Focusing all of your energy on the nitty gritties of weight loss – from calorie counting, to diet measuring, to fancy exercise gadgetry, to the perfect dry-fit butt-shrinking aerodynamic yoga pant – can easily make you lose sight of the things that could lead to more successful and lasting weight loss results in the long run: getting back to the basics.
And when it comes to your health, it doesn’t get any more basic than water. More than half of your body is made out of water. Water is necessary for every single function that goes on inside of you. Water is even more vital to your body than food (and a lot of the healthiest foods on the planet are made mostly of water). The balance of water in our bodies is so important that even a reduction of just 10% can start to trigger serious, life-threatening malfunctions.
So does it really come as any surprise to learn that one of the most common reasons for stubborn weight gain, digestive issues and other chronic health problems is…(please insert dramatic drum roll here)…most people aren’t drinking enough water.
Doctors and health practitioners around the world are reporting that, due to poor eating and drinking habits, most people in the world suffer from some level of chronic mild dehydration, which affects weight, well-being, appearance, energy level, general health and longevity.
So why is it that so many of us seem to be missing the boat when it comes to water? That’s a difficult question to answer. However, what is becoming increasingly obvious is the dire health consequences that chronic dehydration is having on the health and weight of the nation – problems that could easily be prevented with simple, healthy drinking.
Take a look at these 7 reasons why dehydration could be a root cause for your weight gain and health issues, and how to develop safe, healthy drinking habits.
7 Reasons Water Is Important for Women’s Weight Loss
- Dehydration Disorientation. Unfortunately, our bodies aren’t very good at telling us whether we’re thirsty or hungry. Many of the signals our bodies give us for thirst and hunger are the same – stomach discomfort, weakness, headache, dizziness, nausea, etc. – which makes it very difficult to know whether we should be reaching for a glass of water or a bite to eat. Usually, most of us end up reaching for the later, consuming calories our bodies weren’t actually asking for. Then, if you are still thirsty (which often happens if you eat instead of drink), the thirst/hunger symptoms persist, leading you to eat even more. This cycle of “silent” dehydration leads to overeating and weight gain.
- Hydro-Powered Metabolism. Several research studies have shown that water significantly boosts your metabolism. A 2003 study showed that people who drank 8 to 12 glasses of water daily burned calories at a higher rate than people who were not well hydrated, even while at rest. German researchers repeated the study on patients who were overweight or obese, and their test subjects began burning 24 percent more calories within just one hour of drinking water.
- Muscles Need Water to Grow. Healthy, toned muscles are key to maintaining a high metabolism and losing weight, even while you’re resting. Dehydration reduces blood volume, reducing the amount of oxygen and nutrients delivered to your muscles to keep them active. Dehydration also reduces your muscles’ ability to contract and work properly, which slows down your metabolism and ability to break down body fat.
- Organ Overload. When you don’t drink enough water, your kidneys are not able to work properly, causing your liver to try and pick up the workload and fulfill the kidneys’ essential functions. However, this means that the liver is not able to attend to its other primary responsibilities – such as metabolizing stored fat – which gets put to the wayside while the liver attempts to perform organ double-duty.
- Toxic Waste. The consequence of burning calories, breaking down fat, eating and exercising is the natural creation of toxins in your body. If you’re not getting enough water, these toxins don’t get flushed out, and build up instead in your body, blood and fat cells. The internal buildup of toxins leads to a slower metabolism, weakened immunity, fatigue, skin problems, inflammation, illness and diseases.
- Rethinking Retention. Many people mistakenly believe that water retention is caused by drinking too much water. However, the truth of the matter is that water retention is caused by biochemical and hormonal imbalances, poor cardiovascular and cellular health, toxicity and – interestingly – dehydration. If you’re not drinking enough hydrating liquids, than your body may actually retain water to help compensate. The body responds to low water levels by storing water reserves outside of the cells, which can show up as swollen hands, fat feet and a puffy waist-line.
- Liquidate Your Hunger. A 2001 study showed that subjects who drank an 8 ounce glass of water before a meal felt satisfied from eating fewer calories than subjects who ate a meal without drinking water first, leading them to eat more calories.
How Much Water Should You Drink?
Everyone’s water needs are different, depending on your weight, age, activity level, the environment and climate you live in, the time of year, your diet, whether you are nursing, etc. We each need to drink enough water to support our bodily functions efficiently and healthily, while not drinking so much that we dilute important electrolytes in our blood (although that would take a lot of water).
The Institute of Medicine’s Food and Nutrition Board estimates that about 20 percent of women’s water needs are covered by the foods we eat, leaving about 72.8 ounces (on average) that we should be consciously drinking a day. That means you should be making an effort to drink a minimum of about 9 eight-ounce glasses throughout the day, and more if you are having caffeine, alcohol, salt and sugar, if you are living in a hot environment, if you are very active, if you are taking medication, etc. It’s a good idea to build drinking in to your daily routine, in order to make it an easy habit to attain and stick by. Keep refillable glass water bottles on your office desk, in the kitchen, in your car, in your purse, and any place you spend a lot of time.
New SLIMQUICK Pure Drink Mix is an excellent weight loss system designed to help encourage you to drink at regular intervals throughout the day, helping you stay hydrated, healthy and energized while effectively losing weight (use as directed on package instructions).