You’ve probably heard that drinking lots of water is important when you’re trying to lose weight. It’s true! To begin with, the body can’t burn calories efficiently without sufficient water. When you’re dehydrated, the process of burning fat is slowed down – and that’s definitely not what you want to see happen.
In addition, just like there’s residue anytime something is burned, the process of burning calories creates toxins. You need sufficient water in your system to help flush those toxins out of your system.
All the fresh fruits and vegetables that are part of a healthy diet contain lots of fiber. That’s great for your digestion, but fiber needs water to do its job. Increasing fiber intake without an increase in fluids can actually cause constipation.
How do you know how much water to drink? There’s a lot of advice telling you to drink 8 cups of water a day. But the truth is, there’s no one guideline that works for everyone. A lot depends on your weight, how active you are, the climate you live in and how many water-rich foods, like fruits and vegetables, are part of your diet. The best way to tell if you’re getting sufficient water is if your urine is pale yellow or lighter. Keep in mind that certain vitamins and medications can alter the color of urine even if you’re getting enough water.
Here are some strategies for using water to enhance weight loss.
1) First thing in the morning, drink two cups of room temperature or warm water with the juice of half a lemon. Along with a host of other health benefits, lemon water helps balance the pH levels in your body and aids digestion. If the juice of half a lemon is too tart for you in the beginning, try adding just a teaspoonful at a time until your body adjusts. It’s a good idea to rinse your mouth after drinking lemon juice so it doesn’t eat away at the enamel on your teeth. And remember to use fresh-squeezed, not processed lemon juice.
2) Have a glass of water before each meal. Even if you sip cold water other times of the day, you may find that it’s easier to drink a full glass of water if it’s at room temperature.
3) Avoid artificially-sweetened, calorie-free beverages, but you could consider unsweetened green tea or seltzer water to help you get more water in during the day. A bit of fresh lime juice can help boost the flavor.
Rebeca Espinoza writes about health, fitness and weight loss for Spatz Medical, makers of the Spatz3 Adjustable Gastric Balloon. You can find her on Google+ or at firstname.lastname@example.org.