Everyone knows the many benefits that come with having a healthy body weight. Think improved sleep, better mental health, and not to mention fitting into those favorite pair of jeans.
For many, losing weight isn't always easy, and strict diets and workout routines don't consistently deliver desired results. Regardless, about 45 percent of the global population is actively trying to lose weight.
Listen to your Hunger Cues
Leptin and Ghrelin, the hormones that control your appetite, are working around the clock to ensure you function at your best. Their main job is to signal your body when to eat and when you're full. These signals are known as hunger and fullness cues.
Unfortunately, this delicate appetite control system can be thrown out whack quite easily.
Emotional triggers, such as boredom, anger, and sadness, affect your appetite. Even social influences can influence your eating habits, and not always for the best. Everyone's eaten a little too much during holiday celebrations or at gatherings with family and friends.
As a result of ignoring hunger cues, "we have a hard time understanding what our body is telling us,” says Paula Doebrich, Registered dietitian, nutritionist, and owner of private nutrition practice Happea Nutrition.
Strengthening Hunger Cues
Staying hydrated is key for helping to strengthen your body’s fullness cues. At times thirst and not hunger may be the reason why you crave a snack.
According to Dr. Supatra Tovar, PsyD, and Registered Dietitian, one great way to tell whether you're really hungry is to drink a full glass of water and wait for at least 15 minutes. If food cravings subside after 15 minutes, you most likely were craving hydration and not food.
And there's clinical evidence to support this exercise in hydration.
A review of 15 studies found that increasing water consumption while participating in a weight management program leads to more weight loss than the program on its own.
The positive effects of pre-meal water consumption are also supported in this 2016 Randomized Controlled Trial published in the European Journal of Nutrition.
In the trial, 14 healthy men of average weight drank about two glasses of water before a meal and ate a meal without drinking water beforehand. When the men drank water 30 minutes before eating, they consumed less food than when they didn't engage in premeal hydration.
A survey study of 18,311 adults found that the more they drank water, the fewer calories they consumed (including saturated fat and sugar). This pattern occurred regardless of body weight, race/ethnicity, education level, and income.
So indeed, there may be an intimate connection between hydration and hunger cues. the more hydrated you are, the more efficiently your body can control hunger.
Listening to these hunger cues, staying properly hydrated throughout the day, and sticking to a healthy diet and workout routine goes a long way to keeping hunger hormones in check and preventing overeating.
Actively choosing a tall glass of water over high-calorie, sugar-laden alternatives such as juice or soda keeps blood sugar levels, metabolism, and energy levels in check. Which in turn helps with maintaining a healthy weight and reducing those 3 pm junk food cravings.
This 2015 The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study revealed that individuals who drank more water, less calorie, and sugary drinks also consumed fewer calories (including carbohydrates) and experienced greater weight loss.
Just remember not to replace the calorie savings with unhealthy foods.
In addition to staying hydrated, Doebrich suggests being purposely mindful around mealtimes. During meals, take care to sit at a table and eat slowly. Avoid distractions like television or phones.
As a side note, it's important to remember that dehydration can deplete critical minerals and electrolytes. As a result, you may experience dizziness, muscle cramps, lightheadedness, and other symptoms of dehydration.
Your Hydration Coach
Proper hydration can play a key role in maintaining a healthy weight long-term. And our PÜL AI technology helps you stay properly hydrated by helping you fulfill your daily water intake.
The patented PÜL SmartCap fits most wide-mouth reusable water bottles and monitors fluid intake enabling you to improve hydration habits for better overall well-being. Think of PÜL as your hydration coach, helping you to maintain optimal hydration levels helping to keep your hunger cues in check.
Resources:Carey A, Yang Q, DeLuca L, Toro-Ramos T, Kim Y, Michaelides A. The Relationship Between Weight Loss Outcomes and Engagement in a Mobile Behavioral Change Intervention: Retrospective Analysis. JMIR Mhealth Uhealth 2021;9(11):e30622
Muckelbauer, R., et al. Association between water consumption and body weight outcomes: a systematic review. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 98, Issue 2, August 2013, Pages 282–299, https://doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.112.055061
Madijd, Ameneh. Effects on weight loss in adults of replacing diet beverages with water during a hypoenergetic diet: a randomized, 24-wk clinical trial. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 102, Issue 6, December 2015, Pages 1305–1312, https://doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.115.109397
Corney, Robert A. Immediate pre-meal water ingestion decreases voluntary food intake in lean young males. European Journal of Nutrition. (2016) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25893719/
Ipsos. 45% of people globally are currently trying to lose weight. Accessed October 10, 2022. https://tinyurl.com/mwe9f47e
Supatra Tovar, PsyD, RD
Clinical Psychologist & Registered Dietitian
Lic # PSY31949
CDR ID 86029010
Paula Doebrich, Registered dietitian nutritionist, owner
of private nutrition practice Happea Nutrition