If you’ve ever been in a conversation around eating and hunger, you’ve probably heard that phrase.

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“Stretching her stomach” describes the idea that eating an ext food will expand your stomach over time, top you to feeling hungry much more often and also requiring much more food come quiet stated hunger.

It sounds prefer it could make sense, yet the human body functions in mysterious ways. Does science earlier up the insurance claim that eating more food stretches her stomach? and also does cutting earlier on food really cause your stomach come shrink? buzzpatterson.com investigated this common eating question.


The Incredible, Stretchable Stomach

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The answer to these questions sits in our stomachs.

The average human stomach holds a volume of around 200 milliliters in a fasting state. This baseline hold true even if it is a person is obese or not, due to the fact that body size and also stomach dimension are not correlated.


However, once we prepare to eat, our brain sends a signal come our stomach that food is top top the way. In anticipation, the stomach muscles relax and also the stomach gets all set to be filled with food—a process known together “gastric accommodation.” when eating, the average human stomach can stretch up to 5 times its common fasting state. “The human stomach have the right to actually host 48 ounces, or roughly one liter, in ~ its complete capacity,” claims Leslie Bonci, a registered dietitian that works through the Pittsburgh Pirates and also Kansas City Chiefs.

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After the food passes with your cradle tract, your stomach return to its original size. Eat a couple of large meals in a row will not leave you walking approximately with a loose, baggy oversized stomach. In that sense, you don’t “stretch out your stomach” by eating an ext food. Rather, eating patterns readjust the lot of food the stomach can expand to hold. Think that it more as “increasing stomach elasticity” than “permanently extending your stomach.” The clinical term for this is “distensibility”—defined together “the ability of other to become stretched.”

Making Room

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Regarding stomach distensibility, how friend eat is the most important factor. Number of studies have found that eating habits have a solid effect ~ above gastric capacity.


A 2001 study discovered that binge-eating topics have greater gastric capacity than non binge-eaters. That was likewise found that bulimic subjects have a very high gastric capacity, which fits the theory that eat patterns influence how much the stomach deserve to expand. According to The mayo Clinic, “people with bulimia might secretly binge—eat huge amounts the food—and then purge, do the efforts to remove the extra calories in one unhealthy way.” The results led the study’s writer to conclude the “gastric capacity appears more related to binge-eating habits than to human body weight.”

Similarly, reducing binge eating and overall calorie usage can to decrease the stomach’s ability to expand. A 1996 study uncovered that limiting obese participants to 1,000 calories every day for one month lessened their top stomach volume by 36 percent.

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The reality that gastric volume is an ext related to binge-eating behavior than come body weight shines irradiate on plenty of lingering questions about eating.

It’s why vain eaters have the right to look like lanky pencil-necks but put away mountains of grub. The why most doctors and dietitians recommend eating several little meals transparent the day rather of two or three enormous ones. Return everyone’s stomach is fairly the very same size, their stomach distensibility is no the same.

It additionally takes a the majority of time to adjust one’s stomach distensibility. You’d need to eat larger-than-usual meals for numerous weeks in a row in bespeak to boost the degree to which her stomach have the right to expand. That way a couple of days of stuffing yourself over the holidays more than likely won’t “stretch her stomach”—at least not come a suggest where it will make a difference.

Your brain is a second Stomach

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The foodstuffs we eat go with our stomachs, however our brains play an essential role in hunger, eating and satiety.

Once your stomach stretches to a particular point during eating, it sends a signal come your mind that you’re no longer hungry. Yet when binge-eating and eating past the point of satiety becomes the norm, that natural neural reflex is weakened.

The speed at which girlfriend eat likewise has an result on your stomach’s signaling come the brain. The “I’m full” signal takes a if to absent in, so eating rapid can lead human being to overeat prior to they realize what they’re doing. Then a couple of minutes after the meal, boom! your stomach suddenly hurts and also they feel uncomfortably stuffed.

While the distensibility of your stomach is crucial to hunger, the behavior of overeating and getting comfortable with overeating have a profound result on the brain.

Turn increase The Volume

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Whether your goal is to “stretch her stomach” (increase your distensibility) or “shrink her stomach” (decrease her distensibility), the volume of the food you eat will have actually a lot of to perform with it.

“Most civilization feel hungry on little amounts that food. Yet the real problem isn’t just the volume the the food, yet how the volume is composed,” Bonci says.

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Calories come in many forms. When you eat potato chips, you consume lots of calories but tiny volume. Fruits and vegetables, on the various other hand, comprise more volume for fewer calories. This “high-density” foods help you fill up your stomach an ext efficiently 보다 “low-density” foodstuffs like potato chips. There’s actually an entire diet built roughly eating high-density foods. It’s referred to as the Volumetrics Diet. That preaches eating foodstuffs high in water, such as fruits, veggies, soups, stews and chilis, therefore the stomach feel satisfied without absorbing copious quantities of calories.

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If girlfriend think your stomach is “stretched out” and also you feel constantly hungry, up her amount of high-density foods. Emphasis on eat several little meals throughout the day and eat slowly. Quickly enough, you’ll find your stomach distensibility has decreased and you’ll it is in hungry less often.