Kia Ākina

Working towards lifelong recovery from obesity

Eat Well – Are you sure you’re not thirsty?

It’s strange, but we’ve all experienced it. We can feel like eating when we’re not actually physiologically hungry. This happens when we’re responding to a whole range of other cues that stimulate us to feel hungry and want food. These cues are commonly emotional ones such as boredom, anger, loneliness, tiredness or stress (BALTS), but sometimes the cue is thirst.

Water is necessary for life (which is why the recent discovery of water on Mars has excited scientists so much). Being well hydrated is good for health.

Our ten trillion cells each operating millions of cell reactions depend on a good supply of water to function optimally. Our bodies are therefore very attuned to how much water we have on board and will alert us if we’re starting to get a bit short.

However, it is relatively easy to get our wires crossed and misinterpret thirst signals as hunger signals. Foodies like us who have practiced overeating like it is going out of fashion are particularly vulnerable to getting our wires crossed because we’ve put food and eating on such a high pedestal in our lives.

A really good routine to get into is to drink some nice fresh water to start the day and then drink a little more whenever we feel a bit peckish during the day. This will make sure we’re not actually thirsty when we feel hunger coming on. Some of us prefer a cup of tea (without sugar) which is just as good.

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