How to Shrink Your Stomach

How to Shrink Your Stomach

by The YogaFit Team | 25/08/2015

We have discussed how to create space in so many ways … in our environment with decluttering, mentally with meditation,  in our lungs with deep breathing and even in our colons with a cleanse. Sometimes in order to lose weight we need to contract space. Contracting space can mean feeling satisfied with less.To maintain lean consciousness we must learn to eat less and be satisfied with less.




One of the best example of this is s reducing the desires of  your stomach and appetite and simply  getting used to less. The best way to do this is to break your meals into halves or thirds and eat small frequent meals. Make sure you eat slowly and leave the table hungry. Your body will start to get used to less and less food. Frequency then becomes more important than quantity.


Control hunger as a strategy for weight loss? You may be wondering how this is possible. After all, hunger is a natural bodily signal. How can you prevent it or control it without destroying your healthy eating plan?


Eat Breakfast


One of the simplest ways to control hunger is to eat breakfast regularly. When you go all night without food and skip breakfast, your hunger climbs to more extreme levels. Studies show that many people who skip breakfast make up for it by snacking all morning or by eating larger meals later on in the day.

When you eat a healthy breakfast, you control hunger and keep it at moderate levels. Your body gets the nutrition it needs to sustain your various activities. Eating breakfast regularly is often crucial to an effective weight loss plan.


Eat Vegetables and Whole Grains


A common way for you to control hunger is by eating high fiber foods. Vegetables such as spinach, mushrooms and broccoli provide a high level of nutrition. They also fill you up and are low in calories. Whole grains are also a good way to control hunger. They are better for you than refined carbohydrates. They also deliver high levels of fiber. Take the time to chew whole grains slowly. The longer you chew them, the sweeter they will taste.


Eat Slowly


In general, eating slowly is a good strategy when you are trying to lose weight. Your body needs time, between 20 and 30 minutes, to send a signal to your brain that you are full. When you eat too fast, you run the risk of overeating. Eating slowly and truly enjoying your food will prevent you from eating too much.


Drink Water


Another way to control hunger is to drink enough water. Water hydrates you and cleanses your body of impurities. It is sometimes possible to confuse thirst for hunger. When you drink enough water, you generally feel full more often and feel less hungry. Drink the recommended eight glasses of water daily and see if this prevents your desire to eat as often.


Sleep Enough


Studies show that when you do not sleep enough, your body sees an increase in the ghrelin hormone, which increases your appetite. You simultaneously experience a decrease in the leptin hormone, making it harder to feel full from portion sizes that you would normally consider adequate. This change in your physiology makes it difficult to control hunger.

The best way to prevent such hormonal changes is to sleep eight hours each night. Staying up late and engaging in sedentary activities such as watching television, reading or surfing the Internet also tends to lead to excessive snacking. Going to bed earlier will help you to eliminate unnecessary calories.  


Curb Emotional Eating


One way to control hunger is to pay attention to what your body is telling you. When you get the sense that you are eating too much, stop and ask yourself if you are truly hungry. If you realize that you are eating out of boredom, stress or sadness, replace food with activities that make you feel better, such as a walk, a good book, energizing music or a conversation with a loved one. Stomach-shrinking is a subject often debated by health experts. But it is possible to reduce the size of your stomach safely and without surgery, simply by changing your eating habits.


Many overweight people are turning to surgical procedures such as laparoscopic or gastric stomach bands where an inflatable band is surgically inserted around the upper part of the stomach, which creates a smaller stomach pouch. When the capacity of the stomach is reduced, the patient is only able to eat small portions of food at meals, and generally eats less over time. But these procedures don’t work for everyone and can have side effects such as band slippage or erosion, acid reflux and infection.


Here's the good news; experts have found that the size of the stomach can be shrunk naturally in just three to four weeks without resorting to surgery. So someone considering a laparoscopic procedure might benefit from trying stomach shrinking through diet before resorting to surgery.


