A new study has found that obese dieters who drank two cups of water before each meal lost 5 pounds more after three months. A year later, they also kept more of the weight off.
The dieting technique is well known, but this study may be the first hard evidence that increasing your water intake is a useful weight-loss strategy.
According to Discovery News:
“The reason could be physical. According to some research, water consumption might spark the body to produce more heat, boosting metabolism and burning more calories. Or, drinking more water might simply make people less likely to drink a lot of high-calorie sugar-filled beverages.”
You can actually survive without food for months, but without water you’d die after a few days, so needless to say, water is absolutely essential to life.
Every day you lose water from your body through urine and sweat, and this needs to be replenished.
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Water for Weight Loss?
If you don’t drink enough, you can easily become dehydrated, and as you may have experienced dehydration often mimics hunger. If you’re eating plenty of nutritionally balanced foods and you still feel hungry, it could very well be the case that you need a drink of water to fill you up.
This is actually a solid strategy you can use even before you eat a meal, as research shows that drinking two cups of water before each meal will help you lose more weight.
Whether the water works by physically filling you up, boosting your metabolism or simply taking the place of sugary drinks like juice and soda isn’t yet known, but it’s really a moot point.
The key to remember if you’re trying to lose weight is that pure water may be the secret weapon for fighting off cravings and reducing hunger that you’ve been looking for.
Even beyond weight loss, chronic dehydration from not drinking enough water has been linked to an astounding number of conditions ranging from chronic fatigue syndrome and depression to hypertension, multiple sclerosis and asthma, according to Dr. Fereydoon Batmanghelidj.
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Dr. Batmanghelidj is the author of the phenomenal book Your Body’s Many Cries for Water. I highly recommend it to learn more about why water, or as Dr. Batmanghelidj calls it “nature’s miracle medicine,” is so essential for optimal health.
Making Water Your Primary Beverage Will Give You a Major Weight Loss Boost
One of the first pieces of advice I offer to anyone trying to lose weight is to stop drinking soda, fruit juice, sports drinks, and any other sugar-laden, high-calorie beverage. This is especially true of beverages (and foods) that contain fructose.
Fructose has become one of my newest health passions for a number of reasons. It is really not well understood how pervasive a negative influence this sugar has on people’s health.
For those who have struggled with their weight for years — examining their diets, avoiding fat and counting calories, yet not getting anywhere and wondering what they’re doing wrong — you need to pay very close attention to this issue.
In many cases the primary culprit may be the excessive intake of hidden sugar in the form of corn syrup, or high fructose corn syrup, which is a main ingredient in soda, as well as countless processed and pre-packaged foods.
It’s extremely easy to consume high amounts of HFCS on a daily basis, especially if you drink sodas or any other sweetened beverages such as iced-teas and fruit juices in lieu of water.
Even seemingly “health-conscious” beverages like Vitamin Water, Jamba Juice and Odwalla SuperFood contain far more added sugar and/or fructose than many desserts!
So it’s time to realize that dietary fat does not make you fat. Fructose does.
As Professor Hoebel, a specialist in the neuroscience of appetite, weight and sugar addiction, told Science Daily:
“Some people have claimed that high-fructose corn syrup is no different than other sweeteners when it comes to weight gain and obesity, but our results make it clear that this just isn’t true, at least under the conditions of our tests.
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When rats are drinking high-fructose corn syrup at levels well below those in soda pop, they’re becoming obese — every single one, across the board.
Even when rats are fed a high-fat diet, you don’t see this; they don’t all gain extra weight.”
It’s Not Just Soda That’s the Problem
Soda is definitely a problem if you’re trying to lose weight … drinking a single can a day translates to more than a pound of weight gain every month … but it is not the only beverage you need to cut from your dietary repertoire.
Although often regarded as healthy, fruit juice typically contains very high concentrations of fructose, which will cause your insulin to spike and may counter the benefits of the antioxidants it contains.
This is particularly true for nearly all commercial juices that are bottled or canned as they liberate methanol, which is metabolized to formaldehyde in your brain. Fresh is better and does not have the methanol issue and is also a more vital drink.
However, anyone with insulin resistance, which is 80% of the public (those with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or overweight) is also better off avoiding it. If you don’t have insulin resistance then limiting the total grams of fructose to less than 25 grams would be a prudent strategy.
Previous studies have already clearly demonstrated that drinking large amounts of juice dramatically increases your risk of obesity. Children are at particular risk here, since so many children are given juice whenever they’re thirsty instead of plain water.
For example, research has revealed that 3- and 4-year-olds who carry extra weight and drink just one to two sweet drinks a day double their risk of becoming seriously overweight just one year later.
So it’s truly imperative if you want to lose weight that you cut out all fruit juice, soda, and any other sweetened beverage from your diet.
Fructose will not only pack on extra pounds faster than other ingredients, including other sugars, it promotes a particularly dangerous kind of body fat, namely adipose fat.
This is the fat type of fat that collects in your abdominal region and is associated with a greater risk of heart disease.
For an in-depth review of just how different fructose and HFCS really is from regular sugar, please read through this recent article and watch the lecture given by Dr. Robert Lustig.
How Much Water Should You Drink Each Day?
Once you’ve made the switch to pure water, your next question may be how much water is necessary?
If you are healthy, then drinking whenever you feel thirsty should be an adequate guide of how much water you need, but I encourage you to use this simple trick to gauge whether your water intake is sufficient:
You will want to make sure you drink enough clean pure water to turn your urine a light color of yellow. Dark yellow urine is a sign that you need to drink more water.
If it’s hot outside or you are engaged in exercise or other vigorous activity, you will require more water than normal. Additionally, as you grow older your thirst mechanism works less efficiently so older adults will want to be sure to drink water regularly, and again make sure your urine is a light, pale color.
For tips on making sure you’re drinking the purest water around, be sure to read this past article (hint: it does NOT come in plastic bottles!).
No doubt about it, making the simple decision to drink plenty of pure water instead of sugary drinks will likely lead to excess pounds simply “falling off” in no time.
Please Remember …
Just as water is an essential to life it is impossible to achieve optimal health without regular exercise. So please remember to get your regular exercise, as it will be a very powerful synergy to drinking water for weight loss. You can view my page on thePeak Fitness Technique for some great tips.
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Yes! Finally someone writes about thirsting.