Listen to your body

I spent the last 10+ days focusing on my health goals. I have made a greater effort to listen to my body. Our body sends us all sort of signals. I often ignored the signals. The pain in my knee? I must have slept wrong. Irritability? It must have been something some one did to me. Sore throat? I must be taking a lot. Since I often eat when I am bored, I spend more time listening to the signals my body is providing. Below are three things I have observed.

First, my body does an excellent job telling me when it is hungry. Over the last 10 days, I often woke up feeling genuine hunger. When I snacked after dinner, I didn’t wake up hungry. Eating a proper breakfast of fruit, yogurt, or eggs, the hunger feeling goes away.

Second, my body gets irritated if I eat processed food with sodium. How does my body respond to this? I have a lot more inflammation in my hands and joints and hence some minor pain and discomfort. I retain water and feel bloated. My skin looks and feels terrible. I look older. Depending on the food, I get a stomach ache. These are some of the small things that I notice when I don’t treat my body right.

Third, when I make good food choice, I feel much better. Good food choices included eating plenty of fresh vegtables. A couple of servings of fruit to appease my sweet tooth. And finally, drinking at least 90 ounces of water every day. I sleep better and have more energy. My skin looks and feels better. I have less pain.

As I write this, I admit I am struggling to achieve my present weight loss. I have fluctuated in a four pound window but am down one pound since I started. So today, I am going to plan and prepare for my weekend. Build in flexibility and focus. Make sure the right foods are in the house. Resist boredom eating and drink enough water.



Nearly seventy five percent of the world is covered in water. Water plays such an important role in our lives. Yet, we often overlook the importance of water in our health. For me, drinking water was essential to weight loss.  If you are properly hydrated, you body functions, looks and feels better. Additionally, for me, water filled me up and curbed my appetite.  Here are my four tips to drinking enough water.

First, drink 16 ounces of water each morning before you consume anything else.  For nearly a year, I have started each day with a glass of water.  I have varied what I put in the water.  Sometimes it is just straight tap water.  Sometimes it is cold filtered water.  Some mornings, I will slice a lemon and squeeze its juice into the water.  I’ve even tried some celery juice water and other green juice.  Recently, I have been adding a dietary powder supplement.  But the routine is the same every morning 16 ounces of water before anything else.  NOTE:  My wife thinks I am crazy for doing this before coffee.  Truth is coffee is not good for supporting your hydration.  While I do drink coffee, I also limit my intake and don’t count coffee as part of my hydration.   

Second, as you drink water, track how much you are drinking.  You will quickly get a feel for how much water you need to stay hydrated.  I use an app on my phone for tracking water.  I measured out how many cups/ounces were in the glasses I use at home.  An added benefit of tracking is added a level of accountability for me.  I have a goal of at least 80 ounces of water per day.  On most days, I exceed that amount. It was easy to track using the app. Easy to know where I was.    I didn’t include coffee, pop, beer, or wine in this calculation.  I did include herbal tea. 

Third, drink 12-16 ounces of water before each meal.  For me, that water gave me a sensation of being full sooner.  I have noticed my food digests better with a glass of water in my stomach. Finally, when I did not drink the water before the meal, I tended to eat too much.   

My final tip made the biggest impact for me.  Losing weight requires you to change your habits and attitude. Why people eat is different for each of us.  I was terrible at listening to my body.  Occasionally, I would eat when I was hungry.  I mostly ate meals because it was time to eat meals.  Breakfast in the morning, lunch at noon and dinner around 6pm.  It didn’t really matter if I was hungry.  Confession, I AM A BOREDOM EATER.  Put another way, if I am at all bored, I get cravings.   If I am bored and food is available, I eat.  Though I often eat throughout the day, the most dangerous time of the day is after 7pm.  I get bored and just start munching on whatever food is available – and it isn’t always a good choice.

While the cravings persist, my approach since early in the journey has changed.  Early in my journey, I decided I would drink a glass of water whenever I had a craving outside of meals.   The result has been transformative.  Most of the time, the water cures the craving.  Most of my cravings are from boredom not hunger.  While I don’t know if this method works for other non-hunger cravings, it is worth a try.

So, to sum up, want to lose weight, drink more water. You will be glad you did.

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