We have all heard it and most of us have ignored it; if you want to lose weight you need to drink more water. Eight 8-oz. glasses of water per day is the recommendation from health professionals for optimal health. For many people, that just seems like too much, especially because exchanging the same amount of pop or coffee defeats the purpose of drinking the water in the first place.
many reasons to drink up. First of all, Americans have not changed their
water intake in the past ten years, but have added 20 ounces of soda to
their daily intake. This excess of sugary pop is recognized as one of
the reasons for the huge increase in obesity over the past 10 years. It
makes sense that we are drinking more pop; since pop tends to be a
regular choice for diners, and eating out and ordering in has tripled in
the past ten years The colossal change in portions has not helped our
over consumption of soda; in 1966 the 'regular' size of a soda was 6
ounces, now it is more than 12.
Replacing water for your soda makes good dieting
sense. In one study, dieters who replaced virtually all their usual
sweetened drinks with water lost an average of 5 pounds more in a year
than dieters who didn't, and those who drank more than four cups of
water daily lost 2 more pounds than those that didn't drink as much.
Study after study has shown that drinking water aids in weight loss,
although the mechanism whereby it helps is still largely unknown.What
is known about water is that your body needs enough of consistently to
flush out your daily waste. Your kidneys use water to help flush out the
toxins from your body. However, if you don't have enough water to
maximize your kidney's function, the liver has to pick up the slack.
Usually the liver's job is to metabolize fat and clean up the blood, but
without enough water they have to slow down on those jobs and take over
the job for your kidneys. In the end, fat is metabolized much more slowly, so your weight loss
is compromised. In addition, your muscles need enough water to contract
properly. Water improves muscle tone, so if you are not getting the
results you expect from your weight lifting, it might be that you are
not giving your body enough water.
Many people give up
drinking their full share of water within a few days of trying. That's
because for many it seems that they are going to the washroom as fast as
they drink it. This is actually a good thing, and temporary. You may
know that if you don't give your body enough food it slows its
metabolism in "survival mode." The same thing happens with fluid. When
you don't drink enough water your body thinks that it needs to be
careful and store it because there must be a shortage. So when you begin
to drink the amount you really need, it signals to your body that water
is plentiful and your body lets go of the stores of extra fluid it has
been keeping (you may see this store of water sometimes gathering around
your ankles at the end of the day.) The extra water then flushes out of
your system, and as long as you keep drinking the amount you require,
your body will not hold on to the extra.
So how much is enough?
64 ounces (2 quarts) of water, the usual eight x 8-ounces, is okay for
the average person. However, if you are overweight, you should drink
another 8 ounces for every 25 pounds of extra weight you carry. Of
course, if you live in a hot climate or exercise very intensely, you
will need to drink more. What are you waiting for? Get up now and get
yourself a glass! You're on your way to a healthier (and slimmer) you!