Here's how it works; if one eats large portions of food on a regular basis, the shape and capacity of the stomach will change, requiring more and more food to create the sensation of feeling full. A tragic example of a stomach stretched-out to an enormous capacity is Diamond Jim Brady, a multi-millionaire in the 1890s. It is said that he began each day by drinking two quarts of orange juice, and eating a breakfast of eggs, cornbread, muffins, flapjacks chops, fried potatoes and beefsteak. Then later in the morning, he snacked on 2 or 3 dozen clams. His lunch consisted of more clams and oysters, 2 or 3 deviled crabs, a brace of broiled lobsters, beef salad and pie.


At afternoon tea, he had a huge plate of seafood, which he washed down with several bottles of lemon soda. Then his typical dinner consisted of 2 or 3 dozen more oysters, half a dozen crabs, a few bowls of soup, 6 or 7 lobsters, 2 entire ducks, 2 portions of turtle meat, a sirloin steak, vegetables and an assortment of desserts. He capped it all off with a 2-pound box of candy. Diamond Jim Brady suffered from diabetes, cardiac disease, high blood pressure, and an inflamed prostate, all directly caused by his eating habits. When he finally died at the early age of 61, an autopsy revealed that his stomach was stretched out six times larger than that of the ordinary man.


While the cautionary tale of Diamond Jim Brady may be hard to believe, it is true that some obese people require more food than the average person to feel full. Years ago, I worked at an office and sat across from a woman who weighed around 400 pounds. The office had a full kitchen, so some employees would prepare their own food in the morning. This woman would regularly fix herself a dozen eggs for breakfast, sometimes accompanied with a large steak, all fried in butter. For lunch she liked to drive to a fast food restaurant in the neighborhood and would return with two or three double cheeseburgers, large fries and an extra-large cola. She literally ate enough food to feed four men at every meal and always seemed to be hungry. Her typical breakfast and lunch alone averaged around 5000 calories and that’s not including whatever she had for dinner and dessert at home. Combine that many calories with little to no physical activity and it’s easy to see why she was grossly overweight.


It has been proven that the stomach can be stretched out to enormous proportions by overeating, so how can one get it back into shape and shrink the size of it? The following excerpt from The Benjamin Franklin Diet explains how to shrink the stomach simply by changing one’s eating habits.


The human stomach needs about one pint (or 2 cups) of food to fill it. Consider how much food that actually is. Have you ever gone to a restaurant and eaten bread and butter before the meal? Did you feel full and satisfied before your food arrived twenty minutes later? You get the idea. It doesn’t take much to fill the stomach 


Nutrition expert, Robyn Flipse, R.D., says that stomach size expands and contracts according to the amount of food you eat. If you practice eating small meals and don’t overfill the stomach, the capacity it can hold will be less and you won’t feel hungry as often. But just as the stomach shrinks, it also expands when we overeat consistently, which could happen by eating large dinners or meals, even just once a day. Occasional overeating won’t expand the stomach, but some experts believe that overeating at meals for two to four weeks can change the shape of the stomach and require more food to fill it at a sitting.


Dr. David Albin, M.D., agrees with Benjamin Franklin’s advice—to keep meals small and in the one-pint range. He believes that light meals have no negative effects on  the body and can help improve comprehension. “It is a proven scientific fact that if you eat less your stomach will shrink and it will take less to satiate your appetite,” says Dr. Albin. “You are going to lose weight and without being hungry.”


Dr. Matovu, a gastroenterologist at Kibuli Hospital in Kampala, Uganda says it is a medical fact that people can decrease their stomach size by changing their diet, and that it takes less than one month to do so by eating small, evenly spaced meals. Dr.Lawrence Cheskin, M.D., head of the Weight Management Center at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, recommends eating three moderate meals a day at regularly scheduled intervals. In the beginning, your appetite may be bigger than your stomach, so practice temperance as the size of your stomach decreases. “To lengthen thy life, lessen thy meals,” Franklin advised.


Never skip meals and save up for a big meal later. Eat at regular intervals and never consume more than one pint per sitting. You’ll find that if you keep your meals in the one-pint range, you won’t be hungry all the time as your stomach capacity adjusts to a more temperate eating style.


What you eat is important, but even healthy food can stop you from losing weight if you eat too much of it. I never recommend extreme calorie restriction (most people aren’t very good at it anyway), but there are some tricks you can use to slightly reduce the amount of food you eat without feeling deprived, or even really noticing.


