T Nation

Why did my stomach shrink?!

I used to be able to eat everything in sight… oatmeal, fruit, vegetables, steak, bacon, just about everything. I could easily consume 4000 calories a day eating healthy food. This was during the summer.

Alas, things have changed. I just started university two months ago, and ever since, my appetite has gone down the drain. I work out harder than ever (although I have taken a week off due to mid-terms), but for the last two months I have been unable to devour the masses of food I used to be able to eat. I’m still eating healthy (although the variety of food is a bit lower due to a tighter budget… less meat and more frozen vegetables and protein powder), but my stomach is being a big pussy.

I could easily eat a cup of oatmeal with fruit, protein powder, milk and cereal for breakfast during the summer. Now, 3/4 of a cup makes me sick, and it’s hard to have some bread and an apple after that. Heck, I used to be able to eat a whole loaf of bread - now, even four slices are too much for breakfast.

Although I find that during the day my appetite hasn’t been reduced enormously (although there is a fair difference), my main problem is that I can’t eat nearly as much breakfast as before, and if I try, it makes me sick (not sick as in ‘I wanna throw up’, but sick as in ‘well, I could be feeling a bit better right now’)

I’ve actually lost a bit of girth (the belt one, not the one below that you pervs), although my overall weight hasn’t really decreased too much. Nonetheless, I do feel that this is hindering hyperthrophy a bit. I am getting enough sleep, not partying too hard, or anything else I can think would stop me from being able to eat. I’m not even stressed or anything like that.

Did aliens perform gastric bypass surgery on me while I was sleeping?

I don’t wanna become skinny!!!

Hey man,

I am going through the EXACT same thing right now. (School can really get in the way of building muscle sometimes).

I’ve switched to packing extra lunches in smaller quantites so I am eating every two hours, and pack protein powder in a gatorade bottle to get it all in quickly.

Something else is to not drink much water during the meal time. The water will bloat your stomach up really well and it causes a decrease in hunger (at least in me). Take in the H2O 20-30 minutes after the meal.

Hope my experiences help you out at all man.

Perhaps stress is interfering with your appetite. Diminished appetite is also a sign of overtraining I believe. The added school commitments may be eating in to your recovery.

I was thinking stress might have soemthing to do with it too. Have your sleep patterns been affected as well? Two possible ways to work around it:

  1. Do the mid-sleep snack trip, that shoudl reduce your body’s need for food in the AM, so when you don’t eat as much as you like, it won’t be such a defecit (or a bigger surplus).
  2. When you wake up, drink 250-500 mL of water, then wait 20 min before you eat (but don’t go back to bed). I usually find this makes me ravenously hungry, even if I wasn’t too enthused about more food when I woke up.
    Good luck getting that stomach back in shape! : )

Excellent advice guys. What is the deal with Ontario producing some really smart T-men? If it wasn’t so freakin’ cold I’d move up there ('cause, ya know, I’d automatically become smarter).

I’d be wary of the mid-sleep feeding. This was mentioned in another thread about 6 weeks ago (sorry, I don’t remember exactly which or when). One of the T-Nation experts (I believe it was an editor, not just a poster) suggested that you should never interrupt sleep to get in another meal because this interrupts the prime period when GH is released and your muscles recover. You will be robbing your body of the most important recovery mechanism.

I would eat as much as is comfortable for breakfast and stick with more frequent, smaller meals throughout the day.

DB

It must be because its so damn cold outside, that all we can do is hunker down in our igloos and study physiology books…

:wink:

The MaxX-

I’m a bigger guy, but have the appetite of a small bird! I used to be able to eat a whole large pizza in high school, but not now. If I get three slices down I’m pushing it! However, I have a genetically slow metabolism so this is a GOOD thing for me. I only eat maybe 3000 cals or so during my mass gain phases at 240 lbs! Even then I usually put a little chub on.

As far a solution, eat higher density foods. Lot’s of mixed nuts, especially before bed. Use whole/2% milk in your protein shakes. Even though I rather not recommend eating much processed grains, pasta goes down easily in large quanities, especially with a yummy Alfredo sauce!

Also, add olive oil to as many meals as you can. Bascially add high-density cals, mostly in the form of fat, to keep cals up and volume down.

BTW, I don’t recommend making yourself get up in the middle of the night. Provided you ate several handfuls of mixed nuts before bed, you will be fine sleeping 6-7 hours. Solid, constant sleep is very important in school.

TopSirloin

my advice was for lmjudek too!

School is definitely not interfering with my nutrition. I only have like 15 hours of classes a week (less than in school), I am not stressed at all (even though I have 2 mid-terms coming up), and sleep is pretty much the same (same doesn’t mean perfect, but I do get about 8 hours every night - even though I still feel a bit tired sometimes, I can’t sleep any longer).

I’ve also been eating every 2 hours for a couple of days, and it’s easier that way to get 6 meals in.

I know I’m not overtraining 'cause I haven’t trained for over a week now and I still feel the same.

TopSirloin:
I do eat very high-density foods. Lots of nuts during the day, I cook everything with olive oil or olive oil margarine, and I have a cottage cheese / almond butter snack before I go to sleep. I’m not gonna go with 2% milk since I rather strictly adhere to P+C and P+F meals.

Well, I have come to the conclusion that the aliens have stapled my stomach. Goodbye sweet world of massive eating, hello sweet world of skinny me. We’ll see how it works out…

[quote]lmjudek wrote:

I’ve also been eating every 2 hours for a couple of days, and it’s easier that way to get 6 meals in.[/quote]

That…

And this…my point is could it be simply a change in your eating habits. Plus, things like nuts (and lots of them as you’ve stated), margarine, almond butter - all of these are pretty fatty food and they tend to reduce apetite.

Forgot to mention that from my personal experience when I eat nuts it becomes difficult to drink water after that and I’m definitely fill not hungry at all…

Uh, just a thought here, but could it be the weather? I know that in the summer I’m always a lot hungrier than in the winter. Of course, living in Arizona that means I’m less hungry for about 4 days out of the year.

Still, it could be that now that colder temps are around you aren’t doing as much and that is affecting your eating.