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Can Your Stomach Shrink With a Diet?

author image Sarka-Jonae Miller
Sarka-Jonae Miller has been a freelance writer and editor since 2003. She was a personal trainer for four years with certifications from AFAA and NASM. Miller also worked at 24 Hour Fitness, LA Fitness and as a mobile trainer. Her career in the fitness industry begin in 2000 as a martial arts, yoga and group exercise instructor. She graduated cum laude from Syracuse University.
Can Your Stomach Shrink With a Diet?
Diet and exercise can shrink your abdomen but not your stomach. Photo Credit: Christopher Nuzzaco/Hemera/Getty Images

A diet cannot technically shrink your stomach. The only thing that can shrink your stomach is surgery. Diets can make your abdomen smaller as you lose weight, but your actual stomach organ only changes size when you eat. When you eat your stomach gets bigger, and then when you digest your food your stomach gets smaller. But your stomach does not shrink when you eat less. However, your belly does.

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Diets and Belly Fat

A diet restricts your calories, either because it limits what foods you can eat -- resulting in you eating less calories overall -- or by giving you a meal plan that adds up to a specific number of calories. The Flat Belly Diet is the latter. It recommends a meal plan that adds up to the right number of calories based on age and gender to reduce belly fat thus making the belly shrink. For example, a 40-year-old woman follows a 1,600-calorie per day diet consisting of three, 400-calorie meals and one, 400-calorie snack on this plan. This is part of the four-week eating plan that begins on day five of the diet.

Calorie Restriction

Eating fewer calories creates a deficit so your body can start using stored fat for fuel. It takes 3,500 calories to make 1 lb. of fat, and a deficit of the same number to lose 1 lb. This weight loss may not come directly from your abdomen first, but you will lose weight throughout your body. Women are likely to see their bellies shrink before men.

Aerobic Exercise

Dieting is more effective for losing weight than exercise and it may result in weight loss by itself, but working out is also important. Aerobic exercise burns calories, which increases your caloric deficit so that you lose weight more quickly. Aerobic exercise, also known as cardio, is any activity that causes your heart rate and breathing rate to increase, such as hiking or swimming. Most people gain weight back within six months of going on a diet, but consistent exercise prevents weight gain and helps you keep the weight off, according to the Mayo Clinic. If you want to see your abdomen shrink diet and increase exercise.

Ab Exercises

General exercise helps you flatten your abdomen through weight loss, but targeted abdominal exercises also help your abdomen become smaller. A basic trick to flattening the abs is to activate the transverse abdominis. The transverse abdominis is the deepest muscle of your abdomen. To activate the transverse abdominis, simply pull in your abdomen as if you were trying to zip a tight pair of pants or skirt, and hold it tight. This exercise is known as a stomach vacuum, but you can also use this maneuver during other ab exercises such as crunches to make them more effective in slimming your waistline.

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