Your brain is easily fooled by shifts in perspective. It’s also more responsive to external cues like an empty plate, than internal cues like a full stomach. Understanding these influences can show you how to tilt them in your favor.


In his brilliant book, Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think, Brian Wansink encourages you to use the “mindless margin,” a daily 100-200 calorie buffer zone where your brain doesn’t notice a difference in how much you’ve eaten.


Usually we eat more than we should because of the mindless margin, but you can use the same principles to subtly influence your behavior and mindlessly eat less. Over time this calorie difference can help you drop weight. It’s slow, but it’s steady. And best of all, it’s painless.


10 Simple Ways To Eat Less Without Noticing


1. Use smaller plates

A full plate sends the signal that you’re eating a full meal and a partially full plate looks like a skimpy meal, regardless of the actual quantity of food.


The same amount of food looks like more on a smaller plate

Using smaller plates and filling them up is a proven way to eat less without noticing.


2. Serve yourself 20% less

The mindless margin is about 20% of any given meal. In other words, you can eat 80% of the food you’d normally eat and probably not notice, so long as no one points it out to you. You could also eat 20% more—not a bad idea if you’re scooping vegetables. If you have those smaller plates mentioned above, serving yourself a little less should be just as satisfying.


3. Use taller glasses

Just like less food looks like more food on a smaller plate, height makes things look larger than width, even when the volumes are the same.


A vertical line looks longer than a horizontal line and tall glasses look bigger than wide ones

You can cut down on your liquid calories by choosing taller glasses rather than shorter, fatter ones.


4. Eat protein for breakfast

People love to hype breakfast eating as a miracle weight loss cure, but only breakfasts high in protein have been proven to suppress appetite and reduce subsequent eating throughout the day. Skip the waffles and head to the omelet station instead.


5. Eat three meals a day

I bet you thought eating many small meals was better than eating three bigger ones throughout the day, but the data tells us otherwise. Though skipping meals can make controlling your appetite more difficult, eating more than three meals a day has not been shown to have any benefit, and may even be worse for appetite control.

Eat when you’re supposed to and you shouldn’t need any extra food.


6. Keep snacks out of sight or out of the building

Study after study have shown that people eat a lot more when is food visible rather than put away where it can’t be seen, even if they know it is there. Research has also demonstrated that the harder food is to get to, even if the extra effort is just removing a lid or walking to the cabinet, the less likely you are to eat it. The extra work forces you to question the value of your action, and this gives you the opportunity to talk yourself out of a decision you may regret later.

To avoid extra snacking keep tempting foods out of sight, or better yet, out of the house. On the flip side, keep healthy foods prominently displayed and easy to reach.


7. Chew thoroughly

Since I’ve been paying more attention to eating speed, I’ve been horrified to observe that most people don’t chew. If you’re one of those guys who chews the minimum number of times before swallowing or shoveling in another fork full, chances are you’re eating substantially more at every meal than your thoroughly chewing peers.


Slow down, chew each bite (counting your chews can help develop the habit) and watch as you fill up faster on fewer calories.


8. Don’t eat from the package

Your stomach can’t count. When you can’t see how much you’re eating you’re more than a little likely to lose track and consume double or even triple the amount you’d eat if you took the time to serve yourself a proper portion. Use a plate, or a bowl, or even a napkin, just make sure you get a good visual of everything you’re going to eat before taking your first bite.


9. Don’t eat in front of the TV

For the vast majority of us, distracted eating is overeating. The end of a show or movie is another powerful cue signifying that a meal is over, so parking in front of the TV with your plate for a Battlestar Galactica marathon is probably not the best idea. With the invention of DVR, there’s no reason you can’t take twenty minutes to sit down and have a proper meal before enjoying your shows.


10. Don’t pay attention to health claims

But wait, isn’t healthy food supposed to be better for you? In theory, yes. But truly healthy food—vegetables, fruits an other unprocessed foods—rarely have labels at all. Instead foods with health claims tend to be processed junk repackaged as better for you alternatives.

Even worse, research from Wansink’s lab has shown that people drastically underestimate the calories in foods with visible health claims on the packaging. People also tend to eat more food overall as a result of this miscalculation. He refers to this effect as the “health halo,” and it’s a recipe for packing on the pounds. For real health, stick to humble foods without labels.


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