If you've been reading my blog since the 1st of January you know that I'm working with a good friend who is a dietician, Sarah, to get a better handle on my eating habits and to FINALLY lose the weight that I've been carrying around for the last 8-10 years. Sarah knows that for me, eating is a social thing, an emotional thing, a habitual thing...it's not just about filling a belly that is in need of food or providing a body with the nutrients that it needs to get through the day. So, the first steps that I'm taking are to keep a food journal - which I do through Evernote and to drink 1/2 my body weight in ounces of water each day. I'm not a small girl, so that number of ounces seemed extraordinary to me in the beginning, but Sarah touted lots of reasons for drinking a lot of water and staying hydrated, and, well, she's a professional, so I guess I should believe her!
Being my skeptical self, I've done a bit of research about why water is so essential, not just to people who are trying to shed pounds, but to everyone who walks the earth. Below is a little bit of what I've found. I hope it inspires you to put down that Diet Coke or whatever you're sipping and pick up a bottle of water instead. I've already begun to see a difference in how I feel!
The following is an excerpt from www.thedietchannel.com.
1. Drinking water enhances fat loss
Water is an essential nutrient. All chemical reactions in the body depend upon it. If you’re trying to lose weight, this can’t be ignored. You won’t be able to lose weight without water to flush out the by-products of fat breakdown. When there isn’t enough water to dilute the body’s waste products, kidney stones may form. When the kidneys aren’t working to their full potential, the liver must step in and help. Once this happens the liver can’t optimally perform its other important functions. As a result, burning fat has to wait.
2. Combat ailments by drinking more water
In many cases, fatigue, headaches and back pain may be caused by dehydration. If you suffer from an afternoon nod off, try drinking more water at lunch. If you or your children complain of frequent headaches, the amount of water you’re drinking could be responsible. And, muscle spasms are also caused by not being adequately hydrated.
3. Drinking water can reduce hunger
Experts say that hunger pangs are often misinterpreted cravings for water. Try drinking water before your regular meals and see if it helps you cut down on the amount of food you eat. It really works as an effective appetite suppressant. Avoid counting tea, coffee, sodas and juices in your fluid intake. Coffee and tea contain caffeine which has a diuretic effect and makes you lose water. Sodas and juices are too sweet—because the body must dilute them, they cause more dehydration.
4. Look younger - drinking water hydrates your skin
When the skin is properly hydrated, it looks plump and more radiant. Water will keep the toxins flushed out and help you to cool off through perspiration. Muscles need to have enough water to make them look full too. Deprive yourself of water and you’ll see the difference in the mirror.
Are you dehydrated?
Just how do you know if you’re getting dehydrated? If you have a dry mouth, produce less urine, have very dark urine and/or feel dizzy or faint you probably need water, quick. Drink at least 8 glasses a day. Experts now recommend even more, up to 12 glasses a day. To be more precise, drink ½ ounce per pound of body weight. If you exercise or are very active increase the number to 2/3 ounce per pound. Try monitoring your water intake closely for the next month. When you drink enough, you’ll look and feel better.