We have all heard that to curve your appetite just drink water to make your stomach feel full and you won’t eat as much. “Water doesn’t help you eat less,” says Barbara Rolls, a nutritionist at Penn State University. The body has different satiety points for food and water, and one doesn’t translate to the other. But eating foods high in water content could satisfy appetite and curb calorie consumption.

Some people have said that drinking can hurt the digestion of your food. Drinking water with your meal may cause acidity in your stomach, as water dilutes the gastric juice released in the stomach and slows down the process of digestion. That may cause the undigested food in your stomach causes acid reflux and heartburn. There is no research that says drinking water during meals is a bad idea. There are however a few studies that hint toward people suffering from gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) should avoid having liquids with meals as drinking liquid adds volume to the stomach leading to an increased risk of acid reflux, thereby worsening the condition of GERD patients.

Hunger and satiety are body sensations. Hunger motivates you to consume food. Satiety is the absence of hunger. Satiety is the sensation of feeling full. Satiety signals arise from your GI tract and other related organs during your meal. Satiety signals influence your eating behavior by activating neurons in the nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS) in the hindbrain. Satiety limits further food intake after you have a meal. Your hypothalamus gland, which is part of your central nervous system, regulates the amount of food you consume. Emotional and psychological factors also can cause or delay satiety. People with emotional issues may be totally satisfied by only a few bites of food.

A number of hormonal help to regulate your satiety. Leptin is produced by your fat cells. Leptin is considered a “satiety hormone” that reduces appetite and helps make you feel full. As one of your signaling hormone, its role is to communicate with the hypothalamus gland, which is the portion of your brain that regulates appetite and food intake. The stomach to help stimulate appetite secretes Ghrelin, another hormone. Hormones stimulating satiety include cholecystokinin (CCK)which is released from the gut to feedback by way of vagus nerves. Hormones OXM and PYY from the large intestine and pancreatic polypeptide (PP) released from the islets of Langerhans.

We require more water than any other thing we ingest. We may survive for a few weeks without food, but we would only last a few days without water. Water makes up more than two thirds of your body weight.

Drinking water is important all year around but you need to be especially meticulous about drinking water when the weather is hot. Two thirds of your body is composed of water. This makes it the body’s most vital nutrient. To maintain balance the average person needs about 2,500 ml. (about 10 cups) per day. Of this amount probably 60% will be obtained from drinking water or beverages, 30% from moist foods and the remaining 10% will be a by product of the metabolism of various nutrients. Are eight cups enough? The fact is, how much water you need to drink each day depends on a few factors, including your age, gender, activity level, humidity and even the weather. The Institute of Medicine, which sets Dietary Reference Intakes for all nutrients, says that in general, women need around 11 cups of water a day, while men need 15.6 cups a day. Water normally enters the body through the mouth but it can be lost in a number of ways. These include obvious losses as in urine, feces and sweat as well as less obvious losses, which occur by diffusion of water through the skin (perspiration throughout the day as part of metabolism) and by evaporation of water from the lungs during breathing.

To lose weight you’ll need both a nutritional and exercise plan. Scientists at the University of Colorado and Brown Medical School followed more than 10,000 Americans who lost weight and kept it off for years. Only 1% kept the pounds off with exercise alone, 10% did it with diet alone, and 89% using both.

Eating stimulates your body to burn calories because the digestion process uses a lot of energy. The body needs carbohydrates, fats, protein, vitamins, minerals, fiber and water to be healthy. Without proper nutrition and exercise, optimal health cannot be attained. Carbohydrates, fats and protein supply energy (calories) necessary for work and normal body functions. Vitamins, minerals, fiber and water do not have caloric value but are still necessary for normal body functions. The average American consumes 40% fat, 30% carbohydrates and 30% proteins daily. The average diet should consist of 15% fat, 20% protein and 65% complex carbohydrates. Saturated fats should make up less than 10% of your total fat intake. Make sure you consume between 12 to 15 calories per pound of body weight daily.

Instead of drinking water to lose weight work out for 30-60 minutes every day. Walking is great for the beginner and jogging can become addictive. You’ll also want to do toning exercises for each part of the body such as weight training or calisthenics.

Strengthening muscles, tendons and ligaments with resistance exercise will make you stronger, help support the skeletal system and joints. Stronger muscles, tendons and ligaments can reduce your risk of having joint problems and help existing joint problems. You should talk with your doctor before you start because depending on what the joint problem, resistance training may aggravate it.

Aerobic exercises (walking, jogging, biking or swimming continuously for 15 minutes or more) are important but muscle-strengthening exercises are just as important to have a fit body. In fact, strength-building exercises are a necessary part of an aerobic program because they help keep the bones and joints strong enough to withstand aerobic training.

The key to fat loss is planning. Make a schedule for your exercise and a menu for your nutritional needs. Don’t forget to get some sleep. Sleep is one of the other areas you have to fix if you want lasting healthy weight loss. That’s another article.

If you have a fitness question or concern you would like addressed write to: “Tips to be Fit,” P.O. Box 53443, Philadelphia, PA 19105 or tipstobefit@gmail.com. If you’ve missed an article of “Tips to be Fit” just search for “Tips to be Fit.”

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