged food overindulgence is directly associated with obesity, type II diabetes and cardiovascular disease.