With so many fad diets out there, it’s easy to forget that the humble diet CAN actually help you to lose weight as long as you use the right combination of diet, exercise, drinking enough water, and generally taking care of yourself.
You’ve probably already heard that you should be drinking eight or more glasses of water daily but these days, it is suggested that you try to drink even more than that. Water makes up between 55% to 75% of your entire body mass and there have been proven links shown between losing weight and drinking more water and as an added bonus, your overall health will improve also. According to these studies, if you were to drink a gallon of water every day and that was the only thing you did, you could lose over ten pounds per year. Not only that but there are other benefits too. Every part of your body can benefit from an added boost of hydration from your bones to your skin, hair, teeth, nails, and more.
A recent study perform at the University of Birmingham in the USA showed that those who drank 470ml of cold water before a meal lose more weight in kg than people who did not drink water before their meal. There are a lot of theories behind this but there is science behind it.
When you drink cold water or even better, ice cold water, your body needs to work before the meal has actually started. It needs to burn calories in order to digest the water and process it, taking the goodness it needs before passing it though your body to be urinated out the other end. When you drink ice cold water, your body uses calories to heat the fluid to body temperature before it can do anything with it. These thermogenic benefits can have great effects on the body, especially first thing in the morning, kick-starting your metabolism to burn more calories throughout the day.
Exactly how much water should you be drinking?
A gallon of water sounds like a lot but it’s not when you consider that the average, healthy adult make requires around 13 cups of water. The average, healthy adult female requires a little less – around 9 cups of water. If you have a lifestyle considered more active than average, you will require more water. If you do a lot of exercise or manual labor, you will need more water. It’s just like food – when you work out and burn calories, you need to out calories back in. When you work hard and sweat, losing vital moisture and hydration, you need to replace it. The easiest way is by drinking it.
If you can drink more than that recommended amount of water, that’s even better. You can’t harm your body by drinking too much. The worst side effect you’ll encounter is running to the toilet more frequently.
To start your day, have two glass of water.
This will encourage the flushing out of waste matter from the body and allow your body to start the day with a clean slate. It will encourage regular bowel movements and ensure any toxicities are flushed out of the body as soon as possible.
Before breakfast, drink a glass of ice cold water. This will kick-start your metabolism to ensure you burn more calories throughout the day. Not only that but your body will start working and burning calories before you’ve even started eating.
If you exercise, make sure you drink water before, during and after your workout, and make sure you fit in at least one glass between breakfast and lunch. Many people find it helps to have bottled water on hand as it is easily transported. It’s also easy to drink on-the-go.
During lunch and dinner, aim for two to three glasses of water. The aim of the game here is to keep your blood sugar levels steady and to stop you from having that energy slump you often face mid-afternoon. A glass of water can have as much of an awakening effect as that cup of coffee you always have.
The day should end with at least two more glasses of water – one before your meal and an hour or so before you go to bed. This will encourage you to use the toilet before you go to bed and not wake up in the middle of the night frequently needing to go or worse than that, feeling parched. A glass of water on the bedside cabinet will also make life more pleasant.
The moral of the story is the more water you drink, the healthier you will be. When you consume more water, your body will be better nourished from the inside out.