Michael Mosley discusses health benefits of drinking water
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Michael Mosley is the brain behind the 5:2 intermittent fasting diet and The Fast 800 plan, he has helped and continues to help millions lose weight. But for anyone struggling with eating so little calories two days a week, he has a healthy snack which can stave off hunger pangs.
What is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that involves regular fasting.
The 5:2 diet is called that because five days a week are normal eating days, while the other two restrict calorie consumption to 500-600 per day.
There are no requirements about what foods to eat, but rather when you should eat them.
This diet is more of a lifestyle and many find it easier than the traditional calorie-restricted diet.
When eating such little calories two days a week, it won’t be surprising to feel hunger pangs.
Michael has a snack which is not only low in calorie, but can make you feel full and satisfied.
“Drinking water has very little effect on how hungry you feel a couple of hours later, but it can help you lose weight if it comes in the form of soup,” Michael revealed.
“If you drink water with your meal then the food itself will be kept in your stomach for your digestive juice to do their bit, while the water passes straight through the stomach and into the intestines, where it is absorbed.
“If you take that same food and blend it with the water then the stomach will stay fuller for longer, staving off hunger pangs.”
In a comparative survey, Michael said volunteers who ate soup reported feeling full for up to an hour-and-a-half longer than when they ate the same calories, but consumed as solid food and water.
If you’re not a fan of soup, Michael has a few other snack suggestions.
“I try to snack on things like fruit or carrots,” he revealed.
“I also find high protein snacks like nuts or a small bit of cheese satisfying.”
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Nuts are good for the heart, and he recommends buying a pack of nuts which he only wants to eat a small amount of “such as almonds or walnuts” – not his favourite nuts like salted peanuts as he can “easily eat the whole pack”.
Another way to ensure you’re only eating the calories you really need on a 500 calorie day, is to drink plenty of water.
Michael advises opting for water, black tea, peppermint tea and coffee to ensure fluid consumption is reached.
“People sometimes confuse thirst with hunger, so you can end up eating lots of extra calories when what all you really need is fluid,” he commented.
“A hot drink on an empty stomach is also remarkably soothing.”
On fasting days, it is advisable to consume extra fluid to compensate for the water you won’t be getting from food.
“If you don’t drink enough fluid then you may well develop headaches and constipation,” Michael said.
As for how much fluid is enough, the magic number often quoted is two litres, or eight cups of water a day.
“However, the researchers also said that drinks such as coffee and tea also count,” the weight loss expert told the Independent.ie in 2014.
He also suggested opting for cold water as this helps burn calories: “Your body will use about 70 calories raising [the cold water] to body temperature.”
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