No matter what diet you’ve tried (and if you’re anything like us, you’ve tried plenty), the first recommendation is to drink lots of water. So, we tote bottles around and sip all day. Why is it, then, that the pounds never budge and so many women over 40 are still chronically dehydrated? Turns out, our cells have a hard time absorbing plain water.
James DiNicolantonio, Pharm.D, author of The Obesity Fix (Buy from Amazon, $9.99 on Kindle), explains, “True hydration is replenishing water plus lost salt and minerals.”
When we lack sodium, potassium, and magnesium — as many of us do— we are dehydrated on a cellular level and feel an extra urge to overeat. Dr. DiNicolantonio says, “We seek out food, like a bag of salty chips, to obtain the salt our body demands.”
And those cravings get harder to read as we age. “Most of the time, when we feel hungry, we’re actually dehydrated,” says Dana Cohen, MD, author of Quench. “But after a lifetime of learning to ignore our thirst, the mechanism goes numb.”
Alert: In Some Cases, Avoiding Salt May Make You GAIN Weight
A low-sodium diet — the kind doctors have recommended for decades — may cause us to absorb twice as much fat for every gram we consume, according to research on mice conducted at the University of Iowa. “It’s a completely new idea that salt can regulate fat storage,” says James DiNicolantonio, Pharm.D. “Salt is not the demon we once thought it was,” says integrative physician Dana Cohen, MD.
Her advice to get the health perks? “Start salting your water, not your food, using pink Himalayan, rock salt or Celtic sea salt, which contain a full spectrum of minerals.”
Important note: Consult your doctor before proceeding. This is especially important if you have high blood pressure.
A Simple Water Add-In
To conquer cravings and the hidden thirst they represent, we need more than plain water. The key: stirring the amino acid glycine into electrolyte water. “Glycine improves the absorption of sodium, so it improves the hydration abilities of electrolyte water to turn off false hunger,” says Dr. DiNicolantonio. Glycine has also been shown to reduce glucose spikes from carb-heavy meals, boosting fat burning.
That’s why Jorge Cruise, bestselling author of more than 20 books, has added glycine to his slimming Zero Hunger Water recipe. Women sip the DIY mix during the day and are very satisfied! TV personality Dorinda Medley, 57, lost 14 stubborn pounds and says, “This is not a hoax. It’s so powerful. The amazing thing is how fast the weight comes off.”
Adds Cruise, “I think of it as the over-50 fat cure. Glycine makes electrolyte water three times more powerful in giving people radical hunger control!”
Even better: Sipping this supercharged water helps women stick with intermittent fasting, paving the way for unbelievable benefits. It’s also an important step during any fasting regime, because it may help you avoid health complications. Side effects of intermittent fasting include nausea, constipation, irritability, and constipation.
Cruise, who created a new lifestyle plan focused on his Zero Hunger Water, remarks that many of his clients eat just one meal per day. And if they want a snack, they enjoy pure-fat and fiber “cheat treats,” which make the body think it’s fasting while optimizing fat burning. These treats control cravings without breaking the fasting window, helping women shed pounds.
The world’s authority on intermittent fasting, Jason Fung, MD, says, “These sort of cheat strategies — drinking mineral water, eating fasting-mimicking snacks — give women another tool in their belt to succeed at fasting. In my clinical experience, when women fast for longer, they see better weight-loss results than men.”
Women on Cruise’s plan may experience profound health benefits: improved clarity, hormone balance, even an escape from Rx medications. Ready to conquer cravings and melt off the weight? Read on!
An Electrolyte Mix to Try
“Making sure you get enough minerals makes dieting and intermittent fasting easier,” says Jason Fung, MD. Below are two delicious ways to get the craving-killing, fat-blasting power of electrolytes.
To make your own electrolyte mix, here’s what you’ll need:
- ¼ teaspoon salt (like Redmond Real Salt)
- ¼ teaspoon glycine powder (like NOW)
- ⅛ teaspoon potassium chloride powder (like Nutricost)
- 1/16 teaspoon magnesium glycinate powder (like Doctor’s Best)
Instructions: Combine all ingredients in a water bottle and mix well. Add 16 ounces of filtered water and shake. Sip throughout the day to quell cravings, refilling as needed.
