Whet Your Appetite For Water

    

    

     Today I bought a water-bottle. The one above with the S on it. I already own several sports bottle, so why another? Because I’ve often been told that in order to lose weight I should drink 8 glasses of water (64 oz) a day.  I’ve decided to comply, though it is against my diet soda loving nature.  So I will entice myself a little by adding some flair! You may have even noticed that I added “water consumption” to the new Daily Log I designed for this week (see Daily Doses).  After having bought the bottle though, I began to ask myself if I knew why I was supposed to drink the water. Yes, the human body is said to be 70 % water, so certainly hydration is healthy but why this universal rule for weight loss? Is it science or folk-lore?

    ” When in doubt, find out!” So I went to the web.  All over the web, in fact. I found that until recently very little research had been done on the correlation between water consumption and weight loss. The belief that there is  a correlation is certainly strong. It is part of the weight loss protocol for several major weight loss plans. Does the research support it’s usefulness? In fact it does.

     One reason I found for  consuming more water is that when you hydrate, you decrease appetite.  A 2010 Virginia Tech study confirms that drinking two glasses of water before a meal not only helps people lose weight but that people who do this tend to keep the weight off. Study participants who consumed 16 oz of water before a meal ate 75-90 fewer calories on average than those who did not consume the water. During the 12 week study they also lost approximately 4.5 lbs more than their non-water drinking counterparts. So if I’m going to up my water consumption, it would be wise for me to make sure a couple of glasses are enjoyed before each meal.

     Another reason water may aid in weight loss is that its consumption, especially when ice-cold, may increase metabolism. A 2004 German study seem to support this. The findings suggested that drinking 17 oz of water sped up metabolism by 30% for 30 minutes. Though the increase is minor, this could equal as much as 5 pounds in a years time.

      Hunger confusion is another reason to keep water intakes high. Some people confuse thirst for hunger and when their bodies are feeling the need for hydration this misunderstanding leads to overeating. Keeping the body well hydrated can help avoid the feeling that is perceived as “the need to feed”.

     If you are an active individual, and I certainly am including increased activity in my life these days, proper water consumption is important in order to avoid dehydration. According to the Mayo Clinic’s website even mild dehydration is likely to cause tiredness and even dizziness. Thirst is not the best indicator of dehydration. If you are feeling thirsty, you are already mildly dehydrated.  Urine color may be a better indicator. If your urine is dark yellow or amber it’s a good sign you aren’t properly rehydrating. If you don’t hydrate properly you won’t have the proper energy to burn the calories you want to lose and you may even cause yourself illness. As you workout, hydrate. Don’t be active for longer than 30 minutes without water intake.

     As a minimal water drinker, now that I’ve convinced myself that I should drink more water, I’m looking for ways to make myself WANT to drink more water. I like enjoying my new healthy lifestyle and don’t want any part of it to feel like a chore. I’ve decided to seek ways to make water a treat! My new water bottle was just the beginning.

     I’m fortunate to have tasty water coming from my tap and I plan to use it to fill a 64 oz water pitcher nightly. Maybe I’ll get a new pretty pitcher, too. By morning this water will be nice and cold and I can fill my handy bottle from it. Ice cold water will be inviting. I will keep fresh ice on hand as well, checking the maker regularly.  I think I’ll pull out the old ice trays too and try my hand at making fruit filled ice cubes. These will be cute and will give the water flavor and personality. Drinking your water cold is one of the keys to enjoyment. Room temperature anything tends to be less appealing.

     Don’t love the water from your faucet? Buy bottled water or invest in a filtered pitcher. Is the expense really any worse than what you currently spend on sodas, juice drinks, energy drinks, or sports drinks? Probably less. Either way, you are sooo worth the expense.

     I have created a board at pinterest.com dedicated to “Wonderful Water”. Here I have collected pictures, products, and ideas to inspire me to hydrate. I even have water recipes. Yes “water recipes”. Did you know you could add combinations of great ingredients such as ginger, mint, fresh fruit, fresh herbs and even veggies to water to make it a more refreshing and enjoyable treat? Find out how to make your replenishment decadent.

     I am also going to resurrect an old decorator fountain that my daughter use to have in her room. As I hear the water (which is also calming and beautiful) it will be a reminder to partake. Don’t have a fountain? Enjoy an online recording of water from a stream or rain falling to make you fall in love with the idea of water all over again. Water can be beautiful, sexy, and refreshing, you know.

 

     Water is a basic need of all humans. We have added lots of things to it and all but forgotten it in its truest form. What are we missing? It helps reduce appetite, energize our bodies, and even makes our complexions more clear and youthful as a bonus. Hey, I’ve convinced myself. Water IS sexy!

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