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The water and weight loss question is an important one to address, and often an overlooked component in your weight loss recipe.
Let's first start with the basics:
(Photo compliments of Walter J. Pilsak, commons.wikimedia.org)
The facts are that we will die if do not maintain our hydration levels.
At first it is just cellular death that will show up in symptoms such as fatigue, mood swings and weight gain, but over time, if our fluid levels drop too far, it will alter our electrolyte balance having consequences on the death of our organs, including our kidneys, liver and yes, our heart!
The other big thing to remember in terms of water and weight loss is that water helps flush out toxins.
Detoxification of the physical body, as well as the mental/emotional body is really important when dealing with weight loss.
If you have ever seen the fat that comes out of a person receiving liposuction, you will know that the fat is not white in colour, it is brown. It looks like sludge because it is laden with toxins.
When you are dehydrated, there is not enough water to dilute the body's waste products. This will stress your kidneys first and then your liver second. The trick is that when your liver is overworked trying to detoxify your body (something that your kidneys should be helping with), it can't work to burn fat as efficiently, one of the liver's other jobs.
If you are interested, you might also want to check out the lemon water benefits page where I discuss how adding not only fresh water to your daily diet can be useful, but in particular starting your day with a glass of lemon water is one of the best ways to achieve a natural and gentle liver detoxification... and of course a great way to lose weight.
In one study published by Davy et al in 2008 in the Journal of American Dietetic Association, they found that those drinking 2 cups of water half and hour before breakfast ate 13% less (an average of 75 calories less)
In another study from 2012, printed in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, by Tate, et al found that over a 6 month period, replacing caloric beverages with non-caloric beverages enabled participants to lose an average of 2-2.5 percent of their body weight.
Although this study did not differentiate between the group drinking just water and those drinking other non-caloric diet drinks, it is clear that hydration without the extra sugar is a bonus. In my opinion, since artificial sweeteners come with their own dangers and toxicities, water would clearly be the best choice here.
In the first study, we can multiply the 75 calories less for breakfast by 3 (to account for a similar effect from lunch and dinner)...this would translate into 225 calories less per day.
In the second study, they found that consuming water lead to an approximate 200 calorie a day reduction – very similar. This sounds quite modest, but considering that one pound of fat is equal to 3500 calories, you would be able to lose 1 pound in about 17 days by just drinking water alone!
Multiply that by an entire year (365 days), you are looking at about 20 pounds!
I'd also like to point out that not all water is created equal. Much of our worlds drinking water is polluted - filled with chlorine, fluoride and so many other harsh chemicals.
If you remember back to high school biology and the teachings on acid rain and what pollution does to the water, plants and animals you can relate to what polluted water is doing to you.
Essentially, water that is too acidic is not absorbed properly and we remain dehydrated regardless of how much we drink. If this happens, then you have a bigger problem than just weight loss.
Because this is such an important concept to understand, I will discuss this in much more detail in the article on alkaline water benefits and alkaline water ionizers.
If you are interested in reading more, I would recommend a book called "Your Body's Many Cries for Water”, by Dr. Batmanghelidj.
Have fun and enjoy your journey into the world of water and weight loss.
Yours in Wellness,
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