Hungry or Thirsty?
With so many different opinions available on diet and nutrition it is hard to sift through it all and know what is best. Despite the myriad of information that is out there, the one thing that all diet and nutrition programs have in common is there advice to drink water. But you may ask why is water so important? Water helps your body to metabolize stored fat, rid your body of unwanted toxins, serves as a natural diuretic and laxative, and helps to regulate hunger.
Water is the building blocks of life. You will die of dehydration long before you die from lack of food. If that doesn’t tell you how important it is I don’t know what will.
Many people often mistake hunger for dehydration. It has been estimated that 75% of the U.S. population is partially dehydrated. When a person is dehydrated they feel hungry leading them to consume more calories when all they really needed to do is drink more water. Water can also be taken in through food. Vegetables can contain up to 97% water and we retain a lot of that. It’s important to realize whether we are hungry or thirsty but don’t let your caloric intake get out of control because you are mistaking hunger with dehydration.
The common “diet solution” is to drink “8-10 glasses of water a day”, but not all glasses are made equal. A more accurate and specific reference is to drink half your body weight in ounces of water (example: 128 lb woman drinks 64 ounces of water, and a 180 lb man drinks 90 ounces of water). There are also other factors at play as well.
The thirst reflex does decline with age and the elderly are at elevated risk of dehydration.
Excessive thirst and urination can be a warning sign for diabetes.
Those involved in sustained, strenuous exercise or spending extended periods of time in very hot or dry conditions need a lot more fluids to stay adequately hydrated.
When you’re sweating a lot, you need to replace sodium and potassium as well as fluids to prevent a potentially serious condition called hyponatremia.
So if you find yourself eating all day and you still feel hungry, it may be a sign that you are dehydrated. If you have hit a plateau in your weightloss goals, one simple area to assess is your water consumption.