As you research ways to help you on your weight loss journey, you may find the sheer number of tips for losing weight to be overwhelming. You will discover some things that work for you by trial and error. There are many why’s and why not’s when it comes to calorie intake and exercise. Right now, I want to talk to you about one of the most common misconceptions out there which is that it is good practice to drink before and during a meal. The reasoning behind this is that water helps to aid in digestion and makes your stomach feel fuller, tricking your mind into eating less. Well, I am here to tell you this is not true. You should avoid drinking during a meal, and 30 minutes after.

Following this tip has allowed me to keep my portions small, stay fuller longer, and lose the weight!

When my nutritionist told me to stop drinking during and after mealtimes I was concerned and wondered how I’d be able to eat without drinking. She explained that for weight loss, I shouldn’t drink during a meal because drinking basically washes down the food and forces it into the intestine very quickly, which makes the stomach comfortable and allows space for much more food during a meal. This made sense to me. Not drinking during meals also forced me to focus on chewing my food thoroughly, because I could no longer simply wash it down. This slowed down my eating, made me feel full faster, kept me full longer, and allowed me to eat very small portions during the meal.

No More Carbonated Beverages

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The second thing the nutritionist asked me to do was give up carbonated beverages like beer, soda and carbonated waters. Carbonated sugary drinks like soda should be avoided at all costs if you are trying to lose weight. Not only will these drinks quickly derail any diet you start they are also linked to many illnesses like obesity, diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, liver disease, cavities, weakening of bones, different types of arthritis, and gout.

More importantly, the goal is to keep portions small. When you train your stomach to eat smaller portions throughout the day, it shrinks in size. Carbonated beverages expand the stomach back out and help to make space for larger portions again, negating all of your efforts.

Digestion

So how does drinking water or other drinks hamper your digestion before or after your meal? Several studies have shown that fluids severely hinder the stomachs digestive powers and cause insulin levels to change considerably.   

If you immediately start to drink water, you will dilute your stomachs digestive juices, thereby deterring them from breaking down your food. Less gastric juices will be released to aid in digesting. As mentioned above drinking beverages with your meals can also spike your insulin levels, thus causing more insulin to release into your bloodstream. Higher insulin levels lead to a higher chance of storing and gaining weight.

Another thing that happens when you drink before your meal, you wash away enzymes from your mouth. Your mouth secretes a lot of digestive juices while chewing. When you swallow, these enzymes get washed away making it harder for your stomach to break down food. What we want is peak digestion and nothing from stopping our body from quickly absorbing and dissolving food.

Again, don’t drink immediately before your meal, during your meal, or 30 minutes after. If you must drink something, go for small sips (from) a warm beverage like herbal tea with lemon. Ginger has been proven to ease with digestion; you can carry some tea bags around with you when you go to a restaurant or chop up some fresh ginger at home into a teapot to sip with your meals.

Don’t Forget the Importance of Water Between Meals

Water is super important to your body. Our body uses water in all its cells, organs, and tissues. We lose water by just breathing, sweating, and digestion.  We should stay well hydrated, especially when we exercise.

Hope these tips for weight loss are helpful. Remember we do not want to drink calories and avoid carbonated drinks at all costs.

I would love to hear your feedback on this topic. Please share this information with someone who may need help with digestion.  Keep positive!