Cleveland Clinic

Losing weight doesn't change actual stomach size

Q: Does my stomach actually shrink when I lose weight?

A: Not exactly. But here's why you might feel full. Our stomachs have a reflex called receptive relaxation: As food enters your stomach, the muscles relax and expand out to accommodate more volume. In fact, your stomach can expand up to five times its volume after a meal as compared to before.

Some studies suggest that neurons surrounding and within our stomach wall actually control receptive relaxation. After losing weight, they may cause our stomachs to have "less elasticity." This is also related to hormonal changes that affect our...