What To Do When You’re Craving Sugary Foods

It may seem a bit boring, but if you're craving sugary foods, all you really need is some plain old water. In the February issue of Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, researchers found that just drinking 1-3 cups of plain tap water can help people control their weight by reducing their intake of sugar. The researchers studied 18,311 U.S. Adults and found those who increased their daily consumption by 1-3 cups of water, decreased their daily caloric consumption by 68-205 calories. The subjects also consumed 5-18 grams less of sugar daily. A University of Illinois kinesiology and community professor stated,

The impact of plain water intake on diet was similar across race/ethnicity, education, income levels and body weight status. This finding indicates that it might be sufficient to design and deliver universal nutrition interventions and education campaigns that promote plain water consumption in replacement of beverages with calories in diverse population subgroups without profound concerns about message and strategy customization.

In addition to controlling sugar and calorie intake, water actually has a positive impact on metabolism.

Merriam-Webster defines metabolism as the chemical processes by which a plant or an animal uses food, water, etc., to grow and heal and to make energy.

WebMD explains as metabolism relates to water intake:

Water’s involved in every type of cellular process in your body, and when you’re dehydrated, they all run less efficiently -- and that includes your metabolism. Think of it like your car: if you have enough oil and gas, it will run more efficiently. It’s the same with your body.

Metabolism is basically a series of chemical reactions that take place in your body,” says Trent Nessler, PT, DPT, MPT, managing director of Baptist Sports Medicine in Nashville. “Staying hydrated keeps those chemical reactions moving smoothly.” Being even 1% dehydrated can cause a significant drop in metabolism.

How much water are you to consume per day?

How can you know if you’re getting enough water to keep your metabolism cranking at peak efficiency and your digestive system functioning? The formula used to be “one size fits all” -- eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. But that’s changed.

“It depends on your size and weight, and also on your activity level and where you live,” Nessler says. “In general, you should try to drink between half an ounce and an ounce of water for each pound you weigh, every day.” For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, that would be 75 to 150 ounces of water a day. If you’re living in a hot climate and exercising a lot, you’d be on the higher end of that range; if you’re in a cooler climate and mostly sedentary, you’d need less.

What are you to do?

If you are craving something sweet, according to researchers, your body may actually be thirsty for plain old tap water. Consuming adequate levels of water daily will dramatically lower your sugar intake and maximize your metabolism.


Steven Zahn

ACE Certified Personal Trainer

NASM Certified Personal Trainer

Pre and Post Partum Certified

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Email: szahn@lifetimefitness.com