A diet without being hungry? That’s what they all promise. But this one aims to silence the rumbling stomach with a natural way. The strategy of the fluid diet is simple: when hunger strikes, think “fluids first”. Consider the facts:
- Over 60 percent of your body is water. Fluid intake is one of the most vital parts of your everyday nutrition. Even on a cool day, with no extra rushing about to make you hot and sweaty (which means extra water loss) you use up more than 2.5 liters of fluid.
- Just under half of this normally comes from the water in foods and the process of energy release from the food. The rest has to be drunk.
- Cut food intake, and you not only reduce calories but fluid intake will drop too! If this is not made up, the body will start to dehydrate. This can quickly start to cause problems.
On a diet, the initial food intake reduction can mean your natural daily water loss is not being replaced. As a result, your weight will appear to drop (1 liter of water weighs one kilogram) … but this is not the weight loss you want.
It is the fat you need to get rid of. Eventually, when you do replace the lost fluids, the weight will reappear and the calories go up again! The death knell to the dieter.
Over the years, many of us have destroyed our natural thirst. How many times have we felt thirsty, yet resisted having something to drink?
We do this because we know we are about to go put in the car/shopping or are going to be locked up in a meeting and so limit the fluid intake our body actually wants. Gradually, this destroys our natural thirst drive.
Even in the semi-dehydrated state, we have lost or no longer respond to the thirst stimulus. As a survival technique, the body then gives us another stimulus, one which it knows a response to: eat food!
The body knows food is another source of useful fluid. But that’s not the encouragement we need when we are trying not to eat! Reducing energy intake is obviously of prime importance, but not all fluids will be right for the dieter.
- Water is obviously one answer and so the habit of having a large glass of water when you get up is a great start to the day, but what about more interesting fluids throughout the day?
- Diet soft drinks are made with the same flavor ingredients as regular soft drinks, except that the sugars normally used are not added and the sweet taste is provided by intense sweeteners. These are so sweet (up to 300 times that of sugar) that only very, very small quantities have to be added, so effectively they provide ineligible energy. These are excellent sources of fluid, provide a range of flavors and tastes, and are easily available.
- Plain mineral and soda waters are also low in energy, but the regular fruit juice/mineral water mixes have almost the same number of calories as regular soft drinks. The same goes for pure fruit juices, as their sugar level is about 8 – 10 percent, which is again almost the same as a soft drink.
Alcoholic beverages require water to process the alcohol out of your system, so these cannot be considered as useful fluids. Anyhow, alcohol is very high in calories and sabotages the diet balance.
So, the fluid recipe is first to fill up with fluid and you’ll find it a lot easier to control your appetite. Aim to drink at least 2 liters of low-calorie fluids. For a start, that will keep you so busy you won’t have as much time to feel hungry and eat regularly.