If you plan to eat a lot over the holidays, know that your body can compensate – for a little while. In a new study published in the American Journal of Physiology — Endocrinology and Metabolism, researchers analyzed eight young men to look at the effects that short-term overfeeding had on the body. The men were placed on a diet consisting of about 1,000 calories more than the recommended daily limit, including snacks and soft drinks, and measured their weight, fat mass, blood sugar, and insulin levels after following this diet for five and 28 days. After five days of overeating, their visceral fat had increased 14 percent, but there were no other negative effects. After 28 days of overeating, though, the men had gained an average of 3.5 pounds, had increased fat and increased insulin resistance. While it is a small study, and more research is needed, the researchers did conclude that the human body can cope with short periods of increased calorie consumption, without any significant damage.
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