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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This has got to be the most important thing for me - not overeating. I can do everything else right - eat dinner early, eat the right foods - nothing with too much fibre or starch, no excess fruit, but if I overeat all of that is for nothing. It took me a really long time to realise that I was overeating and that was just due to a chance comment my daughter made. Overeating is like doing all of the other wrong things all at once. Eating high FODMAPs can be a cause of carbohydrate malabsorption, but not nearly as much as overeating. ANYTHING that causes carbohydrate to end up in the colon undigested will feed bacteria. You don't necessarily need SIBO for this to happen. Overeating means that your intake of food is too much for your stomach to handle and some of it will travel through undigested.

It takes only a small amount of malabsorbed carbohydrate to cause a large amount of gas.

It's hard to know when you're overeating. But I know I overate the previous day if I have a difficult time evacuating, and all the IBS symptoms that come with that.

Clues that you may be overeating are:

  • Eating when you're not hungry. Why are you eating if you don't need to? Before every meal you should be hungry. This means your stomach is empty and there is room for your food. It sounds obvious but we can easily forget this.
  • Not knowing when to stop. Don't eat until you're full. Eat until you're no longer hungry. This takes a huge amount of willpower, especially when you're eating dinner as no-one likes lying in bed hungry, trying to fall asleep. The best thing to do is make sure you've had a busy day so you're tired by bedtime. If you have to loosen your belt or you can't comfortably go for a walk after eating, chances are you're eating too much.
  • GERD symptoms. If you're constantly burping or have acid reflux, or find you have to sit up at night to burp. The biggest cause of GERD is overeating. There is a strong link between GERD, SIBO and IBS.
  • Eating late at night. This could be a form of overeating as well, as the later you eat dinner the more likelihood you won't fully digest your meal. Lying down within an hour or two of eating isn't generally recommended. Gravity helps digestion. The earlier your dinner, the better. I try and have mine at 6.30 pm and aim for 9.30 pm bedtime.
  • General IBS symptoms: diarrhea or constipation. If you have IBS, consider that you are overeating. Most Westerners overeat so chances are you overeat. Food is a basic pleasure and all pleasures can be addictive. Your weight won't always indicate overeating. I'm not overweight, probably because the majority of the calories weren't absorbed.
  • Mushy stools / difficulty evacuating. The less I overeat the more solid the BMs are and the quicker and easier the process. I don't quite understand how this works but this seems to be the pattern with me. Mushy stool goes hand in hand with gas. Your diet shouldn't be producing much gas at all and if it is, that's a sign you're doing something wrong.
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