Gluttony vs overeating


What, if any, distinction is there? For example: I’m trying to lose weight and doing pretty well, but not where I need to be. Is it gluttony to overeat once or twice? If so, is it mortal?




I think the heart of sin is intention, so it might depend on whether or not you look forward to overeating.




:pizza::pizza::cake::cake::popcorn: :wink:

I have the same questions on this issue, actually.


I am not a priest, so take what I say with a grain of salt.
A sin, in order to be mortal, must be done on purpose with full knowledge and consent. I doubt that overeating is a mortal sin.
It’s an addiction, which takes away some of the guilt involved.

However, it’s important to try to eat with moderation.
Part of this is a social problem, as food is ever-present and there are social pressures to consume it. Part of it is emotional, as many use food for comfort in a highly stressful society.
Some people find it easy to resist temptation, others find it very difficult to find a way that works for them.
God bless.


I find it helps to look at opposites. The opposite of gluttony, I would, say is to buy and eat just what we need. So many of us in the west consume far more than we need, and not just relating to food.

But rather than see things as either gluttony or not, I find it more helpful to look at whether I am moving in the direction of consuming less. For me that has meant a change to a vegetarian diet and I’m currently trialling a vegan diet. But for others another direction might be more appropriate.

It’s hard in the West though. We are bombarded with adverts about food, and large portion sizes are often the norm (which then become the expectation). So I think we must try and move in the direction of avoiding over-consumption while also being a little gentle with ourselves and allowing that transition from consumerism to take the time needed for it to be a sustained change.


well, Overeating is part of gluttony as far as i know. since you can have gluttony of many other stuff.

according to wikipedia “Overeating generally refers to the long-term consumption of excess food in relation to the energy that an organism expends (or expels via excretion), leading to weight gaining and often obesity. It may be regarded as an eating disorder.”

it also has some other definitions, like overeatng in a party and stuff, but somehow i believe this is the sin, where you damage yourself because you want to eat. i mean i doubt in a party you are obligued to eat the same as normally you would, as long as you keep it to a healthy and not egoistic way, i think a once in a while ocasion to eat more than we usually do is no problem.

but of course I’m not epert at this and would take my opinion with a pinch of salt (no pun intended).


Reason, the virtue of temperance, and good judgement of conscience can guide one in ones eating. Though it is to be noted that what is contrary to temperance for one is not for another and as at least one Saint reminds us–this is a area that is a difficult one where many struggle.

Also note that often one is dealing with venial sin --not serious (an example of serious gluttony is loosing ones reason via being drunk…). It is important to note this for some get confused on this subject.

We should seek to live by virtue here and to eat reasonably…

Individual acts of overeating…intemperance (gluttony in this sense) are ordinarily a “venial matter” for venial sin

(Now certain uncorrected habits that cause at least in the short term -serious problems -can become grave…like perhaps your doctor tells you if you keep eating 7 pieces of cake a day you will seriously harm your health or drop dead in three months…)

A confessor can assist one.


1809 Temperance is the moral virtue that moderates the attraction of pleasures and provides balance in the use of created goods. It ensures the will’s mastery over instincts and keeps desires within the limits of what is honorable. The temperate person directs the sensitive appetites toward what is good and maintains a healthy discretion: “Do not follow your inclination and strength, walking according to the desires of your heart.” Temperance is often praised in the Old Testament: “Do not follow your base desires, but restrain your appetites.” In the New Testament it is called “moderation” or “sobriety.” We ought “to live sober, upright, and godly lives in this world.”

Let us live more and ore a life of temperance --even amid the feasts that are now upon us (as the Blessing of Easter Foods reminds us!). Now of course temperance on feasts can look different then temperance on normal days -but still it is to be temperance.

Christ is Risen!


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