Water · 14 September 2012

Water is a key ingredient to life, but I used to think it was the key to weight loss.

It seems obvious, but drinking a couple glasses of water to stave off hunger pangs is not the way to make any permanent weight changes. Drinking that glass or two before supper does help digestion and could keep us from overeating when we think we are famished, but it is not a replacement for calories. Our body needs calories to live and we ought to give it the best calories we can. Water does not have any. But it can trick our stomachs into thinking it is full.

I have used water to trick my stomach before. The problem has always been that once the water has left the system, my body realizes it did not get the calories it wanted and I end up eating something anyway. So now, I drink water because I need it instead of using it to try and fill me up.

I thought about this the other day as I guzzled water before supper. I was not trying to stave off my appetite like I used to do; I was just thirsty and a bit dehydrated. I had a snack later when the effects of the water fill up were gone. That was when I realized the flaw in my thinking about water. I do not think I would have had that realization if my ultimate goal was to lose weight instead of being healthy.

We all need water to live and be healthy. And we need it in various amounts depending on our activity levels and food intake. But since water has no calories, we ought not to use it to try and replace them. Water is a key to weight loss, but only insofar as it is a key ingredient to life.

© 2012 Michael T. Miyoshi

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