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DIVAMAMAOFTWO SparkPoints: (18,272)
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4/9/13 11:00 P

Thank you for this very thorough response....this has been a question in my head and I gave found that veggies help me full and satisfied.

AILEBBELIA SparkPoints: (13,418)
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4/9/13 8:41 P


I'm also recovering from bulimia nonpurging, and anorexia purge type. Everyone has great answers, but remember eds are also brain disorders! In other words, people with eds have altered states of serotonin that persist even during recovery.

"This concept demonstrates that individuals with abnormal levels of serotonin may be subconsciously driven to eat, over- eat, or not eat at all as an attempt to increase the feeling of emotional well- being. While it is shown that irregularities in serotonin may predispose and increase vulnerability to the development of eating disorders such as bulimia, and that these irregularities persist even after recovery"

Many people who are in recovery begin to feel an intense hunger -that's why the relapse rates are high and you see people going from anorexia to bulimia. So the reason you are feeling that intense hunger isn't because of the stretching.

I would not try to restrict, create a deficit or try to lose any weight during this period. Give your body and mind to heal.

good luck

KNESS912 Posts: 33
4/8/13 8:37 P

Hey, medically speaking, everyone is right- your stomach stretches when you fill it with food, but it will "shrink" again when it is empty. It's natural state is about the size of your fist. Your body will take a while to accept that you are giving it less food. It is less about your stomach, and more about you total calories (or lack thereof!)
If you are still having problems with being really hungry, try adding some "free" bulk to your meal. You need to add enough bulk to fill your stomach enough that it stretches enough to send chemical signals saying you have eaten, you are full now. I like to add raw veggies. They are super low calorie, but they fill up the stomach so it knows I've eaten a meal. This is why it is easy to eat a bag of M&M's or whatever-it never actually stretches your stomach enough to signal that you ate and don't need to eat more.
NOTE: veggies help make you feel full... for a while. You probably know this, but you need fat and protein if you want to STAY full. Veggies signal you to stop eating, and fats and veggies keep you full until you actually need to eat again.

So, don't worry. Your stomach isn't all floppy. It is the right size it needs to be. Your body just needs to realize you are changing the game, and getting healthy! Keep going!

I am a PA student, and have finished (and aced, might I add) medical anatomy (and physiology...)

Edited by: KNESS912 at: 4/8/2013 (20:43)
KARA623 Posts: 727
4/8/13 11:33 A

I spent 20 years overeating and stuffing myself way past full, but when I started my WLJ on WW, I started planning out my days in a way that had me eating smaller, manageable portions of food that satisfied me but didn't either stuff me or leave me feeling hungry. I still do have 5-6 meals/snacks a day, and I no longer have the capacity to really put the food away that I did. But I also don't get crazy hungry, either. So the answer is yes, your stomach will stretch, and yes, your stomach will revert to normal. Following your body's natural cues of when to eat (hunger) and when to stop (satiated but not uncomfortably full) will help you.

And most importantly, pay attention to how you feel on certain foods. 250 empty calories (ex. a doughnut) will have you hungry again very soon whereas 250 cal of high-fiber, nutrious food (ex: natural oatmeal with natural peanut butter and a little fruit) will fill you and keep you going until your next meal or snack.

RENATARUNS SparkPoints: (4,367)
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4/8/13 8:05 A

As far as the hunger goes, I did notice that after a month or six weeks of reduced calories, I was much less hungry than I had been. Something in your body does adjust, you just have to stick it out.

GWEGNER SparkPoints: (4,449)
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4/8/13 8:04 A


4/8/13 7:55 A

Your stomach does have the ability to stretch as it is filled with food and then return to a "non-filled" state as well.

Hunger is related to many factors---the foods consumed, the amount of foods consumed, emotions, chemicals, food triggers, the sight of food, medication usage, etc.

If you make your Nutrition Tracker public, I may be able to give more helpful tips. Let me know if you need the steps to do this.

SP Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Becky

SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (256,950)
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4/8/13 7:23 A

I don't know the answer to your question, but would think that if you gradually reduced your calories it might help to reduce the feeling of hunger.


NAUSIKAA Posts: 4,848
4/8/13 7:19 A

It will stretch your stomach if you eat a high volume of food, no matter what that is. For example if you consume huge quantities of vegetables and fruits, your stomach will become very large (in the sense that it will hold a lot; when it's empty it will not show or stick out or anything like that). That's how raw vegans can manage to eat 30 bananas at a sitting (or whatever) without rupturing their stomachs.

It doesn't really matter how large it is as long as it is big enough to contain whatever it is that you eat. If you reduce the volume of food you consume, it will shrink back down over time though.

LOVEMOUSE82 SparkPoints: (3,788)
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4/7/13 9:49 P

But don't worry because it will return to its normal size with normal eating habits.

SIMONEKP Posts: 2,764
4/7/13 6:20 P

Not an expert but the general consensus is that the stomach stretches to accommodate the amount of food we consume so it would stand to reason that the answer to your question is yes.

LWHIT991 SparkPoints: (406)
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4/7/13 5:18 P

hey everyone,

i'm recovering from bulimia (nonpurging) and i've found that when i'm eating normally, i am still hungry even though i'm tracking everything and definitely eating enough calories. i have purposely set my calorie goal to record a very slow weight loss, because i don't want to create a large deficit and therefore trigger another binge. for reference, i am 5'10, about 185, and eating about 2000-2100 calories a day. i'm eating a good balance of healthy fats, proteins, and complex carbs, and i eat TONS of fruits and veggies. therefore, i'm worried that the reason i'm still hungry is because my stomach is stretched out from chronic binging (1-4x a week for about a year). is this possible? if so, what do i do about it? any insight is appreciated, thanks!

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