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Shrinking of Stomach - Causes and Role of stomach

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The stomach is a muscular organ; to know whether it shrinks on diet, read more.

Medically reviewed by

Neha Suryawanshi

Published At April 20, 2023
Reviewed AtAugust 31, 2023


The stomach is a muscular organ. There are both myths and facts about stomach diets and their effect on stomach size. There are several causes for the increased size of the abdomen other than a harmful or harmless diet. This article will discuss the causes of a bulging stomach and, additionally, whether the stomach shrinks or dilates on a diet.

What Are the Causes of the Bulged Abdomen?

The main cause of the bulged abdomen is an increase in belly fat. Belly fat is the biggest challenge for people who are in the process of weight reduction. The major causes of belly fat are:

  • Unbalanced diet.

  • Excess calorie intake.

  • Lack of exercise or physical work.

  • Aging.

Other possible causes for a bulging abdomen are:

  • Menopause in women.

  • Gut bacteria.

  • Pregnancy and postpartum.

  • Bloating.

  • Liver diseases.

The above-mentioned are the causes of bulging stomachs other than diet. Is it possible to correct those causes only through diet? In another way, is it possible to shrink the stomach only through diet? Read further.

What Is a Fundus?

Fundus is the upper part of the stomach that holds food passing through the food pipe for a shorter duration of time. Based on the amount of food in the fundus, the stomach bulges to accommodate the same. For some people, the capacity is more and for some people, it is less.

What Is the Role of the Stomach in the Process of Digestion?

The stomach has three major functions. They are:

  1. The stomach acts as a temporary reservoir of food.

  2. The peristaltic movement of the stomach helps in the proper mixing and grinding of food.

  3. It also secreted gastric enzymes and acids to aid in the further breakdown of food particles.

Any disturbances in the above-mentioned functions also add to the bulged abdomen.

Who Has a Flat Stomach?

The size of the stomach is the same for everyone, irrespective of body weight or size. Most children have flat abdomens due to the high metabolism in their bodies that happens naturally. Children who involve themselves in physical activities have flat abdomens. Yes, increased metabolism and physical activity along with a nutritious diet can result in a flat abdomen. Protein-deficient diets can cause stomach edema, which is seen in severe kidney and liver problems. Likewise, other malnutrition diets also exist.

What Are the Other Facts About Diet and a Flat Stomach?

A continuous diet will train the brain to feel full after eating a small amount of the food itself. This does not mean that the stomach is shrinking. This is just a feeling of fullness. But, on the contrary, people who are on a heavy diet or starving, in turn, develop a craving for their favorite food and tend to eat large amounts, the moment they see it. Hence, a consistent diet plan should be followed for a longer period of time to either shrink the stomach or achieve a flat belly.

Can Hormones Help in Shrinking the Stomach?

Ghrelin and leptin are the two hunger hormones that help shrink the stomach by controlling the appetite and the feeling of fullness. Ghrelin signals hunger, and leptin signals fullness. Ghrelin is produced by the stomach and helps in short-term appetite control, whereas leptin is produced from fat, signaling to the brain that the body has enough storage for the energy source and helping in long-term weight control. Hence, the amount of ghrelin influences leptin levels and vice versa.

What Are the Functions of Ghrelin?

Ghrelin increases hunger by sending signals to the hypothalamus, a region of the brain. It favors the storage of fat and stimulates the release of growth hormones from the pituitary gland. It also stimulates the movement of food from the stomach through the small and large intestines. Ghrelin aids in regulating insulin release and plays a role in preserving heart health. As the level of ghrelin secretions increases, the intensity of hunger increases. Ghrelin levels are affected by multiple facts such as gastrointestinal disease, gastric bypass surgery, sleeve gastrectomy, etc.

What Is Bariatric Surgery?

This is a popular surgical technique to shrink the abdomen and limit diet intake for maintenance. Many celebrities on social media have undergone this surgery as a treatment or for cosmetic reasons. A health care professional recommends this surgery only when the patient is suffering from systemic diseases that crucially require weight loss as management. Such diseases are high cholesterol, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, kidney disease, obstructive sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, non-alcoholic fatty liver, and cancer.

What Are the Benefits of Bariatric Surgery?

  • Long-term effect in treating class III obesity.

  • Increases metabolism and decreases the level of hunger hormones.

  • Rewire the body's metabolic programming to avoid weight gain after obesity.

  • Diabetes symptoms frequently disappear after weight loss surgery, allowing patients with diverse metabolic disorders to stop taking their medications.

  • Weight loss surgery not only lessens ailments and discomforts associated with obesity, but it also lengthens life.

How to Shrink the Stomach by Diet?

Gradual and step-by-step cutting down on calories with proper consultation from a dietician is a crucial part of weight loss or shrinking the stomach. Sudden fasting or starvation can backfire, as mentioned earlier. Cutting down 100 to 200 calories at a time is advisable.

  • Diet Tips for a Flat Belly:

  1. Avoid harmful foods like carbonated drinks, alcohol, junk foods, etc.

  2. Increase omega-3 fatty acid intake in the diet.

  3. Do not skip breakfast.

  4. Have dinner as early as possible before going to bed.

  5. Avoid raw veggies as they are difficult to digest. Try eating half-boiled veggies.

  6. Reduce salt and carbohydrate intake.

  7. Utilize the bacterial benefits of yogurt.

  8. Consume more fiber.


In summary, it is important to have a flat belly to escape from systemic illness and live a healthy life. To achieve a flat belly, shrinking the stomach is a tough but major task. As discussed already, shrinking a stomach does not depend only on the amount of food intake but can be achieved by various methods, either naturally or surgically. The mode of weight loss is always decided or planned based on the patient’s requirements.

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Neha Suryawanshi
Neha Suryawanshi



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