Water and the Fat-Loss Connection
Water is the single most important catalyst in fat loss and many people don't even realize it. This important nutrient is often overlooked and even taken for granted and viewed as a villain many times. Water can naturally suppress the appetite and aid in flushing out sodium, toxins and fat. Drinking water is one of the most natural things you can do for fat loss and health.
Our bodies are made up of 80% water and therefore it is essential for life. You can survive longer without food than you can without water. Water lubricates joints, removes wastes, relieves constipation, excretes excess sodium, improves your metabolism, aids in circulation, mobilizes fat, prevents dehydration, maintains muscle tone, hydrates skin and organs, aids in digestion, transports nutrients, maintains body temperature, and lessens water retention... just to name a few benefits.
In this newsletter we will discuss some common myths and facts regarding water.
Myth: I'm bloated and if I drink water, I will retain even more water.
Fact: Drinking water is the best cure for water retention.
The less water your body receives daily, the more it will retain it to prevent dehydration. Sodium attaches itself to water and when you drink a good quantity of it, the sodium is flushed out, along with fat and toxins. Therefore, more water in equals more water out.
Myth: Taking a water pill will get rid of my water retention.
Fact: Actually, this is the worse thing you can do to lose water weight, unless it is a medical emergency.
Water pills (diuretics) give a short-term fix to your dilemma. Diuretics cause water to literally be forced out of the body, bringing with it essential nutrients. This can be thought of as a form of purging. The body will retaliate by simply replacing the lost water, plus some, to prevent another bout of dehydration. Therefore, nothing was really solved.
Myth: Sodium must be kept low to prevent water retention.
Fact: Most foods have natural sodium in them.
Chicken and turkey contain sodium and eggs contain a large amount of sodium for its size and nutritional value. This does not mean they are to be avoided.
The evil lurker to watch for is the processed food items that contain boat loads of sodium and other additives. Processed food items can destroy any fat loss or water loss efforts dead in their tracks. Avoid these like the plague.
Sodium is a mineral and necessary for electrolyte balance. Restricting it to unnecessary measures will cause more harm than good. This does not mean to go overboard on sodium, but salting your food won't kill you and it won't cause a tremendous amount of fluid retention. To remedy excess sodium consumption, simply drink more water so you can force out excess sodium that is not needed by the body.
Myth: Everyone should drink 8 to 10 glasses of water a day.
Fact: The amount of water you drink a day depends on your body and lifestyle.
As a general rule of thumb, everyone should drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water a day, but larger and overweight people need more since they have larger metabolic loads. Also, those who exercise need even more water, and when it is hot you need increased water intake as well. Many can drink 3 to 5 liters a day or more and receive adequate hydration.
Myth: I heard that drinking too much water can actually kill you. Fact: There is a distinct difference between the amount of water you drink and the amount of time you drink it in.
Simply drinking water won't kill you, but over-hydrating oneself can. Water consumption must be taken in moderation, as all things.
There have been reports of people consuming large quantities of water is a very short amount of time, basically abusing water. This is known as water intoxification and can cause nausea, headaches, dizziness, confusion, and even death. They literally drown themselves.
Yes, you can drink too much water in a short amount of time, but it's very difficult to do. The amount you drink and the rate you drink it is the determining factor. There is a difference between optimizing and overdoing.
Myth: Diet colas, coffee, and teas are water based and can take the place of water consumption.
Fact: Caffeine has a diuretic effect.
Alternative drinks like alcohol, tea, coffee, and diet sodas have a diuretic effect and assist in dehydrating you.
If you are dehydrated you will pass less urine to prevent a dramatic loss of water. Dehydration can cause poor concentration, fatigue, headaches, and in extreme cases, death. You should not count such indulges in your water intake for the day.
Increase Your Water Intake to Optimal Levels
Now that you have some water facts, you can work toward increasing your water intake to prevent dehydration and aid in optimal health and fat loss. I understand that suggesting you to drink a gallon of water a day can seem overwhelming, but if you break it up over the course of the day, it's not that bad.
Here are some ways to increase your water intake
-Carry a gallon jug with you. The goal is to finish it by the end of the day. This is my favorite method.
-If you find carrying a gallon of water intimidating, try carrying a liter of water where ever you go, and refill often.
-Drink a full glass of water upon awakening.
-When you crave foods you shouldn't have, drink a tall glass of water.
-Drink a full glass of water after you visit the restroom to replenish yourself.
-Drink a full glass before your meal.
Increased Water Intake Observations
You may notice that the more water you drink the more visits to the restroom you will make. This is because you are hydrating your body and it's nourishing your organs. When the body knows it's going to receive water on a constant basis so it removes excess sodium, toxins, and fat often.
You may also notice that when you increase your water intake you become thirstier more often. This is just your body's way of telling you to feed it more water so it can keep doing it's job optimally.
Remember, if you want to get rid of fluid retention, flush fat, toxins, and sodium out, drink up... water that is.
About The Author
Karen Sessions has been in the fitness industry since 1988 and is a certified personal fitness instructor and specialist in performance nutrition. She is a nationally qualified natural female bodybuilder, holding numerous titles in the southern states including two overalls.
Karen has written six e-books on fitness. She also writes articles for several fitness websites, and distributes two monthly newsletters regarding weight loss and female bodybuilding.
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