If you are wondering whether your stomach can expand or shrink depending on how much we eat, the answer is: overeating will not permanently expand the stomach and you will not be hungrier.The stomach is elastic, muscular body, and when you enter a greater amount of food or liquid into it, it spreads in order to digest all that we have entered. So, your stomach does expand temporarily. After the food is digested and what we have consumed passes through the stomach, it begins to decrease, returning to normal size.
However, some studies suggest that reduced food intake over time can reduce the capacity of the stomach, probably because the stomach becomes less ductile (and vice versa with weight gain). So it is not true that we can increase or decrease the stomach size. What is decreasing or increasing is the elasticity of the stomach.
The best proof of this story is the fact that obese people generally have larger stomachs than thinner people.
“An empty stomach has the same size in all people and has a capacity of only 75 milliliters. But, it is elastic like a balloon and can increase its volume.
A Croatian gastroenterologist, Milorad Opačić, says that when food is consumed the stomach expands to a volume of one liter and it can expand up to two liters after the consumption of a big meal.
Before we eat, the brain sends a signal to the stomach that food is on the way. Then, the stomach muscles relax and prepare your stomach for the food. When food passes through the digestive tract, the stomach returns to its original size.
If you want to reduce the elasticity of the stomach, the most important thing is to stop to overeating and to reduce caloric intake.
In one study, obese subjects were limited to 1,000 calories a day for one month, and during this period the capacity of the stomach has reduced by 36 percent.
The speed at which we eat also affects how your stomach signals the brain. The brain takes some time to realize that we’re full, so when you eat fast, it is very easy to overeat because the brain does not get the signal that we’re full on time. Regardless of whether you want to increase or decrease the elasticity of the stomach, the volume of food in it is of great importance.
For example, when we eat chips we consume a lot of calories but little volume. With fruits and vegetables, on the other hand, we consume a large volume of food, but fewer calories. A larger volume of food makes it easier to fill up the stomach than smaller volume of food like potato chips. There is a diet based on the consumption of “bulky” foods which will satiate us without entering too many calories. Such foods are rich in water (fruits, vegetables, soups and stews).
If you think that the elasticity of your stomach has expanded and you are constantly hungry try the following:
Increase the intake of “bulky” foods.
Eat five small meals a day.