Nov 11 2013

Wet Food – Dry Food Diet

Water Matters but Not the Way You Think


If your efforts to lose weight include drinking more water, that certainly won’t do any harm, but it might not be effective either. Increasing water is important to weight loss, but water needs to be contained within the food, not alongside it, to be most effective. Drink water with a meal and it empties out of the stomach quickly, preventing a sense of fullness. But when water is contained within food, such as in fruit, vegetables, or soup, it stays in the stomach and promotes a feeling of fullness and prevents hunger. Preventing hunger is critical to weight loss. Combine hunger with stress and fatigue, and you will be eating chocolate, ordering french fries, or standing in front of the refrigerator looking for something to satisfy that hunger—basically eating out of control. Out-of-control eating almost always leads to excess calories and no weight loss and worse yet—weight gain.


Why does water matter in food?

Foods that have a high water content—fruit, vegetables, yogurt, milk, soup, and so on—weigh more, but the weight comes from water, not calories. Research conducted by Barbara Rolls at Penn State University suggests that over the course of a day we eat about two to three pounds of food. When we eat foods that weigh more but have fewer calories we feel full, and this makes staying on a diet much easier. For example, compare the calories in one pound of the following foods: apples, 260 calories; bread, 1,120 calories; beef, 1,132 calories; and broccoli, 128 calories.


To use water to your dieting advantage you simply add fruit and vegetables to every meal, and when you eat between meals, choose carefully. I divide snack foods into “wet” and “dry” categories. Wet snacks will help you lose weight while dry foods will make you overeat. Yes, these foods are literally wet—moist to the touch. Make this shift of adding wet food to your menu and you will find weight loss and calorie control much easier and effective. You will even have secondary health benefits, including lower blood pressure, improved cholesterol, improved blood sugar, and a reduced risk for cancer. Health improvements occur because switching to wet foods as snacks and increasing them at meals means you will be eating more disease-fighting nutrients, including fiber and antioxidants.

Eating more “wet” foods inevitably means that you will be eating much fewer “dry” foods. Dry foods are highly appealing but often ruin weight-loss plans. Dry foods include pretzels, rice cakes, and granola bars—foods that many dieters think will help with weight loss, but they don’t. When a food contains no moisture, they are hard to limit and we eat more than we need, which leads us back to the first principle of weight loss—reducing calories.  For now you just need to know that changing your menu to actually add foods that control appetite are needed to replace willpower.

Read more about using wet and dry foods for weight loss and health in For the Love of Food – the diet that works

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