Thursday, June 3, 2010

Thirsty Thursday

Drinking enough water is essential to good health. Amazingly, water is quite possibly the single most important factor in losing weight…and keeping it off! What most of us don’t realize is that water may be the only true "magic potion" for permanent weight loss.

Water, in fact, suppresses our appetite naturally. Water also helps the body metabolize stored fat. Research has shown that a decrease in water intake causes fat deposits to increase, and an increase in water intake actually reduces fat deposits. We need water for kidney health, as they will not function properly without enough water. If they don't operate properly, some of their load is dumped onto the liver. The liver metabolizes stored fat into usable energy for the body. And if the liver has to do some of the kidney's job, it can't operate at full capacity. If this happens, the liver will metabolize less fat and more fat remains stored in the body!!! This causes weight loss to stop.

The body is an amazing machine. It is geared for survival. When the body gets less water, it perceives this as a threat to survival. When this happens, it holds on to every drop. When it holds on to the water, it is stored in spaces outside the cell (or extracellular). This is the cause for swollen feet, legs, and hands.

Diuretics may help temporarily. The diuretic’s job is to force out stored water…but what you may not realize, they also force out some essential nutrients along with it. Once again, the body perceives the water loss as a threat and will replace the lost water in places we don’t want it stored! The better alternative than that water pill?...Plenty of water, believe it or not! Only then will stored water be released.
And salt. We all know too much salt can be bad. Our bodies will only tolerate sodium in an certain amount. The more salt you consume, the more water your body retains just to dilute it.

For all the reasons discussed, the overweight person needs more water than the average, thin person. This is because the larger people have bigger metabolic loads. Since water is key to metabolizing fat, it is evident that the overweight person needs more water.

Okay, so how much water is enough? I’m sure we’ve heard this before, but on the average, a person should drink eight 8 ounce glasses every day. That's about 2 quarts. The overweight person needs an additional 8 ounces for every 25 pounds of excess weight. Of course, if you should always increase this amount if you exercise or the weather is hot! Staying hydrated is essential.

And last but not least, water should be cold. This is because research has found that it is absorbed into our system more quickly than warm water is. Some evidence suggests that drinking cold water can actually help burn those calories!

Drink up! CHEERS!

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