Last post, I shared a little of my 'story' and how I started on my journey to taking care of my body. One thing that helped me to shed pounds and feel good was becoming aware of my water intake. I used to think water was 'boring', 'tasteless', and usually opted for milk or juice. I was constipated and constantly congested from my high dairy intake. I think I lived on milk and melted cheese sandwiches (two slices of wonder bread with a slice of Kraft american cheese in between--in the microwave for 15 seconds...yep...that was a food group for me). I had no idea that drinking water could change my body and my health.
Why is water so important for weight loss? Donald S. Robertston, M.D. author of The Snowbird Diet said, "incredible as it may seem, water is quite possibly the single most important catalyst in losing weight and keeping it off. Although most of us take it for granted, water may be the only true 'magic potion for permanent weight loss.'" Dr. Robertson also suggests that "water suppresses the appetite and helps the body metabolize stored fat, helps maintain proper muscle tone, clears wastes and may help relieve constipation."
Not to get too graphic with you...but most Americans are clinically constipated. You want to be visiting the restroom 1-2 times per day. If not, where is it all going?
The Mayo Clinic's website says:
"Water is your body's principal chemical component, making up, on average, 60 percent of your body weight. Every system in your body depends on water. For example, water flushes toxins out of vital organs, carries nutrients to your cells and provides a moist environment for ear, nose and throat tissues.
Lack of water can lead to dehydration, a condition that occurs when you don't have enough water in your body to carry out normal functions. Even mild dehydration can drain your energy and make you tired."
It is pretty tough to work out when you're feeling drained and tired.
So, how much water should you consume? This can depend on your activity level and if you live in a dry climate vs a humid one. Personally, I consume a minimum of 8 glasses per day in the form of a 1/2 gallon water bottle and then any water I drink after, I consider it my 'bonus'. When I work out, I use a separate glass of water so that water isn't counted as my 8 glasses. I usually end up consuming 12-16 glasses of water per day.
Here is the bottle I use. I stick out like a sore thumb carrying it to work with me or to a church meeting, but I am like a poster child for water drinking--everyone remembers to drink water when they see a chick with a massive water bottle walking around!
So, find a water bottle that works for you so you can track your water consumption. If you're not a big water drinker, try it again! It can be mind over matter at first, but I promise it's worth it. You can try squeezing a lemon into it or something, but it's high maintenance and you're not as likely to continue doing that long-term. If you're a soda drinker, ditch one for a glass of water. You'll love the way you feel.
I found a cool ad campaigning for water drinking...thought they were pretty powerful.