Source: Jet Magazine, Feb., 2001
If you want to lose weight, drink more water each day and you’ll chase the pounds away.
Water is crucial to any fitness or weight-loss regimen. When you exercise, water helps your body convert excess fat to energy and helps your kidneys flush out waste products from the extra fat and calories you burn.
Water also keeps your body from retaining excess fluid. When you don’t drink enough water, your body, sensing the shortage, will retain as much water as it can. Retained water shows up as extra weight and can give you that bloated look. Drinking plenty of water combats water retention.
Water transports nutrients and oxygen to cells, aids in food digestion, regulates your body temperature, and removes toxins from your body, as well as prevents constipation, cushions your joints, protects organs and tissues and cools down the body.
If you’re trying to cut back on calories, drinking water before and during each meal can help you eat less. Water takes up space in your stomach, leaving less room for extra food and making you feel full quicker so that you’ll eat less.
Experts say you need about eight glasses of water a day–about 64 ounces–to keep your system running smoothly under normal conditions. But if you exercise, you’ll need even more to replace the fluids you lose through perspiration.
Also, keep in mind high temperatures, low humidity, fevers brought on by illness, working outdoors, high altitudes, even certain medications can dehydrate your body. Depending on the conditions, it may be necessary to drink more than two quarts of water a day, and more frequently to keep your body healthy.
According to the American Medical Association, the best way to meet your daily water quota is by drinking plain water. But fruit juices, milk and caffeine-free drinks are also good sources.
Fruits and vegetables are other potent sources of the fluid your body needs, especially those that have high-water contents like lettuce, watermelon, broccoli and grapefruit.
Watch out for caffeinated and alcoholic beverages, however, since they can cause the body to lose water.
To get your daily dose of water, keep a water bottle nearby during the day and take regular water breaks. Drink a glass of water when you get up in the morning and one at bedtime, and have water with your meals instead of soda and coffee. Zest it up with a twist of lemon or lime, or try flavored waters to quench your thirst and help shed those pounds and inches.