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November 17, 2015 2 min read

Making changes in your life can feel impossibly difficult. If you are trying to eat healthier, it is easy to believe you will never be able to make it a habit. But we have good news for you -- if you can last 5 weeks, eating smaller, healthier meals, it will become easier to continue doing so! That's right! 5 weeks is all it takes for your stomach to adjust to your new diet. In that time your stomach will stretch less allowing you to feel full sooner. Consider your stomach a muscle. If you are filling it with massive meals 3 times a day, the distensibility (the amount your stomach walls stretch) increases just like your biceps would if you worked them out three times a day, explains Atif Iqbal, M.D., medical director of the Digestive Care Center at Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center. On the flip side of this, if you eat smaller meals, your stomach's capacity decreases. After a little over a month of eating smaller meals, you will come to feel full with less food and your body will send your brain signals to stop eating much sooner. Having said this, it is unclear at this point as to whether or not the size of your stomach actually shrinks. INPOST3 This is good news for your diet and hunger pangs. There are many factors that can contribute to your feeling hungry but of them, distensibility is the easiest to correct. So, how exactly do your correct it? "Small meals" is a pretty subjective term so, Gina Sam, M.D., M.P.H., director of the Gastrointestinal Motility Center at Mount Sinai Hospital, lays it out clearly. [bctt tweet="Think of your stomach as a muscle and whip it into shape by doing this!"] While what will work best for you will depend on your individual needs, Sam believes this to be a great place to start: a fruit smoothie or oatmeal with berries for breakfast, then peanut butter with fruit as a snack two hours later. Around lunchtime, grab a salad or rice with chicken, then another snack around 2 p.m. (nuts or yogurt), and then vegetables or baked fish for dinner. It sounds like a lot of food but if you stick to 2 ounce serving sizes, you should be okay. Science is still unclear as to whether or not small, frequent meals can improve your metabolism and weight loss, but doctors still recommend this method to those looking to eat healthier. So if you find yourself piling food onto your plate, stuffing your gut and never feeling satisfied, this may be worth a try. In the course of a lifetime, 5 weeks is nothing. Why not give it a try? Have you started eating smaller meals and noticed a big difference? Tell us your story! Source: Greatist 

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