Whenever we think of ways to lose weight, most of us focus on two things: Diet and exercise. For the most part, it is that simple. In order to facilitate weight loss, we need to reduce the number of calories coming into our bodies via the food and drinks we consume or burn off more calories by way of exercise.
However, over the past few decades, people have increased their energy consumption or intake without an equal or greater increase in energy expenditure.
Bottom line: energy expenditure must be greater than energy consumption
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Significant to this higher energy intake is the contributions from sugary drinks, sodas, sports drinks, juices, juice drinks, and energy drinks. Sometimes we feel we need a little pick me up and instead of selecting a nutrient dense food item, we go for something that contains sugar since it is fast and easy.
Indeed, sugar is satiating at least in the short term. There is an option, and numerous studies have proven conclusively that it works: Drink more water. Water is essential to every function in the human body and in the average adult, water makes up more than sixty percent (60%) of total body weight.
Water is critical to numerous chemical reactions, distributes nutrients to every cell in the body, removes waste products, regulates body temperature, lubricates joints, and helps with digestion and elimination. In addition, water is important to weight loss especially when combined with a hypo caloric diet.
Bottom line: drinking more water facilitates weight loss
The question: Exactly how much water do we need every day for overall health and for weight loss?
There are three simple steps that will help determine your individual needs:
– The amount of water depends on how much you weigh, because the more you weigh the more you need. The common rule of thumb has been the 8 by 8 rule, or 8 oz. of water, 8 times per day, but someone who weights two hundred (200) pounds needs more water than someone who weighs one hundred and twenty-five (125) pounds.
– Take your weight and multiply by sixty-seven percent (67% or 0.67 or two-thirds 2/3). For example, if you weigh one hundred and fifty (150) pounds: 150 x 0.67 = 100.5 or just over 100 ounces of water daily. For weights in kilograms (150 pounds = 68 kg) the conversion factor is 1.47. In this example: 68 x 1.47 = 100.5, just under three liters (3 L).
– The last step is to adjust for exercise by adding twelve (12 oz.) ounces or three hundred and fifty-five (355 mL) milliliters of water for each thirty (30) minutes of activity regardless of weight.
Bottom line: the 8×8 rule does not hydrate adequately, particularly if you exercise
Sometimes when we feel hungry, we are actually thirsty and drinking a glass of water may satisfy cravings. There a few simple steps to increase the amount of water on a daily basis and help with weight loss, but remember to start slowly since you will need to void more often at first.
– Drink at least 12 oz. or 350 mL of water 30 minutes before each meal, which helps us feel full and eat less.
– Other drinks count such as carbonated and sparkling water and even coffee and tea, but avoid high calorie alternatives.
– Start your morning off and end your day with a glass of water.
– Keep a container full of water in plain sight and try to empty it every day.
– Include more fruits and vegetables in your diet because they contain water.
– Remember to drink more water when you exercise
Bottom line: it takes a while to develop a routine, but eventually the thirst mechanism becomes automatic