Is this example of overeating a mortal sin?

I was eating a large meal last night in celebration of Easter when I noticed that I was starting to feel full. Wanting to finish up my meal and not wanting to commit any sins of gluttony, I ate slowly and tried to pace, honestly wanting to finish my plate. Afterwards I went and relaxed, hoping not to upset myself or cause anything that might make me feel sick. After only a couple of minutes I actually felt better and went on normally.

I worried that overeating would be a mortal sin of gluttony and wanted to slow down because I wanted to finish my meal and not sin. Is this just my OCD?

You’re probably fine. Gluttony is one of the Seven Deadly Sins and is considered a vice but not automatically a mortal sin. It doesn’t sound like you’d intended to take too much food at the time nor were you aware of any sinful action at the time. It would have to be a really serious instance of overeating to be a mortal sin.

A habit of overeating is another kettle of fish and one which I suffer from.

For more information about gluttony visit

Thanks. I usually thought that overeating was a mortal sin and wanted to avoid that while eating the rest of my meal. I’m guessing I worried because I thought that it was a mortal sin or something, but I wasn’t trying to do that. I dunno. I guess I’m just going through one of my episodes right now.

You didn’t commit a mortal sin.

Generally speaking, sins of degree are venial, whereas sins of type are mortal. What I mean is that sins which are just excesses or deficiencies of something not otherwise sinful are venial, whereas those things which are inherently wrong, or in which something is inherently lacking are mortal.

Thus, gluttony, or overeating is a venial, since it is not sinful to eat, whereas fornication, for instance, is mortal, because sexual relations between an unmarried couple are sinful *per se.

Benedicat Deus,*

I like that distinction between venial and mortal sins - makes sense. Thanks!

Gluttony isn’t just about food.

Think of sexual gluttony or buying 50 cars.

You’re ok. It would be better spiritually to stop worrying about things, but I know that is easier said than done.

Would not quite put it that way.

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.


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"

Let us live more and more 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.

Christ is Risen!


I should say that is a general rule, not one that can be totally applied in every circumstance. Lying for instance, is rarely a mortal sin, except if it’s slander (a different sin), or it causes other grave harm to either yourself or someone else. Stealing money is another example. On the other hand, eating or drinking alcohol or whatever in excess so much that it causes serious harm is a mortal sin. Getting drunk is a mortal sin, for instance, unless one was deceived (I thought something wasn’t alcoholic and it was, I didn’t think a glass of wine would get me drunk etc.).

But the rule generally holds,
Benedicat Deus,

I would not put it quite that way.

Would not quite put it that way.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit