Weight Loss Tips

The Claim: Your Stomach Shrinks When You Eat Less

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Curbing your food intake might lead over time to a shrunken appetite. But whether dieting actually shrinks your stomach, as many people believe, is not so clear-cut, partly because the stomach’s actual size is difficult to measure with precision before and after a diet.

Still, studies have shown that significantly reducing caloric intake does produce measurable reductions in a person’s stomach capacity.

In one study, for example, scientists recruited a small group of obese men and women and split them into two groups: one that ate freely, and another that was put on a highly restricted diet that included small meals totaling less than 1,000 calories a day. The scientists used latex balloons to measure stomach capacity at the start of the study, and then four weeks later.

Among the dieters, gastric capacity was reduced 27 percent to 36 percent, on average, depending on how it was measured. There was no significant change in the control group.

This effect goes both ways: repeated intake of large meals, and bingeing in particular, increases stomach capacity. In some studies, including one in 2001, scientists found that normal-weight binge eaters tended to develop greater stomach capacities than obese subjects of comparable age and sex. And when groups of obese subjects are split into binge eaters and others, the binge groups show larger stomach capacities as well.

THE BOTTOM LINE Reducing food intake does seem to reduce stomach capacity.

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/22/health/22real.html?_r=0

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  1. Adrianna Araujo Baumgartner

    December 13, 2016 at 8:28 pm

    True for me. After coming off a period of fast & prayer I went to order a meal I normally would eat and could only eat half of it, even my husband was suprised because normally I could eat more than him.

  2. Barbara Griswold

    December 13, 2016 at 1:51 am

    Not everyone’s does

  3. Kellie Nasario Rosas

    December 12, 2016 at 11:46 pm

    Take someone used to eating large amounts, and stick them long term in a situation where food is very scarce, and then one day offer them a portion of food like they once ate with ease. I guarantee you they will want to finish it, but will physically be unable. I’ve been in that situation with my husband during hard times. We both experienced the inability to eat larger portions when offered.

  4. Chris Sanders

    August 5, 2015 at 9:36 am


  5. Kesha Diop

    August 5, 2015 at 5:56 am

    True! Science has determined that there is no physical reduction in the actual compartmental size of the stomach. However, over time, (based on personal experience and those experiences shared by others), one become satiated quicker with less amounts of food.

  6. Selma Dogan

    August 4, 2015 at 10:31 pm


  7. Lisa Montalvo Brockman

    August 4, 2015 at 9:29 pm


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