Not many know that dehydration can actually make you gain weight. There are solid scientific reasons behind this. In fact drinking water might just be the most important piece to the weight-loss puzzle.
Firstly it’s fat-free, cholesterol-free, has no salt and is completely without calories. But besides that there are many other reasons to drink up.
We often mix up food pangs with water cravings. Sometimes thirst masquerades as hunger. So often when we think that our body is asking for food – it’s actually asking for water. One glass of water shuts down hunger pangs almost 100 percent of time. Try it.
Too caught up to read? Listen to the story here:
In fact not drinking enough water makes you crave for sugar.
Yes, dehydration can mask itself as hunger, particularly sugar cravings. This happens particularly during exercising. When you exercise in a dehydrated state, the glycogen (stored carbohydrate) gets used up at a faster rate, and one is likely to crave carbs to help replenish the glycogen levels.
That is why re-hydrating is as important as eating right to avoid sugar (and carb) binges.
Water Works As an Appetite Suppressant
Drinking a big glass of water whenever you feel hungry and before a meal or snack fills the stomach briefly and makes you feel fuller and stop eating sooner.
Adequate water ensures that both digestion and metabolism are working at their full capacity. And both need to be in harmony to ensure weight maintenance (or loss).
In fact research now states that drinking water can actually boost your metabolism briefly. And we all can do with a little help with our metabolism.
Also Read: 7 Reasons Why You Must Drink More Water
Drinking Water Helps With Kidney Function
Drinking enough water is important to keep the kidneys functioning to remove waste. Plus when the kidneys don’t function properly some of their workload is pushed into the liver, which eats into the main function of the liver ( i.e. metabolising fat).
This leads to faulty metabolism of fat (thus more storage) and either weight gain or reaching a plateau of weight loss.
Then there’s a bonus benefit too.
Water not only helps the muscle achieve a better contraction, it also prevents the sagging of skin that sometimes follows weight loss.
Drink Up More Water in These Situations
- Eating dry, concentrated and fatty foods requires more water to ensure digestion.
- Eating salty food means you need to drink more water, since you will need it to eliminate excess salt.
- When you are continuously stressed, you must increase your water intake. Stress increases metabolism and an increased metabolism uses up more water.
- The more you weigh, the more water you require, for basic functions such as digestion, blood circulation and any other function.
- You need to up your intake of water while exercising/ working out.
How To Drink More Water?
- Wake up to water – literally. Before you eat or drink anything else in the morning, have two glasses of water.
- Carry your little bottle of water with you everywhere you go. Yes everywhere.
- Never ever say no to water whenever someone offers it to you. Your body will thank you for it.
- Fill a pitcher, jug or a bottle of water and keep it on your desk at work or handy at home.
- Try wearing a digital watch that beeps at the beginning of each hour. Or download those water reminder apps on your phone. Use that as a reminder to pour yourself a glass of water. Vow to drink that water before the next beep.
(The writer is a nutritionist, weight management consultant and health writer based in Delhi. She is the author of Don't Diet! 50 Habits of Thin People (Jaico) and Ultimate Grandmother Hacks: 50 Kickass Traditional Habits for a Fitter You (Rupa).)
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