exploring the effects of overeating macros: what really happens in your body?

overeat, overeating, macros, effects of overeating

We’ve all had those moments when we indulge a little bit too much, whether that’s a hearty meal, a delicious dessert, or a late-night snack that turns into a feast. But have you ever wondered what happens to your body when you overeat? 

In this episode, I dive deep into this topic and provide actionable steps to mitigate the impact of overeating on your body composition or weight management goals. Some of the things I cover in this episode are:

what happens in your body when you overeat your macros?

When you overeat, your body receives an excess of calories that it needs to process and store for later use. Initially, this surplus of calories can contribute to fat gain because the body’s primary mechanism is to store excess energy as fat. 

But, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the extra dessert you had last night is going to be immediately stored as body fat. There’s actually a lot more going on inside the body when we overeat aside from fat storage. The way your body stores excess calories is influenced by several factors, including digestion, macronutrient composition, activity levels, and absorption.

how digestion impacts calorie burn, and what that means for your weight management goals.

Did you know that digestion alone accounts for about 10% of the total calories we burn every day? So, that means the more you eat, the more you’ll burn in calories digesting and absorbing that food. Not all the calories you eat are stored. 

While digestion does contribute to calorie expenditure, it is a relatively small portion of the overall energy balance. To achieve weight management goals, it’s important to focus on maintaining a healthy diet, engaging in regular physical activity, and considering the overall calorie intake and expenditure.

how does the composition of your meals impact fat storage?

The overall balance of calories consumed and expended is crucial for weight management. Consuming excess calories from any macronutrient can lead to weight gain. However, not all macros are made equal. The type of macros that you consume (or over consume) has an impact on how your body uses those excess calories. 

For example, protein has a unique role in tissue repair, satiety, and higher thermic effect and is less likely to contribute directly to body fat storage compared to carbohydrates or fat. 

why when you eat more, you tend to burn more calories.

You tend to burn more calories when you eat more due to a few different reasons. 

First, the body may naturally increase energy expenditure required for digestion, absorption, and processing of extra nutrients. The increase can lead to a temporary rise in metabolic rate and energy expenditure.

Next, overeating can also affect postprandial physical activity, which refers to the movement or activity that occurs after a meal. This is why some individuals may experience a natural inclination to move more spontaneously and subconsciously after overeating.

Finally, when you eat more, you have more energy to burn, which can lead to more energy expenditure in your next workout.

does your body absorb all foods in the same way? what exactly is the impact of absorption on calorie intake?

The short answer is no, our body does not absorb all foods in the same way, and not all calories consumed are fully absorbed by the body. Factors like the presence of dietary fiber and certain medications can affect absorption. Foods high in fiber can pass through the digestive system without being completely broken down, reducing the overall net calories that become available for storage as fat.

Therefore, it’s recommended to consume a balanced diet that includes a variety of nutrient-rich foods, including high-fiber foods and healthy sources of dietary fat, to not only support overall health and well-being but perhaps to contribute to a higher caloric burn from the equivalent amount of calories from refined, processed and packaged foods. 

Overeating can have both short-term and long-term effects on your health, but it’s nothing to be afraid of when you understand what’s happening in the body. If your goal is fat loss, overeating on occasion will not disrupt your progress. Fat loss occurs over several weeks and months by consistently being in a calorie deficit. 

Thanks for listening! Be sure to tune in to all the episodes to get more advice for reaching your health goals with a macros approach.

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Resources mentioned in this episode:

  • DIY Macros Guide – Follow this free guide to set your own macros so you can start eating to your needs ASAP!

  • Macros Made Easy – Get on the waitlist to learn when we enroll next and qualify for exclusive bonuses. This is a professional led, self-paced online course that teaches you how to track macros—the stress-free way. Learn how to eat for your unique needs so you can be in the driver’s seat of how you look, feel and perform without relying on a restrictive diet plan ever again.


  • Eat to Lean Coaching – If you’ve mastered the basics of macros, but there’s still room for more clarity and personalization for your particular goals, join us in Eat to Lean Coaching! ​In this group coaching program you’ll learn nutrition, exercise and mindset changes alongside other women who are in your exact shoes.

follow Macros Made Easy on Instagram for more macro tracking how-tos