It’s a new year, which means many of us have made a vow to fulfill lofty health aspirations just one week after we stretched our bellies on one of the greatest indulgent days of the year, Christmas Day.
But there is some good news – the stomach organ is muscular, so it is flexible and can return to its normal shape.
As for our New Year’s resolutions, health educator Dr. Fiona Wheeler says so Much better for building a good relationship with food to reach long term goals Restricting calories or eliminating entire food groups.
Stomach capacity can usually fluctuate from a capacity of 500ml to about 2 liters, says Dr Wheeler, who specializes in nutrition and food psychology at Queensland University of Technology (QUT).
The stomach contains “mechanoreceptors,” she says, which sense when there is a stretch in the stomach and can help signal a “feeling of fullness” to the brain.
“When we do a stomach stretch frequently, as we often do during the Christmas season, we tend to be less able to feel a stretch in the stomach,” says Dr. Wheeler.
Fortunately, Dr. Wheeler says the stomach can return to its pre-Christmas size in just a few days.
But she cautions people to take a “restrictive” approach to their diet if they hope to lose weight this year.
“Restrictions aren’t good psychologically—it means we actually get a higher drive to eat the things we tell ourselves we shouldn’t eat,” says Dr. Wheeler.
“Humans like to protect their autonomy at every turn. That’s just the way we do it.
“So restricting is always counterproductive, and whatever we tell ourselves we can’t eat is what our brain is giving us.” [the thing] We want to eat. We are all rebels at heart.”
So what can we do?
To get your stomach and brain in sync, Dr. Wheeler says, you need to listen closely to your body.
“It’s the realization that when we’re hungry, especially after we’ve eaten for a while, our hunger cues may not be calibrated in the first place. [usual] “The way,” you say.
To apply this, she says you need to envision what a “fun” eating day would look like for you, including nutrition Foods that make you feel energized, and eat such foods for a few days.
It’s important to include “staple foods,” Dr. Wheeler says, which are basically less processed, nutrient-dense food items.
These include meat, seafood, vegetables, fruits, grains and dairy products.
“The body needs essential foods to function properly…and if you eat too many non-essential foods, you won’t have room in your day.” [nutritional meals]”, as you say.
A recipe for long-term success
“Diets don’t work,” says Dr. Wheeler.
In essence, she says, eating well is relatively simple — you just need to make sure you enjoy the food you choose.
“[Think about] What makes you feel good when you take it. “The type of food and the way you eat it and use it as a guide when getting back into the rhythm of 2023,” says Dr. Wheeler.
“If you eat something you don’t want to eat, it’s counterproductive whether or not it aligns with the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating.”
She says it’s essential to find foods that fuel your body that you actually enjoy, whether it’s a green salad or sides of roasted vegetables or fruits.
She suggests that to continue enjoying dietary food, you need to consider variety from the food itself, to its preparation and colours.
Dr. Wheeler acknowledges that “no particular way is going to be the right way for any individual to eat” but believes that the “special ingredient” to success is eating food you enjoy.
Queensland University of Technology colleague Professor Danielle Gallegos agrees with Dr Wheeler that you need to find nutritious foods that “bring you joy”.
“One of my biggest New Year’s resolutions is ‘I’m going to lose weight, I’m going to go on a diet,’ and really, diets don’t work,” Gallegos says.
“It’s really about having a good relationship with food…going back to foods that really have a lot of high nutritional value and also give you joy.”
Ms. Gallegos offers some tips if you want to eat healthy but always feel hungry.
She suggests drinking more water and potentially eating smaller meals regularly, along with increasing your vegetable and fruit intake.