Slim young woman drinking water after training

Are you hungry or thirsty? Is dehydration making you gain weight? 

The difference between hunger and thirst can often be confused. If you are trying to lose weight then it’s important to know the difference between hunger pains and thirst.
As we age the we experience decreased thirst sensation and reduced fluid intake as a result. This makes it increasingly difficult to determine actual hunger or whether we just need to take on fluids. It’s not surprising we struggle to tell the difference when the symptoms of dehydration and hunger are similar. Dehydration can result in many symptoms but ones that could be confused with hunger are a feeling of an empty stomach, tiredness, feeling weak & dizzy.
Obesity is obviously caused by excessive eating. This excessive eating could be in part down to confusing the signals between thirst and hunger. So instead of having a glass of water when we feel empty, many people tend to eat. And this is food that we probably don’t need. A good sign you may be thirsty instead of hungry is if it has been less that two hours since you ate. Seeing as we should aim to be eating every three hours, any less and you should probably have some water.
The recommended daily intake is 2 litres, but this greatly depends on activity level, size and weather conditions. A good aim is at least 8 glasses a day. The next time you are feeling hungry have a glass of water and see if the feeling goes away. If it does then you know you were actually thirsty!