The stomach is a muscular organ located on the left side of the upper abdomen, and one of its responsibilities is to receive food from the esophagus.
This organ secretes acids and enzymes that digest food, and its muscles are periodically contracted, moving the food present there to reinforce the digestion process.
When it is empty, the inside of the stomach has small folds, which allow the organ to expand to accommodate large meals and adhere food inside the abdomen to break down.
The stomach holds ingested food for three to five hours before passing it along in the digestive tract.
Does Eating Little Make Your Stomach Go Down?
The stomach is an elastic organ with a volume of only 50 milliliters, but its capacity can be increased by 80 times. This corresponds to the consumption of 3 or 4 liters of food.
When the person goes beyond this capacity limit supported by the stomach, the result can be vomiting. In short, when we eat a lot, the organ has its volume increased to a certain point. But does the reverse process also happen?
We have already seen here that the significant role of the stomach is to receive the ingested food and work on its digestion process. So, is it true that eating little makes the stomach smaller, based on the assumption that in doing so, the organ doesn’t have much work to do? Or is this not true?
The theory behind this idea also preaches that when eating little, the stomach decreases in size holds less food, and makes the person feel fuller for longer, feel less hungry between meals, and lose weight.
As attractive as this idea may seem, we warn that to have the possibility of it working in this way, it would be necessary to eat very little food, which is unfeasible for our health.
Research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that obese patients could shrink their stomachs by 27% within four weeks by consuming just 600 calories daily.
According to the publication, this corresponds to half the minimum number of calories that a woman should consume when she is in a slimming process. It is not possible to adhere to a diet with such a low-calorie content as this – unless there is a specific indication from the doctor, of course – because this can cause several problems.
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The Dangers Of A 600 Calorie Diet
A diet as restricted as this makes it challenging to supply nutrients and energy to the body to work as it should. Problems such as gout, disorders associated with malnutrition, electrolyte imbalances, osteoporosis, and even sudden death (in extreme cases) can occur due to a low-calorie diet.
Consuming less than 1200 calories daily can cause problems such as weakness, cold intolerance, fatigue, menstrual irregularities, constipation, and swelling of the hands and feet, as reported in the book Nutrition, Exercise, and Behavior: An Integrated Approach to Weight.
According to studies, the low-calorie diet forces the body to burn muscle instead of fat, slowing down the metabolic rate and making it difficult to lose weight.
If that were not enough, likely, a person would not remain on a low-calorie diet for a long time and, when returning to their eating habits, they will undoubtedly regain the lost weight.
Eating a low-calorie diet without supervision can cause anemia, low immunity, infertility, and difficulty concentrating.
With all this, we can also conclude that such a low-calorie diet is not appropriate for pregnant or breastfeeding women, adolescents, the elderly, children, and people who have some disease or specific health condition.
Eating Small Decreases The Stomach And Helps You Lose Weight? It Doesn’t Seem To Work That Well
Gastroenterologist James Lee said that even if you consume very few calories, your stomach is reduced, and you feel full faster; you are not likely to feel less hungry throughout the day.
James explained that the chemicals responsible for appetite control, such as leptin and ghrelin, are elevated in the bodies of people who go through food deprivation, such as a calorie-restricted diet that would be needed to decrease stomach size.