Yesterday a regular class participant came to me explaining that she has for years been trying to lose weight to no avail. This lady in her 70’s told me she had tried many of the usual approaches to weight loss and none had helped her shift the pounds (well not the pounds she wanted to anyway!!!)
“I’ve lost 3lbs this week, 2 lbs last week” she said.
“I’ve increased the amount of water I drink”
Not only had she lost weight but her skin was improved and she felt she had more energy.
The average adult body contains between 50 -75% water, a child will contain about 75% (Thought.com). If you’re overweight your body will contain less than this. This is because body fat contains only 10% fat whereas muscle contains 75% (Livestrong.com)
Brian Richter of the Nature Conservancy and University of Virginia explains in his article for The National Geographic the importance of maintaining our body’s water levels:
“With a deficit of as little as one quart you’re likely going to start losing some cognitive function, alertness, and ability to concentrate. If you lose a gallon you’ll start feeling pretty lethargic, and you’ll likely have a bad headache. If you’re down two gallons you’re going to be sick enough to be in the hospital. Three gallons and you’re in the morgue.”
We know we need water for our health but why does increasing our water intake help us lose weight?
Boosts your metabolism.
Cleanses your body of waste.
Acts as an appetite suppressant.
Drinking more water helps your body stop retaining water, leading you to drop those extra pounds of water weight.
How much water you need to drink depends on your age, gender, activity levels, size and weight. The Government guidelines (The Eatwell Plate) advices us to drink 6 – 8 glasses of water per day on top of the water found in our food. Contrary to belief we CAN include tea and coffee in our water count (British Nutrition Foundation) if we keep our caffeine intake moderate.
How do I know if I’m drinking enough water?
Your body will tell you that you need more water by triggering the thirst sensation however another way to tell is the colour of your urine. The darker it is the more dehydrated you are.
If it’s hot or you have performed intense physical activity then you need to drink more.
I hate water!!!
Drink herbal tea or squeeze some lemon juice into your water.
Milk is full of water and very healthy
Some foods contain high water content; fruit, veg, soups
(British Nutrition Foundation)
Tips to increase water (fluid) intake:
Before and with a meal
Before, during and after physical activity
Keep a bottle in your bag, at work, next to the couch.
I personally find I drink more water if I fill a sports top bottle. It has been suggested to me that possibly this simulates drinking milk as a baby and therefore brings on a relaxed serene feeling. I’ll leave that to you to decide!
WARNING! It’s just as important to not drink TOO much water.
Signs to look out for:
Nausea and vomiting
Disorientation and confusion
Muscle cramps, spasms & weakness
British Nutrition Foundation ((2016) Healthy Hydration Guide ONLINE https://www.nutrition.org.uk/healthyliving/hydration/healthy-hydration-guide
How Drinking Water Can Help You Lose More Weight (2017) ONLINE: http://www.healthline.com/nutrition/drinking-water-helps-with-weight-loss#section1
Niedziocha Laura, (2015) Does Muscle Tissue Have Less Water than Fat Tissue? ONLINE http://www.livestrong.com/article/550931-does-muscle-tissue-have-less-water-than-fat-tissue/
Over hydration (2017) ONLINE: http://www.healthline.com/health/overhydration#overview1
Richter. Brian, Walking Water H2O and the Human Body ONLINE at https://voices.nationalgeographic.org/2012/03/06/human-body-water/