Sometimes you don't know you're overeating until it's too late—especially around the holidays when family and friends and scrumptious foods distract you from your body's natural cues cries for help. While overeating one day a year probably won't kill you, it can make you feel uncomfortably full and slightly ill. Instead of letting things go too far, look out for these signs of overeating, and stop while you're ahead.
1. You feel 100 percent satisfied—but you're still eating.
To avoid such situations, the best time to put your fork down is when you feel approximately 80 percent full, says registered dietitian Keri Gans, MS, author of The Small Change Diet. So if you're already 100 percent there, you might want to take a breather. Of course, that's easier said than done when you're up against your favorite holiday dessert. (Just remember you can take home leftovers.) Keep filling up your fork, though, and you'll end up overeating.
2. You've officially stopped appreciating every mouthful.
Experts believe that the first few bites of a food provide the most pleasure. After that, you start to mindlessly shovel that food into your mouth and lose sight of your actual appetite. When you stop freaking out over how good your food tastes, consider calling it a meal. Otherwise you will overeat.
3. You physically need to take a break.
When you subconsciously drop your fork or take a deep sigh, it could mean your body has eaten enough. "You also might gaze down at your plate and realize you really should leave some of the food behind, since you're starting to feel full," Gans says.
4. You get a mid-meal hot flash.
Digestion increases your body's temperature—if you stoke the fire with too much food, you might overheat. (Spicy food can have the same effect.) So if you get the sweats mid-meal, you're probably overdoing it.
5. Your pants become alarmingly tight.
Your jeans fit this morning. But now? Not so much. When you eat too much food, your stomach can get distended pretty immediately, Gans says. If think you're past the point of return, you're either wearing the wrong thing or you ate much too much.
6. You think you will actually die if you do not remove yourself from the table and recline immediately.
It sounds obvious, but you really shouldn't feel extremely stuffed (or near death) after a meal. If you do, you definitely overate, Gans says. Either way, resist the urge to faceplant on the nearest couch after a meal. It could set you up for heart burn and indigestion, which you can easily avoid by sitting upright.
7. You go back for seconds and thirds.
Chances are, your first full plate of food already served up more than one standard portion of each dish. If you house that entire plate of food and your stomach is literally still growling for more? Fine, refill until the grumbles go away. But this time, fill your plate with veggies, the only food you should really double up on, Gans says.
8. You're the last one to put your fork down.
Everyone overeats on Christmas and New Year's. Unless you are a slow and laborious eater, if you're the last one standing at the buffet, simple logic suggests you're probably overeating.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.