Hungry? Grab some water! Reaching for a glass of water instead of food can save you many, many unwanted pounds over the years. Why does this work? The sensations of thirst and hunger are one and the same, generated whenever the brain is in need of sugar or water. So why do you choose food over water? Because food is so addictive!
I am certain this is due to the highly processed foods we eat. Let’s take white bread for example, a highly processed food that does not exist in nature. Its lack of nutrients and fiber causes it to act like a drug within your body. Broken down quickly, the simple carbohydrates enter your bloodstream and cause a fast rise and fall in blood sugar.
The fall causes the feeling of hunger, causing you to eat in order to increase blood sugar. The need for water goes overlooked because you have created a more pressing need for sugar! This will make you more likely to choose a sugar-laden drink over water and pack on unnecessary pounds. This yo-yo battle with blood sugar can result in constant dehydration since you will overlook the need for pure water. If you ate whole foods (like your ancestors did before the invention of the grocery store) you would keep more constant blood sugar levels and stay in tune with your need for water.
Another mistake that leads to weight gain is assuming that manufactured beverages can replace your need for water. Our bodies need water, not just liquids. Drinking 8 glasses of bottled juice, 8 cans of pop, or any other highly processed drink will not hydrate you. They have many other ingredients that influence body chemistry, none of which do you any good! I’ve come across many people who are adamant about telling me that as long as a beverage contains water, it’s just as good as water. You can fool yourself, and you can argue with me all you want, but it won’t change the fact that every cell in your body needs a pure source of water!
Now, let’s look at someone who drinks upwards of 8 Diet Cokes a day and no water. The caffeine found in coke acts directly on the brain, like a drug. Caffeine also acts as a diuretic, increases urine production, and leaves the body in a constant state of dehydration. This is why you can drink so many sodas and never satisfy your thirst. Then, when you feel “hungry”, you will assume you have drank enough “water” and assume you need food, when your body may actually need water. Overeating and weight gain is caused by the confusion between thirst and hunger. Water 1, Opponents 0.
Let’s talk about another constituent of diet coke: aspartame. Aspartame converts to aspartate, phenylalanine, and methyl alcohol (formaldehyde) in the small intestine. The first two are highly excitatory neurotransmitter amino acids, and cross the blood brain barrier. There is a claim that the body renders the methyl alcohol non-toxic, but their claim has yet to be proven. According to the video “Sweet Misery: A Poisoned World,” aspartame complaints represent 80-85% of food complaints to the FDA, due to its multiple neurotoxic, metabolic, allergenic, fetal, and carcinogenic effects. Aspartame is known to erode intelligence and affects short-term memory! The most frequent complaints about aspartame include brain tumors, birth defects, lymphoma, diabetes, MS, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, depression, anxiety attacks, epilepsy/seizures, migraines, numbness, hearing loss and ringing in the ears, blindness, blurred vision, other eye problems, and stomach disorders. Artificial sweeteners stimulate the appetite by spiking insulin levels, which will uptake any blood sugar into the cells, leaving you hungry shortly after eating because your blood needs more sugar. This leads to an increase in carbohydrate cravings and the increased intake of food will stimulate fat storage and weight gain.
Here is my story:
Before learning about the effects of aspartame, I drank about 4 cans of Diet Coke per day. Like many others, I assumed a toxic substance would never gain allowance into our food supply. I was dead wrong. For 2 years I suffered from cloudiness in my eyes. I always had one eye that was so fuzzy that I could not see properly! Now, I cannot tell you that Diet Coke was for sure to blame, but 6 months after I stopped drinking it I realized my vision was completely fine! I don’t believe it is a coincidence. I also have short-term memory problems which I’ve had for as long as I can remember (note: long term memory still intact!) which may be due to heavy Diet Coke consumption – since I started drinking it when I was age 6 or 7. Aspartame is a man-made chemical and has no place whatsoever in your body. Water, on the other hand contains no aspartate, phenylalanine, or formaldehyde.
Water 4, Opponents 0.
The biggest problem with juice is that it is pure sugar and nearly zero nutrients once it has finished being processed. The nutrients that are added back in after processing are often man-made and are not naturally assimilated by your body. Too much sugar in juice form will be absorbed into the blood stream, causing a drastic spike in blood sugar. The drastic spike causes a drastic fall, leaving you craving more sugar. This may lead to drinking even more juice, adding even more calories! Let’s take Ocean Spray’s white cranberry juice for instance. Ingredients: Filtered water, white cranberry juice from concentrate, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, natural flavors, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), and citric acid. In addition to the concentrated juice, there is more added sugar as well as high fructose corn syrup! The term “natural flavors” can mean anything. It can even mean MSG has been added. It is amazing what companies can categorize as natural. Water has no added sugar, no fillers, and no preservatives.
Water 7, Opponents 0.
If you want juice, buy a juicer and make it yourself. It will then be full of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes which are needed for every single function in your body. If you have a blender, than try making blended smoothies with fresh ingredients! One of my favourites is this:
Spinach Pear Smoothie
3 cups spinach
1 pear, cored
1 apple, cored
¼ cup parsley
juice of half a lime
2 tbsp hemp seeds
add water to cover
Just throw everything in a blender and enjoy the yummy nutrients! Don’t be scared and just try it! You will be amazed. Add more water if necessary!
Even if you already drink water, you need to think about the source of that water. Drinking any old tap water is not good for your cells. Tap water has chlorine, among other things (such as hormones from birth control pills which are not filtered out), added to kill bacteria. The problem here is that it kills both bad and good bacteria. Your body needs good, friendly bacteria to be healthy. Drinking chlorinated water is like taking antibiotics every day. So, it is important that your drinking water is filtered using a respectable filtration system. I prefer carbon filtered water. Specifically I prefer the technology of Nikken’s Pimag™ water system, which reduces volatile organic compounds, lead, cysts, MTBE, turbidity, chlorine, bad tastes, odors, and particulate matter. It literally energizes your water. My mom was in a health food store with her Pimag™ water last week when the man running the store offered to test it. The water scored off the charts in energy, and she hasn’t changed the filter in 2 years! Nikken recommends changing the filter once every year. I’m not sure what the Coca Cola Company does to its water, but I’m sure it’s not going to score very high on any energy test. Water 8, Opponents 0.
How much water do you need to drink? An often agreed amount of water is half your body weight in ounces per day. So, if you’re 160 lbs, you need 80 oz. of water each day. That breaks down into 10 8 oz. glasses or 10 cups of water. You must be sure to sip water throughout the day and not chug 2 or 3 glasses at a time to “make up” for lost glasses. Water taken this way may not become assimilated into the body and pass through the system relatively unused. You need to drink water first thing in the morning, since your body becomes dehydrated through your breathing at night. I personally drink 8-16 oz. of water when I wake up before I eat anything. It will also stop you from overeating!
Water is good for so many things in addition to dropping a few pounds, so you may notice other problems get better, like asthma, hiatus hernia, and pains in the lower back, neck, and heart! Get headaches? Drink water! You will be amazed at the results!