Water for Weight Loss

May 19, 2019

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Summer is right around the corner, which means we are about to enter the season of heat and humidity. While the month of May has been slowly heating up, we can look forward to more high temperatures throughout June and July.

To beat the heat, it’s always nice to be in or near water. A pool, beach, or even a backyard sprinkler, water brings relief and refreshment like nothing else can. That goes for drinking it as well. Water is an integral part of many of your body’s processes. You need H2O to function—after all, it makes up 40 to 70 percent of our bodies.

On top of its cooling and intrinsic physiological role, did you know that water can also be your ally in weight loss? Forget the sugary sodas and juices and grab a tall glass of H2O. Here are some of the reasons why:

Drinking water can curb cravings. Cravings for salty foods may be a sign of dehydration. Salt is present in electrolytes, which maintain fluids in your body. When you don’t drink enough water, you may crave salty foods because your body is seeking balance. Next time you have an unexpected craving for potato chips or French fries, think about the last time you replenished with H2O. If it’s been a while, have a glass of water, then assess if you’re still craving those fries.

Drink water before and during meals. Water may help you feel fuller faster. One study found drinking two glasses of water before meals can help you shed pounds. Researchers found those who drank 16 ounces of water before each meal lost 15.5 pounds after three months, while those who didn’t lost only 11 pounds. If you continue to sip while you eat, you will also slow down, allowing your brain to recognize when you’re full.

Stay energized and alert. Whether you’re at work, running errands, or taking the kids to soccer practice, keep a water bottle handy at all times. You can purchase a reusable water bottle for as little as $10 as most grocery and convenience stores, and keeping it attached to your hip will remind you to sip. Staying hydrated should be a priority, especially in hot and humid temperatures. When we don’t get enough fluids, the cells of our body, even our skin cells, start to dehydrate and begin to pull water out from our bloodstream. As a result, our blood thickens and our body systems, including our brain and heart, which depend heavily on these fluids, can no longer function efficiently. That’s why you feel sluggish and have trouble thinking clearly when you’re dehydrated.

It’s the cheapest drink available. Americans spend up to $73.9 billion annually on sugary soft drinks, according to Kaiser. Water, for the most part, is free, straight from your tap or water fountain. Ditch the soda and put that money toward a summer getaway. Your body will thank you. Studies show soda, even diet soda, can contribute to weight gain and other diseases like heart disease and stroke. Summer is the perfect time to treat your mind and your body.

Water doesn’t always take liquid form. You don’t always have to rush to the water fountain to stay hydrated. You can rush to grocery store too! Summer’s sweetest fruits, like strawberries and watermelon, are made up of more than 90 percent water. You will almost feel like you’re cheating on your weight loss plan because these fruits taste like desserts. Just don’t overdo it. Remember, even healthy foods have calories.

If you haven’t developed a water habit yet, these last hazy days of summer may be a good time start. And just because the temperatures turn colder doesn’t mean you shouldn’t continue to use water as a weight loss tool. It may keep you cool in the summer, but it helps to keep you healthy all year round.

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