Drink Water: Battling the Hunger Demon, Tip #3

There are a few keys to dealing with hunger. Here is challenge and tip #3. I will post one each day over this next week.

cool water fountain in Budapest

cool water fountain in Budapest

Drink Water. One of the easiest ways to feel fuller is to drink water. You might hate it, but it’s calorie-free, readily available, costs almost nothing, and is good for the body. Try adding a lemon, lime, or cucumber slice to make it more enticing. Get a refillable bottle and take it everywhere you go. To this day, never leave the house without one. And unless you live somewhere where the water is polluted or you’re traveling in a developing country, tap water is much better, as it’s more frequently tested than bottled water. (No lie. I teach a course on sustainability and one issue we cover is drinking water.)

If you abhor drinking water, work on that. One strategy you might try is adding Mio drops to your water. Choose a variety that is calorie and caffeine free, like the blueberry lemonade or cranberry raspberry. Use these drops to enhance the flavor until you get used to drinking more water then gradually work on reducing the amount you add until you get used to plain water.

While you’re working on getting more water into your system, if you must indulge, stick to non-sugary drinks. Fresh-pressed juices and smoothies are all the rage, but almost invariably contain a whole lot of calories. Plus, the juicer or blender has done all the digestive work for you. Ditto for the fru-fru coffee drinks, unless you’re asking for sugar substitutes. And forget alcohol: It’s just like mainlining sugar.

Coffee and tea are good options, though be aware that caffeine affects your system. Carbonated beverages aren’t so great for tooth enamel. Crystal Light is very flavorful, but remember that artificial sugars are multiple times sweeter than the natural stuff (but that’s much more calorie-dense, of course). Drinking caffeinated beverages and soft drinks is less than ideal, but if it’s the means to getting to a healthier weight, then it’s a worthwhile trade-off. You can work on these other issues later: One thing at a time.

Adding broth-based soups to your regimen also provides a useful filler. These provide a nice change from salad or vegetables at lunch and fill your gut with liquid. Just be sure to indulge in soups filled with non-starchy vegetables, or you’ll be getting a lot more calories than you bargained for if you choose for cream-based, meat, pasta, rice, or starchy vegetable soups.

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