What happens when you eat too much

Break out the elastic-waist pants, because the Thanksgiving countdown has begun. A giant meal that took days to prepare will disappear in minutes, and our digestive systems will resent us — much like some of our relatives — for all we’ve put them through.

But what actually goes down in our bodies when we gobble up? This video from the American Chemistry Council explains, complete with endearing science nerd humor. Our stomachs can stretch to just over a liter in volume, or roughly the size of a burrito. Mmmmm, turkey burritos…

My husband has developed his own theory of stomach stuffing — I call it “Tummy Tetris” — which posits that he can will his stomach, with only his mind and a little shimmy, to open up a food-shaped space for seconds and/or dessert. If he’s full but wants a piece of pumpkin pie, for example, he simply directs his stomach to fashion a triangular hole, into which the slice will comfortably fall.

The American Chemistry Council, or anyone else for that matter, does not endorse this theory.

Nutrition experts also have debunked the pervasive myth that turkey makes us drowsy. Yes, it contains tryptophan, but in a smaller amount than many other foods, including cheese and pork.

Have a great Thanksgiving!

Jackie Farwell

About Jackie Farwell

I'm the health editor for the Bangor Daily News, a Bangor native, a UMaine grad, and a weekend crossword warrior. I never get sick of writing about Maine people, geeking out over health care data, and finding new ways to help you stay well. I live in Gorham with my husband Nick and our hound dog Riley.