Hunger and thirst? Can you tell the difference?
When January hits many of us rush to the gym to get back in shape, or start the newest diet trend to hit the market. But has anyone ever thought of taking on the challenge of consuming more water?
Water makes up 60% of our body. It is second to oxygen as essential to life. What makes it essential? Because we make very little of it. The body just doesn’t make enough water to meet requirements and on top of that we lose about 2 litres of water a day just from bodily functions alone, such as sweating, breathing and elimination.
Consuming more water, in my opinion, is one of the easiest changes you can make in your wellness journey. It is also going to have a massive impact on how your feel throughout your day, your alertness and ability to concentrate. Increasing your water intake will help you feel more alert, decrease bloating and water retention. Water also cleanses your body of toxins and waste. It boosts your metabolism and suppresses hunger in between meals.
I have some tips to help you drink more water but before I do let's dive into the difference between HUNGER and THIRST. There are two things to consider when it comes to distinguishing hunger and thirst:
1- The thirst mechanism is so weak that it’s often mistaken for hunger. Symptoms of mild dehydration are headache, fatigue, lightheadedness and difficulty concentrating. These same symptoms can resemble symptoms of hunger.
You become mildly dehydrated when your body’s normal fluid levels drop by just 1-2%. Let’s put that 2% drop into perspective: A 150 lb. person would need to lose only 1.8lbs of water to be 2% dehydrated. On a hot day you can lose that in less than an hour.
It is only when you become moderately dehydrated that you begin to pay attention to your thirst. Moderate dehydration is when the body’s fluid levels drop by 6-10%. By that time our mental alertness has dropped dramatically and we are not even aware of it. Which then has us grabbing for quick sources of fuel like refined carbohydrates and sugary drinks. (which can lead to....WEIGHT GAIN!)
2- Are you really listening to your body? Physical hunger grows gradually as the time since your last meal increases. How soon you’ll start feeling hunger depends on the size and nutrient density of your previous meal or snack. If we are consuming whole, nutrient dense foods then we should be paying attention to hunger cues only 3-4 hours after our last meal.
Here are the tips I promised :)
1- Set a timer at the beginning of the day to remind you to drink more water. Hell, set one for every hour if you need to! 2- Use a straw. You will consume a lot more water this way. Just make sure they are reusable straws (plastic straws are so 2000's!) 3- Buy a cute reusable cup. Something you can bring with you everywhere you go. The cuter it is the more likely you are to keep it with you ;)
With nourished love & inspiration,