Tag Archives: Weight loss

Myths and Facts on Water and Hydration

waterWater is the most undervalued nutrients by humans. Its importance can be ascertained by the fact that scientists search for existence of life only on those planets on which they find evidence of presence of water. We all need water to live, but how much is a point of discussion. With people giving many benefits of drinking loads of water, what we really need to distinguish between are the myths and facts surrounding water intake.

  1. Everyone needs to drink eight glasses of water a day: Myth.Though water is the easiest and most economical fluid to keep you hydrated, the latest recommendation is that women should strive for about two litres or eight glasses a day and men should aim for three litres or 12 glasses a day of any fluid, not just water.
  2. Drinking water flushes toxins from the body: Fact. The kidneys use water to remove certain waste products. If your water intake is poor, your kidneys will not have the amount of fluid they need to do their job properly. The body in such a case would be holding in toxins instead of expelling them, leading to poor health.
  3. Drinking water can help keep your skin moist: Myth.While it used to be believed that staying properly hydrated leads to youthful, vibrant skin, the reality is that the amount of water you drink probably has little to do with what your skin looks like; unless the individual is severely dehydrated. Water intake may help to some extent in keeping the skin clear by flushing out toxins.
  4. Drinking water helps you lose weight: Fact.Drinking water will not trigger weight loss, but it can aid in the process because water replaces other calorie-laden beverages in the diet, causing you to reduce your overall number of calories. Plus, it can make you feel fuller, so you may eat less at each meal.
  5. If you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated: Myth.Thirst does not necessarily mean you are dehydrated. Thirst begins when the concentration of substances in the blood rises by less than 2%, whereas most experts define dehydration when the concentration has risen by at least 5%.
  6. Excess water can be harmful: Fact.People with certain health conditions can put themselves at risk of complications if they drink too much water. People with some heart conditions, high blood pressure, or oedema need to avoid excess water. Also for those who have a history of kidney problems or have had a transplant should consult their doctors regarding optimal water intake. Excess fluid intake with meals is also not a good idea as it can cause digestion problems.
  7. You should not reuse plastic water bottles: Fact.Plastic water bottles (read bottles of mineral water or other beverages) can present a couple of risks if you drink their contents and then fill them up time and again and use them for your daily water intake. These bottles leach chemicals into water after multiple uses and thus can be hazardous for health.
  8. Water helps prevent constipation: Fact. Extra fluids help keep the stool soft and easy to pass, but drinking more liquids does not cure constipation. It prevents constipation that too when the diet has sufficient amounts of fiber.
  9. Tea and coffee dehydrate you: Myth. Though tea and coffee are considered as diuretics still they add on to the total fluid intake a person has. Caffeinated beverages do not dehydrate the body if consumed in moderation (five cups or less of cola, coffee or tea). But a person should be cautious with the beverage intake as they can add up to the calories without you taking a notice of them.

Water is essential for survival — use these facts to figure out if you need to increase your intake or feel reassured that you are drinking as much as you need.

Bring an end to those Cravings

food cravingYou are walking down the road, watching a movie or working at your desk and suddenly the craving hits: Chocolate, Chips or something spicy. You have been trying to stick to healthy eating all week but still the craving is so strong….. A couple of chips won’t harm, will they? The craving grows strong with each passing minute and you soon start searching for it everywhere.

Many dieters believe that craving is a signal their bodies need the nutrients that food provides. But it is more a psychological thought rather than a physiologic need. A craving for chocolate, for example, would signal a physiologic need for sugar or antioxidants. But there are other foods which are better and healthier sources of sugar and antioxidants. However you do not crave for those foods.

So what could be the possible cause of these cravings?

When people follow overly restrictive diets or completely cut out groups of foods, cravings can develop out of deprivation. These can lead to a vicious cycle of indulging, overeating and guilt. A diet that allows small amounts of foods you love to have be it high-fat or high-calorie, will be easier to maintain since you are not eliminating that food completely from your diet.

Here are few tips to prevent or handle food cravings:

  • Put your craving off. Give yourself a little time before you completely give in to the temptation. Food cravings are typically short-lived, and while the desire for chips, chocolate, or cake feels overwhelming at that particular moment, it will decline, especially if you can distract yourself with a phone call or some pending job or a glass of water or some healthier substitute.
  • Choose alternatives for your cravings. If you are in love with potato chips and miss them dearly, buy a brand that is low-fat or low in sodium. If you think that you crave chips because you feel like munching something crunchy, skip the chips: try fruit or a salad packed with crisp greens and veggies. Want something sweet? How about baking an apple pudding (minus sugar) or trying out carrot kheer? If you crave chocolate, keep some dark chocolate on hand. Dark chocolates are low in sugar and high in phytochemicals that may aid in the prevention of heart disease. But remember moderation is the key here. When looking for dark chocolate, read the label to make sure that cocoa is the first ingredient on the list rather than sugar.
  • Buy single servings of foods you crave. Instead of buying a whole box of your favorite food, buy minimum possible quantity.
  • Schedule your snacks. Plan for nutritious snacks to prevent in-between meal hunger. Keep portable, healthy snacks in your desk or car.
  • Be Selective: Whenever you go out for a party and before you begin eating, check out all of the options and choose the foods that you really want to eat. If everything looks tempting and delicious, have a small sample of different foods to satisfy your craving.
  • Keep a craving journal. Note the time of day your craving appeared, how long it lasted, the food you craved, and how you handled the situation. This way you will start noticing patterns so you can be better prepared to handle cravings in the future.

Craving is more of a psychological response of a deprived empty mind and it can be efficiently counteracted by diverting the mind as well as preventing deprivation of your much-loved foods.