Nutrition Facts: Each bottle contains roughly 500 milligrams (mg) of sodium, 500 mg of glycine, 200 mg of potassium, and 60 mg of magnesium. For optional flavor, add one packet of TRUE orange, grapefruit, or lime crystalized flavoring, and sweeten with stevia or monk fruit to taste.
Too busy to measure your own mix? Try ready-blended electrolyte mineral packets, like LMNT (Buy from Amazon, $45 for 30 packs) in plain or flavored varieties. Add to water, tea, or even summertime mocktails.
Note: Consult with your doctor before changing your sodium and electrolyte intake, especially if you have high blood pressure or cardiovascular issues.
A Plan to Get You Started
Cruise, who has helped women slim for 20 years, says his plan “works like magic!” Follow these tips for a month:
- Quench your hunger. Upon waking up, start sipping electrolyte water. Aim for four 16-ounce bottles daily. Cruise says, “When you hydrate properly with these electrolytes, you turn off hunger.”
- Honor a fasting window. You can ease into fasting by shifting your breakfast an hour later each day. You’ll find that sipping Zero Hunger Water during the day allows you to skip a traditional breakfast and lunch. But if you do get hungry, try eating fasting-mimicking cheats (see below) at 10 am and noon. They’re loaded with healthy fat and fiber, so they won’t break a fast but will help you extend your slimming window.
- Eat protein for dinner. Around 6 p.m., eat a meal high in protein, such as salmon, chicken, or steak. While women on the plan tend to follow the OMAD (one meal a day) schedule, that’s not necessary. Cruise suggests eating all your meals within a three-hour window. And while no foods are forbidden, he says, “The goal is protein first and healthy fats. Then my top plant picks are squash and berries.”
- Add movement. “If you exercise as soon as you wake up, you elevate your metabolism and feel-good serotonin, making fasting easier,” promises Cruise. Aim for eight minutes of movement in the morning. Try marching in place or punching the air at an intensity level of seven out of 10. Cruise explains, “You should be able to talk while doing these movements.”
Not interested in a long fasting period? Just delaying breakfast by 90 minutes and eating dinner 90 minutes earlier than usual may help you lose weight as opposed to eating on a normal schedule.
To learn more, listen to Jorge Cruise’s “Zero Hunger Guy” podcast and join his free Zero Hunger Water Club for support at ZeroHungerWater.com. And this fall, look for Zero Hunger Water in ready-to-drink cans.
Fasting-Mimicking Snack Recipes
- Chia Pudding: Mix ½ cup fiber-rich chia seeds with 1 ½ cups hot water in a large bowl. Add a 14-ounce can of full-fat coconut milk, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, and ½ cup erythritol sweetener. Separate equally into six small bowls and refrigerate overnight.
- Slimming Pasta: Reach for pasta made with konjac root, a yam-like plant that contains glucomannan (a powerful fiber that’s been shown to block fat absorption). It satisfies hunger, with just 9 calories per serving. Try Skinny Pasta (ItsSkinny.com) with butter and salt.
- Iced Coffee with Butter: Blend a pat of butter into hot or iced plain black coffee or tea for a p.m. pick-me-up. Why? Eating dietary fat keeps the body in a fat-burning state. Fasting pro Dr. Fung assures, “You don’t have to worry about fat while fasting.”
Sample Dinners to Turbocharge Your Results
- Chicken Bake: Per serving, toss 2 cups raw veggies, 8 ounces chicken, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and spices. Bake on a sheet pan at 425 degrees Fahrenheit until cooked.
- Juicy Burger: Grill a 6 ounce burger 4 minutes per side. Top with tomato, lettuce, and cheese. Serve with ½ cup grilled acorn squash.
- Chickpea Salad: Roast 1 cup chickpeas until crisp; serve atop 2 cups greens and mixed veggies. Top with coconut oil and lime juice.
- Tuna Steak: Sear 8 ounces tuna steak in 1 teaspoon butter and seasoning. Pair with ½ cup grilled broccoli and garnish with citrus wedges.
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This article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.