Craving indulgent, cheesy, and high-calorie foods while on a diet is a common struggle. Giving in to these cravings is not an option, so how can you satisfy your hunger pangs and unusual cravings? Fear not, we have a healthy solution for you. But first, let's delve into the nature of cravings. Scientific studies have identified two types of cravings: selective and non-selective cravings. While selective cravings are clear and specific, non-selective cravings are vague and often lead to intense hunger pangs. This is where the problem begins.
Understanding The Link Between Thirst And Hunger:
Consultant nutritionist Rupali Datta reveals an interesting insight about cravings and hunger pangs. She explains, "Approximately 80 percent of the time, our brain confuses thirst, which can be triggered by even mild dehydration, for hunger." How does this happen? Dehydration causes the body to lose electrolytes, disrupting blood flow and the signalling process in the brain. As a result, confusion sets in, and instead of feeling thirsty, you may feel hungry. Datta adds, "During odd hours of the day, when you crave snacks, your brain is actually trying to tell you that you need water, not food."
Also Read: Stay Hydrated At Every Age: Recommended Water Intake Guidelines Revealed By Dietitian
The Role Of Water In Satisfying Cravings And Hunger Pangs:
Drinking a glass or two of water not only helps maintain proper fluid balance but also aids in digestion and metabolism, promoting overall bodily health. Furthermore, water can create a sense of fullness in your stomach, signalling your brain to stop eating and curb hunger. It's important to note that water doesn't reduce your food intake, but rather enables your brain to send the appropriate signals to your stomach, helping you eat the right amount of food according to your appetite.
Can Drinking Water Before Meals Prevent Overeating?
Numerous studies worldwide suggest that drinking two cups of water before a meal and avoiding drinking in between can have beneficial effects. Let's explore why. Consuming water before a meal kick-starts the metabolism process and facilitates the secretion of gut enzymes, promoting proper digestion. Additionally, it provides a feeling of fullness by occupying space in your stomach and sending a signal to your brain that you are satisfied. This practice helps prevent overeating, particularly when you are feeling ravenous and assists in monitoring your daily calorie intake.
Also Read: Do You Often Get Intense Food Cravings? Here Are Ways To Manage Them
Health Benefits Of Using Water To Curb Hunger Pangs:
1. Promotes metabolism: Adequate water intake helps quench your thirst and maintain fluid balance in the body. This contributes to improved blood flow and supports metabolic functions.
2. Aids in weight loss: The feeling of fullness achieved after drinking water prevents excessive food consumption. Consequently, this reduces calorie intake and mitigates weight gain and fat accumulation in the body.
3. Stabilizes blood sugar levels: Water helps regulate the body's blood sugar levels, preventing sudden spikes that can occur due to the reaction between sugar in your food and insulin secretion from the pancreas. By breaking down sugars slowly, water promotes a gradual and steady increase in glucose levels.
4. Enhances brain function: By flushing out toxins and preventing oxidative stress, water facilitates proper blood and oxygen circulation throughout the body, including the brain. This, in turn, supports optimal brain function and the transmission of accurate signals to the body.
The Bottom Line:
Considering the various benefits mentioned above, we strongly recommend maintaining adequate water intake on a daily basis. Doing so can help your body function properly, prevent untimely cravings and hunger pangs. Remember to consume water at room temperature, as chilled water may disrupt the body's natural temperature balance and impede metabolism and electrolyte production. As Rupali Datta concludes, "Keeping the water at room temperature allows you to enjoy its benefits to the fullest."
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.
About Somdatta SahaExplorer- this is what Somdatta likes to call herself. Be it in terms of food, people or places, all she craves for is to know the unknown. A simple aglio olio pasta or daal-chawal and a good movie can make her day.