By Diana Walker
Special to NurseZone
If you've been having trouble with sticking to your healthy eating plan when you get a craving, you may want to reach for a handy diet aid: water. A lot of people don't realize that water can be a powerful tool in helping to curb cravings.
There are several reasons why water is the perfect thing to reach for when you are feeling the need to snack. The first is purely because water is something that will fill your stomach. When you are feeling hungry, even if you know that you are not, you can use water to make you feel full. Drinking water before and after a meal can help you eat less. You'll also avoid those hunger “crashes” that make you reach for the nearest candy bar.
Water also helps reduce cravings at the molecular level. Your entire body needs water in order to function. Proper water consumption will ensure that your body has the hydration that it needs to metabolize your food. Without the presence of enough water, your body will not be able to get the nutrients from the food that you eat. Many food cravings are based on your body's need for specific nutrients. If you don't have enough water in your body, you'll continue getting cravings for food no matter how much you eat. Your body won't be able to process the food you are eating effectively enough to be helpful.
Water is essential to using fat properly. When your body isn't processing fat the way that it should it only has one other option: storage. The more fat you have, the more food your body needs to maintain it's “set-point” weight, and anything under that means that you'll be craving food. In order to curb your cravings, you need to turn your body into a fat-burning machine and that's just not possible without proper water intake.
Your liver is one of your main fat burning organs, when it is able to do its job properly. But if you don't have enough water, it starts a chain reaction of events that inhibit the liver and your fat burning potential. Your intake of water makes your kidneys work properly, but if you are dehydrated they will suffer. The kidneys will rely on your liver more heavily, which means that the liver can't do everything that it is supposed to--namely burn fat! When you drink enough water, you are keeping your kidneys active and making it easy for your liver to burn fat.
Water also plays an important role in using another helpful “curb-your-cravings” ally: fiber. You may have read that in order to reduce your cravings and lose weight, you need to eat a lot of fiber rich foods. Fiber is very important, but only if it is activated in your body. If you don't drink enough water, your fiber intake won't have as much impact. Fiber only works for you when it is combined with water. It gives you that “full” feeling and helps flush toxins from your body only when it absorbs the water that is in your body. If there isn't enough water to spare, your body won't allow absorption, and the fiber will remain useless.
Are cravings for sugar, salt, junk food, sodas and coffee running your life? For over 20 years, Diana Walker, the Cravings Coach, has assisted people like you in using natural, safe options for creating vibrant health. For more information, check out http://www.thecravingscoach.com/blog" title="http://www.thecravingscoach.com/blog">http://www.thecravingscoach.com/blog" target="_blank">Diana's newsletter, blog and podcast.