First a quick quiz?
How many calories are there in a glass of water?
How many in 6 glasses of water?
How many in a bucket of water?
The answer which you probably already know is….zero…none…nil.
So, you can drink as much water as you like and not put on weight, right? ….WRONG.
This is an example of the problems associated with simply ‘counting calories’.
We should always try and remember, it’s not just ‘WHAT’ we put in our mouth, but ‘HOW’ and ‘WHEN’.
Drinking too much, during or too soon ‘after meals’, greatly interferes with proper digestion. And that poorly digested food (‘ama’) you create, is not easily eliminated by your body and can easily lead to excess kilo’s… & poor health generally.
There is a old Vedic saying that runs along the lines, “Drinking fluids before meals makes you light*, drinking after meals makes you heavy”.
* Obviously any fluid in your stomach before you eat, will leave less room for food (too much food) and thus mean you are less likely to overeat. However, don’t take this to advocate drinking a lot of fluid before meals. This also obstructs proper digestion and optimal nutrition.
In modern medicine, we understand digestion as the chemical enzymes that are secreted in the mouth, stomach etc to break down the food. In Maharishi Ayurveda, we call it ‘agni’ or digestive ‘fire’. In either case, excess fluids are detrimental (washing away the enzymes or putting out the ‘fire’). And remember, ‘cold’ water makes things worse.
*Even in modern science we know that chemical reactions only occur at certain temperatures. Remember in chemistry class – you put two solutions in a beaker. No heat = no reaction. Add a bunsen burner below the beaker and…
‘Whammo…KaBooom…Bingo!!! Optimal enzymatic activity is also dependant on temperature. Cold drinks just before, during or after meals will definitely compromise the digestion of your food.
1. Try to avoid drinking large quantities of fluid (i.e glassfuls) for at least 30 minutes before a meal.
2. Try to avoid drinking large quantities of fluids, during or ‘within 60 minutes after meals’.
3. Ideally drink enough fluids in between meals so you are not thirsty at mealtimes.
4. If you are thirsty around mealtimes, or the food is of a ‘dry’ quality, sipping ‘small amounts’ of plain water during your meal is fine.
5. Avoid cold or ice-cold drinks where possible around mealtimes. If it’s really hot, have the ‘cooler’ drinks
* Final Reminder for the ‘Weight Conscious’:
Re; Weight Loss!!! For those trying to lose weight, the No.1 recommendation here, is to avoid the fluids straight after your meals. Doing so increases ‘kapha’ which is directly related to weight gain. Sufficient, regular fluids (water etc) are great for overall health & healthy weight management, but just not straight after you eat. Hope that helps.
LAUGHTER MEDICINE: Speaking of Weight Loss/Gain!!!
A woman went to ‘weight loss’ seminar and was told to open her refrigerator and tape to the inside of the door, a beautiful picture of a lovely, slender, perfectly built, but scantily-clad young woman.
The reason? So that every time, she goes to the fridge she’s reminded not to over-eat.
The following month she goes to the follow-up seminar and the consultant asks her, “Did it work?”.
Yes and no,” she explained. “I lost 25 pounds………………………….but my husband gained 50!”