Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Indy girl posted an enormously popular blog about stomach shrinking a couple days ago. She said that she felt fuller on reasonable portions when she gave up meats from animals that had been fed hormones (which of course fatten the animals up, and quite possibly could go on to fatten us up.) I thought I'd add a couple anatomy-tutor observations. Hormones and antibiotics have both been implicated in weight gain. There are also other mechanical reasons for stomach stretch and shrinkage.
The stomach has folds in it (rugae) and does indeed stretch. It is designed to do so - and to shrink back up. Our primitive ancestors went through times of fasting and feasting. Our stomachs, when fully stretched, can hold literally a gallon of food. Remember the man who exploded in the Monty Python movie? Exploding stomachs are theoretically possible, although severe nausea should occur well before someone continues eating to that point.
Stomachs are turned mostly sideways. A very large amount of liquid ingested all at once will literally spill over the exit sphincter and into the duodenum (small intestine). If the liquid is high in sugar - say a 32 oz. Big Gulp, this is a major problem for our blood sugar levels.
Once our rugae have stretched and distended from habitual overeating, we will feel less full from a normal sized meal. Once they have returned to a normal folded condition, we will feel fuller faster on a more reasonable intake.
So there really are mechanical as well as emotional and nutritional means to keep us on a reasonable eating plan.
There are also bacteria in our guts that demand that our bodies produce or eat sugar if we fast. We also have hormones that sense "starvation" and drive us to eat. So don't try to fast for more than a meal at a time because your body will make that backfire on you. Just eat reasonably.