Nutrition Principle #1 - Water!
Water is such an important principle! So important that, this principle has to be our #1 principle when we consider nutrition and work to get better! Water is SO incredibly important for our health and ALSO for WEIGHT loss and management.
I am sure many readers are rolling their eyes, ready to skip right on by, thinking, yes, yes, yes, I know, I know! When I said I was going to speak up about nutrition, I told you that for some this would be new information and for some, I just want you to assess and drop the pin on how you are doing. I really think for about 99.9% or maybe even 100% of the people reading this post, that you already know, and you have already heard many times over that drinking water is good for you. Here is my question--how you doing?
Water is SO incredibly good for your body. It is just true and undeniable! Our bodies are made of about 60% water, give or take a little! Water helps our body do what it is made to do--check out some of these benefits and functions. Here is a little diagram for you to see.
regulates your body temperature
can affect your skin and complexion
lubricates your joints
protects organs and tissues
moistens body tissues
aids in digestion (keeps you regular!!!)
helps the kidneys flushes out WASTE and toxins--you don't want in your body!
carries nutrients and oxygen throughout your body
helps dissolve minerals and nutrients FOR your body
Water is also beneficial for weight management! What? Yes?! It is true! While drinking more water is not going to make you lose weight, drinking water indirectly does affect your weight loss and your weight management! This article reiterates the benefits stated above, and it also has a scientific study which shows if you just drink 2 glasses of water before you eat, you will eat less and lose weight. It is not rocket science! In addition, I offer a few more reasons I think water helps with weight loss:
Drinking water helps you feel full--that alone may help you not overeat.
Water energizes your muscles and can help you in your workout. I know when I have been training for races on long runs, when I get some water, it really feels like fuel--like gas that helps me keep going or go a little faster. Also, when I have not had water during runs or sprints, I feel sluggish and have such a hard time continuing on! Fueling your workout will directly affect the benefits of your workout, which will indirectly affect your weight (whichever way you desire--weight gain or weight loss).
Water carries oxygen & nutrients to your muscles (all of your cells) which is going to aid your metabolism and other benefits you get from muscle--which indirectly affect your fat loss/caloric burn. These are some "unseen" effects that are real!
Sometimes when you have a craving or your feel hungry, you truly just need water. If you are a person that typically does not get enough water/hydration, a lot of your "hunger cues" are really "water cues" that you have confused. Learn to tell the difference--teach your brain. Before you grab a snack, try some water and see if you are still hungry. Obviously, if it has been a while since you had food or a meal, you do need food. Get food AND drink water!
Water is SO good for you...make sure you really understand and believe this. The "why" is always important. If you really know the importance and value, you will drink more, and drinking enough water is going to be good for you!
Some sources say you should be drinking at least half of your weight in ounces each day. Calculate that! Assess that! If you weigh 200 pounds, that would be 100 ounces a day. If you weigh 150 lbs, that is 75 ounces. If 250 lbs, that is 125 ounces. 300 lbs, 150 ounces. 130 lbs, 65 ounces. You get the point. You may have also probably heard we should drink 8 glasses of water a day--that is 64 ounces. How are you doing with that? I would just ask you to drop the pin on drinking water. For me, I do often do not drink 64 glasses of water (and that is both--the typical recommendation and also less than half of my body weight). BUT, for me, I hydrate a few different ways. I have my own personal minimum (at least one liter - 32 ounces) and then if I workout or it is hot, I drink much more. I usually add a liter if I workout (just an example, and just what I have found to be good for me). The last couple of years I lived in India, I tried to drink about 4 liters of water a day--I was working out about 5-6 days a week then, it was SO hot and humid, and I still feel short most days. Yet, drinking about 3 liters was my regular!
You need to drink more water if you
live in a hot climate
sweat a lot
Yes, you can drink too much water, but that is very unlikely for for most of us. If you are worried that you possibly could be drinking too much water, you need to do your research and understand what that might look like for you personally. If you wonder about that, learn more about the signs of overhydration, water intoxication, or hyponatremia. But, let's be honest, this is NOT the case for most people! Most of us are mildly dehydrated and some chronically dehydrated.
Assess how much you *should* be drinking and how much you *are* drinking. Drop the pin!
After you assess and drop the pin, consider your own circumstances--how much do you workout? How hot is the climate where you live? What other beverages are you drinking? That question could lead you to substitute or make changes (like soda for water) or realize you do get hydration from other drinks as well. This is all a part of the BIG picture!
HOW TO DO IT BETTER?
Drink out of a water bottle you like--know how many ounces it holds and know how many refills you need. Assess and Calculate!
Use a water bottle that holds the exact amount of water you think you might need for that day and drink it! There are SO many options out there--calculate your amount and get a water bottle that holds that amount. Then, your goal--drink one full bottle a day. Some people really like the feel of a special vessel. If that is you, I think the $15 -$20 (or more) advantage of drinking the right amount of water might be worth it. But, you DO NOT NEED a special vessel! 😉 See picture and caption below.
Add lemon, lime, or other yummy fruits & vegetables to make your own infused water.
Add a small splash of 100% fruit juice--quick, easy way to flavor it naturally.
Drink carbonated water or flavored carbonated water--just be "sugar aware."
Bottom line. DON'T overcomplicate it. Keep it simple. Just grab a cup and drink!
Even if you do not like water...I think you can drink and *LIKE* the benefits.