The stomach is about the size of our fist. Like a water balloon, the stomach expands when we overeat. It can hold up to 33 oz of food when expanded. The problem is that when we constantly overeat, the stomach believes that the expanded state is the new normal. Obese individuals actually have more storage capacity (a little over a litter liter) in their stomach than normal weight individuals.
I have a co-worker who loves buffets. He is a rather skinny guy, but has health issues because of his eating habits. He loves getting his money’s worth. The last time we took him out to his birthday lunch at a buffet, he was working on his 6th plate when I finally got up and head back to work. When I saw him two hours later, it looked like he had a small pillow stuffed inside his shirt. He was having a hard time moving and he looked like he was in some kind of food fog. Obese individuals might have a larger stomach capacity than normal weight individuals, but binge eaters have the most stomach capacity – topping at a whopping 2 liters! This guy does it every single time from potlucks to BBQs. I do not see how he thinks it is worth it to treat his body like that.
When people tell us that it feels like their stomach shrink after weight loss, it is because the stomach is no longer stretched out like a filled water balloon. Within a few weeks of eating smaller and frequently meals, we will need less food without feeling deprived. Researchers at Columbia University found that when people ate larger meals, their stomach grew larger and it took progressively more food to satisfy their hunger signals. When people were given smaller meals, stomach capacity decreased by 1/3 and they progressively ate less.
For instant portion control, a good size handful will fill our stomach adequately without overfilling it. Chewing decreases the volume of food, so a handful becomes a fistful by the time we sallow. Placing our hand next to our plate will give us a visual aide without having to measure or calculate our portions. Try this tip at your next meal and let me know if it helps.
Until next time and thanks for stopping by.
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