Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Weight Loss & Diet Plans

Font Size

Short-Term Overeating Has Lasting Impact

Study Shows Long-Term Weight Gain Can Result From Just 1 Month of Overeating

Overeat Now, Pay Later: Other Opinions

The study findings add credibility to what nutrition experts have told us for years about moderation, says Alice Lichtenstein, DSc, the Gershoff Professor of Nutrition Science and Policy at the Friedman School at Tufts University, Boston.

"Given what we currently know, I think the best advice we can give people is to moderate food intake and physical activity to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight," she says.

''Although there are times when overindulgence is difficult to avoid, for example, Thanksgiving Day, it is important to not turn that event into Thanksgiving weekend."

Another interesting finding of the study, says Joan Salge Blake, RD, a professor of nutrition at Boston University, is that the feasting seems to have affected some more than others. "It sounds like some could get back to their previous weight," she says. But some were not able to.

The take-home message is clearly not to overeat in the first place, says Blake, who is also a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. "Once you gain it, it is very challenging to take it off.'' Prevention of weight gain is the best strategy, she says.

Lichtenstein can't help but wonder what might happen if researchers looked at the opposite situation: short-term undereating coupled with increased physical activity, and what effect that might have on body composition long-term.

1|2

Today on WebMD

vegetables
Video
feet on scale
Blog
 
Woman looking at reflection in mirror
Article
Hot cup of coffee
Quiz
 
woman shopping fresh produce
Video
butter curl on knife
Quiz
 
eating out healthy
Article
Smiling woman, red hair
Article
 
6-Week Challenges
Want to know more?
Chill Out and Charge Up Challenge – How to help your tribe de-stress and energize.
Spark Change Challenge - Ready for a healthy change? Get some major motivation.
I have read and agreed to WebMD's Privacy Policy.
Enter cell phone number
- -
Entering your cell phone number and pressing submit indicates you agree to receive text messages from WebMD related to this challenge. WebMD is utilizing a 3rd party vendor, CellTrust, to provide the messages. You can opt out at any time.
Standard text rates apply
thumbnail_woman_tossing_spinach
Video
lunchbox
Article
 
What Girls Need To Know About Eating Disorders
Article
teen squeezing into jeans
fitfor Teens