It usually starts with: the one-pound Counter burger, Parmesan fries, and milkshake turned gut bomb. The I shouldn't have eaten that third slice of apple pie post-Thanksgiving thoughts. It's Homer Simpson on a normal day. Or in my case, the daunting 10-inch (or 14-inch, I was so traumatized that I can't remember) deep-dish pizza from Paxti's that I, to our waiter's horror, shamelessly finished by myself. 

These miscalculations, regrets, daily occurrences, and/or peaks have one thing in common: overeating. Overeating goes from joy to discomfort real quick. But what happens when you overeat?

beef, bun, cheese, hamburger, lettuce, bacon
Monica Cheng

You know the feeling of indescribable fullness that forces you, willingly or not, to unbutton your suddenly too-tight pants? That's your intestines' way of signaling to your brain that you've eaten too much. Satiety hormones oxyntomodulin and peptide tyrosine-tyrosine are released from the stomach and intestines to indicate fullness

Fat cells also release leptin, which acts like an energy gauge by telling the brain that the body has more than enough energy. Unfortunately, these signals circulate slowly and your brain might not receive them before that fourth doughnut is en route to your mouth.

doughnut, chocolate, sprinkles, sweet, candy, cake, pastry, goody, sweetmeat, cream
Lindsay Paulen

Your body has other ways of responding to overeating as well. Gas builds up in your intestines and stomach from the amount of food consumed, making your gut feel like a ticking time bomb. Relief comes in the form of releasing this gas pressure via burping. Unpleasant? Maybe. Homer Simpson-like?Definitely. But I'll take burping over feeling like Homer for the next 10 hours, hands down. Burp it out.

As if bloating and burping weren't enough, overeating often comes with an added bonus: heartburn. But the term "heartburn" is deceiving because it doesn't involve the heart (or literal burning, thankfully).

Heartburn occurs when digestive acid is forced up into the esophageal tract as a result of the stomach being filled to capacity. This acid reflux response causes an irritating sensation that we know as heartburn. Pass the Tums, please.

sauce, mushroom, spinach, crust, mozzarella, pizza
Jaclyn Puccini

After you've overeaten, your body begs for sleep. Part of your body's response to an influx of too much food is to rest and digest. Massive food intake causes a spike in insulin release from the pancreas in an effort to reduce the excess sugar in the blood by facilitating glucose uptake by cells throughout the body. Because insulin balance is dependent on slow signaling from the brain, too much glucose can be removed from the bloodstream, resulting in low blood sugar and drowsiness. 

The science behind what happens when you overeat is fascinating, but I don't recommend making a habit of eating more than your stomach can hold. If you find yourself comatose in your bed, on your kitchen table, or wherever you and your food baby can get to first, I hope you think of this article and what happens when you overeat.

At the very least, I hope you think of the embodiment of overeating himself, Homer Simpson. Feast. Metabolize. Bloat. Burp. Sleep. Repeat.