If I were asked, “what is the most difficult thing many people find to do when they start a weight-loss program?”, I would have to say right near the top of the list is this – they don’t drink enough water!
Few people realise at first just how essential water is to the success of their weight-loss program. In fact, the essential place of water in our diet extends to everyone – whether they want to lose weight, gain weight or stay the same weight! We all know we can’t live without water, but just why is it so important? Well there are many reasons. Read on and discover why water can help your loss weight and why it is your essential life-force.
Apart from 60-70% of your body being composed of water, water has an extensive range of functions essential to life.
- Assists digestion, absorption and assimilation of food. If you don’t drink enough water you can’t get the full benefit of nutrients in the food you eat.
- Assists excretion of waste from bowel and kidneys. If you don’t drink enough water you get constipated and put your kidneys under stress.
- Regulates body temperature. If you don’t drink enough water you compromise the evaporation process you skin uses to keep you cool.
- Your blood is 92% water. This is your body’s transport system distributing nutrients around the body.
- Body secretions and digestive juices are almost entirely water.
Why should you drink water when you want to lose weight?
Water is a natural appetite suppressant . Do NOT underestimate the power of this statement. Lack of water can lead to over eating. You brain does not differentiate between hunger and thirst. So, when you think you are feeling hungry, your body may in fact be signalling to you that you are thirsty! If you are not consuming enough water each day and you feel hunger pains, chances are, your body really is crying out for water. In many instances people will find what they thought were hunger pangs were in fact, satisfied by water. Try it! You have nothing to lose, except some weight.
How do you know whether you are drinking enough water each day? Well the answer is not difficult. The average person needs around 6-8 large glasses every day.
Well then, how should you drink the 6-8 glasses per day? The aim is to drink water consistently. If you drink too much all at once or too fast, it will simply pass through you, with little or no benefit to your body.
If you are someone who enjoys the ‘taste’ of water, then perhaps you could fill a 1 litre empty soft drink container with water the drink through it twice during the day. Room temperature or cold water, even warm as some people like – whatever you prefer. Place it on the desk at work in front of you as a constant reminder to sip continuously throughout the day.
Other people find they need a water ‘diet’ to help them keep on track. So for you, here is a program easily followed to ensure you are well hydrated every single day.
- When you wake up you will often be thirsty because your body loses water while you are sleeping through breathing and perspiration. Drink a large glass of water with a slice of lemon for zing.
- Drink another glass of water with breakfast or a cup of herbal tea before setting off the day.
- Mid morning – snack on a piece of juicy fruit such as orange, rockmelon, watermelon, cantaloupe, honey dew. Have a glass of water and perhaps try a dash of herbal aloe juice which is wonderfully soothing to the digestive system.
- Lunch – think of soup or have a glass of water before your meal, or perhaps a herbal tea.
- Mid afternoon – While you are preparing your evening meal, drink a glass of water and snack on some crunchy fresh vegetables.
- Evening – Sip a glass of water before your meal with a dash of your favourite fruit juice for flavour.
- After dinner – before bedtime drink your final glass of water and sleep well!
A few changes will happen when you start out with your water program. Obviously you may find that you need to ‘spend a penny’ more often. Why? Because you body isn’t used to being well hydrated.
There is absolutely is no doubt about it. When you start drinking enough water regularly, there are great benefits. You may notice your skin significantly improve and even tired muscles will thank you. Many people find their energy is increased and constipation and headaches are reduced, as well as hunger pains.
Now here’s the really exciting part…many people notice a reduction in weight and centimetres, as their body’s water store become redundant and so decrease. If your diet has been one that did not provide you with adequate water, your body will have developed a pattern of storing water. It’s part of the body’s in-built survival mechanism – to store up the essential nutrients in short supply…just in case they aren’t available in the future. So if you don’t drink enough water, you are ‘conditioning’ your body to store water. And water is bulk and unwanted centimetres.
It’s so simple…drink water! 6-8 large glasses a day.
How do you know if you are not getting enough water each day? This is a really important question because so many of us have deprived ourselves of water for years that we have become accustomed to doing without the full amount of water our body requires and we don’t recognise the symptoms of thirst.
- The most common symptom is headaches. A major function of water is to flush toxins from the body. Your brain is 75% water, so even being slightly dehydrated can cause headaches.
- Poor concentration/fatigue. If you body can’t get rid of the toxins it will struggle and you will feel less energetic as your body diverts energy to deal with the toxins.
- Constipation. Your body will divert water to more essential functions and as a result your stools will be harder and more difficult to expel.
- Reduced urine output or dark urine. Did you know that up to 200 litres of water is passed through your kidneys daily? Without a fresh supply of water for the kidneys to filter waste products out of the blood, your urine will become darker.
- Furry tongue or bad breath. If you don’t have enough water passing through the mouth to wash away food particles, bacteria can proliferate and result in that ‘furry’ feeling or bad breath.
- Skin. Your skin should feel elastic. When you pinch the skin on the back of your hand it should snap back instantly.
Final thoughts. Caffeinated drinks cause the body to lose water. They are what’s known as diuretics as they cause your body to dehydrate. You will do your body an enormous favour by cutting back. For every cup of coffee you drink you will need to drink another TWO glasses of water to counter the diuretic effect. Explore the world of herbal teas instead, you may be pleasantly surprised!
About The Author
Kim Beardsmore, B.Sc, MBA is a successful weight loss consultant. To see what you can do today to take control of your weight, visit her website