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Can You Shrink Your Stomach By Dieting?

Can You Shrink Your Stomach By Dieting?

When it comes to dieting, everyone has their own tips and tricks to trimming the waistline. Some people swear by apple cider vinegar, while others use special belts. But can you shrink your stomach through any of these methods? Read on to find out if shrinking your stomach to lose weight is possible to do at home.

Can You Actually Shrink Your Stomach?

This is a tricky question to answer. On one hand, the stomach is a hollow yet muscular organ that naturally expands and shrinks. This is necessary to accommodate food and liquid and allow for proper digestion. However, to answer the question, “Can you shrink your stomach by dieting?”, no.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to actually reduce the overall size of your stomach just by dieting or fasting. Yes, you can feel less hungry or get full after eating a smaller amount of food, but this does not mean that your stomach has shrunk. Additionally, when your waistline measurement gets smaller, it is not your stomach getting smaller but rather the loss of body fat.

Two Ways to Lose Weight

Calorie Deficit

No matter what diet or exercise routine you follow, weight-loss boils down to having a daily calorie deficit. This can be done through either diet alone, regular exercise, or a combination of both.

For example, you can cut out 200 calories from your daily meals and burn 300 calories by exercising. This means you have a 500 calorie deficit. Although it is impossible to pinpoint a specific number, a general rule of thumb is that 3,500 calories is equivalent to one pound (half kilogram) of body weight.

Curious about your BMI and caloric needs per day? Try one of our handy calculators to help get you started. Talk to your doctor before attempting to lose a significant amount of weight or starting a new exercise program.

Surgical Procedures

Although diet and exercise are considered the best ways to lose weight, it can be too difficult for some people. For obese individuals who are unable to exercise normally or those with physical limitations, surgery is a possible option.

Bariatric surgery is a collective term for surgical procedures that alter the normal pathway of digestion. Gastric bypass and gastric band placement are two well-known procedures.

A gastric bypass surgery involves reducing the usable stomach size and connecting it directly to the small intestine. Only a small amount of food can fit into the new stomach pouch, resulting in less food and caloric intake through the mouth. Alternatively, gastric bands work by pinching the upper portion of the stomach. This makes you feel fuller more quickly, therefore, suppressing appetite and reducing food intake.

These two procedures are effective, but like all types of surgeries, they can be risky. There is some downtime involved with both procedures and you will need to follow a special diet. Talk to your doctor to see if bariatric surgery is right for you.

Tricks That Can Help You Shrink Your Stomach

Although you can’t shrink your stomach without surgery, there are ways to help you feel fuller faster and longer. Some tips and tricks to doing this include:

  • Eat more fiber (e.g. whole wheat, fruits, vegetables)
  • Fill up on lean protein
  • Include sources of healthy fat
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Avoid empty calories (e.g. soft drinks, junk food)
  • Get enough sleep

Key Takeaways

In summary, can you shrink your stomach through diet and fasting alone? No, it is only possible with surgery. There are ways to make yourself feel less hungry and eat less. Small calorie deficits through diet and exercise lead to gradual weight loss. Consult your doctor for more information regarding available weight loss options.

Learn about Diet and Weight Loss here.

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Sources

Does My Stomach Actually Shrink When I Lose Weight? https://health.clevelandclinic.org/does-my-stomach-actually-shrink-when-i-lose-weight/ Accessed August 8, 2021

Bariatric Surgery Procedures https://asmbs.org/patients/bariatric-surgery-procedures Accessed August 8, 2021

Post Bariatric Surgery Diet https://www.upmc.com/services/bariatrics/surgery-process/post-surgery/diet Accessed August 8, 2021

Does My Stomach Actually Shrink When I Lose Weight? https://health.clevelandclinic.org/does-my-stomach-actually-shrink-when-i-lose-weight/ Accessed August 8, 2021

Intermittent Fasting: Pros and Cons According to NUNM https://nunm.edu/2019/02/intermittent-fasting/ Accessed August 8, 2021

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Written by Stephanie Nera, RPh, PharmD Updated Feb 13Expertly reviewed by Chris Icamen