Drink water to lose weight

Drinking sufficient water is one of the best habits to form to lose weight. The calorie free elixir keeps several illnesses at bay.

Not getting enough hydration can cause fatigue, constipation, headaches, impose extra work on kidneys for excreting toxic by-products, cause heartburn, stomach pain, depression etc.

There is no recommendation for drinking water for a healthy human being, but for the smooth functioning of the bodily functions, the rule of the thumb is 8 x 8. That is, 8 cups of fluids (water based) with each cup being of 8 ounce measure.

Athletes, people at altitudes higher than 2500 metres or in humid hot environment including heated indoors, pregnant and lactating women need higher intake of fluids.  Also, anyone exercising or spending time out under the sun will need to drink more fluids.

Water and weight loss

What about those who need to lose weight? Water and water based low calorie fluids can curb hunger or delay the feeling of hunger. Therefore, following a diet or exercise plan to lose weight should include drinking plenty of fluids. Those who are well hydrated eat lesser calories. Research done in 2003, in Germany, shows that those who drink about 17 ounce of water, increase their metabolic rate by 30 %.

How to increase water in your diet

The appetite suppressing magic is water so the more you drink in the better your chance of reducing weight.

Water or such fluids should be had half an hour before the meal.  Water, coconut water, clear soups, cinnamon tea, green tea, cranberry juice, fresh water melon juice, lemon and mint juice, cucumber juice, are all effective hunger stoppers and almost calorie free.

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Apart from the water we drink we get water from juicy fruits, vegetables and curries. Vegetables like tomato, carrots, spinach, cabbage, celery – in ½ cup quantity – made into thin bland soups, unstrained also helps in a big way and gives only about 25 calories.

If your meal is dry, then keep drinking water between morsels.  Avoid dry foods like fried foods, cookies, and such that are devoid of water – one more reason to avoid these.

Children who have a weight issue should be nurtured to develop a taste for such fluids when thirsty and not reach for sugary soft drinks or sugared juices.

After an outdoor activity, be it sports or shopping, one must drink liquids first to quench the thirst and not reach for solids. This way overeating can be avoided.

Start your meals whether eaten at home or outside with a big glass of tepid water.

If you are not too fond of drinking plain water, then flavour it with traditional herbs or even essences.

After you have eaten your portion of food, wash down the taste with another glass of water. This way you may not wish to go for a second helping.

A glass before your meal and a glass after your meal – a healthy habit to follow!

Parvathy R Krishnan

The author is a trained Nutrition & Dietetics expert with over 20 years’ of experience in hospitals like Vijaya Hospital in Chennai and the Armed Forces Hospital and New Mowasat Hospitals in Kuwait. She is presently a member of the Research Society for the Study of Diabetes in India. Parvathy blogs at http://premadiet.blogspot.in/

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