Published on May 26, 2022
“𝐃𝐨𝐞𝐬 𝐦𝐲 𝐬𝐭𝐨𝐦𝐚𝐜𝐡 𝐬𝐡𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐤 𝐰𝐡𝐞𝐧 𝐈 𝐥𝐨𝐬𝐞 𝐰𝐞𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭?”
Well, that’s sure a question I’ve heard a time or two or 10,000 over the years from clients.
Sorry, folks, but no. It does not. Short of surgery, it is not possible to shrink the stomach.
The stomach is a little like a balloon — it stretches to fill when you eat and drink and goes back to its regular size when emptied. (When you stretch your stomach with a lot of food, it doesn’t stay that way or stretch out. It simply goes back to its previous size once it digests your food.)
Also, you cannot consistently change the physical size of your stomach by eating differently or in small amounts. For example, NOT eating won’t cause your stomach to shrink over time; and eating small amounts of food won’t “shrink’ your stomach either. Again, the only way to permanently reduce your stomach’s size is through surgery.
Most adults have roughly the same size stomach, even though people can weigh different amounts. Your empty stomach is about 12 inches long by 6 inches across at its widest point. As an adult, your stomach can expand to hold about 1 quart of food.
Having said all of the above, while it is not possible to shrink the stomach, it 𝒊𝒔 possible to change how your stomach adjusts to hunger and feelings of fullness.
As you lose weight, there are hormonal changes that affect our feelings of hunger and thirst, namely changes in the hunger hormones ghrelin (hunger) and leptin (satiety). (And of course, having a stable glucose level throughout the day from eating correctly and being at a healthier weight also plays a major hormonal role in your appetite and weight control.)
These are the factors that control whether you feel hungry or full, but none of them are related to any changes in the size of your stomach (even though it might feel like it).