What should I eat? How much should I eat? What kind of exercises should I do, and how often? These are just a few of the questions that we dieters try to find answers to on a daily basis. But in our effort to shed some pounds and find/maintain a healthy lifestyle we often forget one of the key ingredients to weight loss and overall health… WATER
Our bodies are about 60 percent water. Water regulates our body temperature, moves nutrients through our cells, keeps our mucous membranes moist and flushes waste from our bodies. Our lungs are 90 percent water, our brains are 70 percent water and our blood is more than 80 percent water. Simply put, we can’t function without it. And yet 75% of Americans show symptoms of chronic dehydration. These symptoms include:
Fatigue, Energy Loss
High & Low Blood Pressure
Gastritis, Stomach Ulcers
Excess Weight & Obesity
Cystitis, Urinary Infections
So you see, along with many other benefits of drinking water, you cannot approach a weight loss program without taking into consideration your water intake and how it effects your body. Even slight dehydration can result in a 3% reduction in your body’s metabolism, which will in turn result in weight gain. Drinking water boosts your metabolic rate.
Eight 8-oz glasses of water a day is the common recommendation for an average person; however, if you are trying to lose weight you should be drinking more than that. A general guide for daily intake is 1 oz For every 2 lbs Of body weight. For example: a 200 lb man should drink 100 oz of water daily – that’s 12 ½ 8 oz glasses per day. That sounds like a lot I know, but remember, if not properly hydrated the body does not function at it’s peak and your metabolism will not be at it’s peak either.
Don’t forget, the water in foods may be counted toward your daily water intake. Here are a few water-laden foods to put on your shopping list:
Watermelon is 97% water
Cucumber – 97%
Tomatoes & Zucchini – 95%
Eggplant – 92%
Peaches – 87%
Also, beans, grains, and pasta absorb a great deal of water in cooking, which can also be counted toward your daily intake. In addition, if you choose wisely, these items can provide a substantial amount of fiber, which contributes to a ‘full’ feeling and in turn helps with your weight loss effort. Thirst is frequently mistaken for hunger and we often eat when what our body really needs is water. Getting the proper daily intake of water will avoid this diet pitfall.
At first it may seem difficult to get the water intake that you should. I suggest purchasing a 32 oz sipper water bottle and just sip off of it regularly, rather than trying to gulp down glasses of water throughout the day. Also, you will notice at first that you will need to visit the bathroom more often but as your body adjusts that will subside. If you don’t like the taste of water, add a wedge of lemon or lime, a mint leaf or two, or try one of the calorie-free drink mixes (don’t overdo with these though, as they can contain artificial sweeteners which may prove to be bad for your health).
So you see, drinking plenty of water is key to your weight loss efforts. Drinking water is one habit that everyone should get into whether you need to lose weight or not. Your body needs it!
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