Does your stomach often feel like a bottomless pit that you can never seem to fill up despite all the food you keep eating? A smaller stomach that demands for less food can often seem like a seductive dream when you’re struggling to curb your appetite. After all, if you have a smaller stomach, you end up eating less and consuming fewer calories through the day. A gastric bypass surgery (more popularly known by its gruesome nickname, ‘stomach stapling’), is a medical procedure that promises just that. By reducing the amount of food your stomach can hold, it claims to help you lose weight much easier. But a popular belief floating around is that you can also shrink your stomach through your diet alone.
Eating Your Way To A Smaller Stomach
Can something as simple as eating less food actually have the same outcome as an expensive surgical procedure? Eating less food is supposed to shrink down your stomach until it can only hold a very small amount of food. Because of this, you’ll need to eat very little in order to feel full and you’re also more likely to stay full for a longer time. This means no more hunger cravings where you give in to high-calorie snacks. According to this theory, soon you’ll be dropping inches left, right and center with almost no effort at all. Sounds too good to be true? Sadly, that’s because it is.
Why This Theory Is Bogus
Here’s a general rule of thumb: if a diet trend promises you incredible results with very little effort, take it with a pinch (or a handful) of salt. While the basic premise of this theory is true, the actual application of it is completely false. The first problem with attempting to shrink your stomach through a diet is just how much food you will have to give up for this to happen. Shrinking your stomach isn’t just a matter of refusing second helpings or giving up snacking. According to one study, you will need to consume as little as 600 calories a day to actually make a significant difference to your stomach size. To put this in perspective, an average human being needs around 1500 calories a day to function.
Another reason why trying to shrink your stomach won’t work is that you’ll probably feel just as hungry-or even more. The two hormones that control our appetite are ghrelin and leptin. When you starve your body of calories to such a great extent, leptin and ghrelin keep flooding your system. You won’t have a tiny stomach and no hunger cravings as was promised. Instead, you’ll have a smaller stomach but will also feel permanently hungry.
The Long-Term Effects Of This Diet
Even if you do manage to get through the torture of surviving on 600 calories and battling constant hunger pangs, it might all be for nothing. While you might be able to shrink your stomach in the short run, statistically, you will not be able to stick to it in the long run. Only 5-10% of people who go on extreme diets such as this will be able to stick to it for a long time. A huge majority of these people will actually end up putting back on all their weight or even gaining more weight than they started out with.
Even if you manage to stick to this diet in the long run, it might do irreversible damage to your health. Depriving your body of so many calories is very dangerous and could result in some serious health issues. Giving up your health in exchange for dropping a few pounds is a pretty foolish bargain.
Healthier Routes To Weight Loss
Following a healthy, nutritious diet might not seem as dramatic as shrinking your stomach, but it will produce more long-lasting results. Substitute every unhealthy item you eat in a day with nutrient-dense foods. Instead of reaching out for a tub of ice cream, eat some unsweetened yogurt instead. Instead of munching on a packet of fries, try baked sweet potato or kale chips. Anything that can benefit the health of your body is your ally when you’re trying to lose weight. Shedding pounds can be as straightforward as just exercising for an hour a day and following a nutritious diet.