Do you drink enough H2O? About 60-70% of our bodies are made up of water, so don’t you think it’s important that you do? But does it really give you an advantage when working towards a smaller waistline?
It does! Water plays many roles in the body, helps you control your hunger and prevent overeating, increases your metabolism. Dehydration may also cause migraines/headaches, decrease cognitive ability, affect your mood, and decrease your strength. Basically, dehydration can make you feel like crap – you probably won’t feel like exercising either. Drinking before meals is a great way to stave off dehydration while filling you up and preventing you from overeating. It also gives you a small boost in metabolism! That being said, here are my recommendations for water:
- Drink an extra 6 cups* of water per day above what you usually do
- Drink two cups of cold water immediately after you wake up. A cup is about the size of your fist.
- Drink two cups of cold water before every meal (if you eat 3-4 meals).
- Drink enough water to keep your urine a very light yellow for most of the day.
- Drink water while you exercise and two cups of cold water for every pound that you lose while exercising to replace sweat lost.
If you can’t get yourself to drink this much water or don’t like the taste of water, try adding lemon juice to your water. The few Calories added from the lemon juice may negate the increase in metabolism, but at least you will be hydrated and less likely to overeat during your meal. In my opinion, even artificially sweetened beverages like flavored water, Crystal light, diet pop (may want to go with the caffeine free late at night), or zero-calorie sports drinks can be okay for this purpose if you aren’t ridiculous.
Photo Courtesy of Maher Dalal