Health

Water and weight loss

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When it comes to water and weight loss it pays to drink up and be water wise. Water can offer a host of benefits for your body, many of which support your weight loss efforts. Let’s explore a little closer.

No joule

Water contains no kilojoules and therefore does not affect your daily energy intake or kilojoule total. A smart strategy for weight loss is to switch from drinking high kilojoule beverages like soft drinks, cordials and juices to plain mineral, soda or tap water. For some people this alone can add up to significant kilojoule savings, enough to result in gradual weight loss without any other lifestyle changes.

Hydrator

Water is the best all round hydrator and accounts for 50-80% of lean body mass. Dehydration of as little as 2% loss of body weight results in impaired physiological responses and performance. The reported health effects of chronic mild dehydration and poor fluid intake include increased risk of kidney stones, urinary tract cancers, colon cancer and oral health problems. Around 8-10 glasses of fluid are recommended each day for adults to maintain hydration.

Hunger buster

Recent research is also revealing that drinking water before a meal may be a smart strategy for weight loss. A study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association has shown that overweight participants who drank 2 cups of water before breakfast consumed significantly less kilojoules than study participants who did not drink the water. The researchers propose that drinking water may slow down or delay the emptying of the contents from the stomach. This in turn promotes a feeling of fullness for longer and reduces hunger at the meal. It’s also been proposed that feelings of thirst and hunger can be confused by the brain, so it pays to start a meal well hydrated.

Drink up

There are so many ways to get into the water habit:

  • Carry a small reusable water bottle in your handbag, car and gymbag.

  • Start each meal with a glass or 2 of water and place a family water jug on the table.

  • Wake up to a drink of hot water and sliced lemon each morning.

  • If your restaurant or coffee shop doesn’t provide water fro the table, ask every time.

  • Remember that you’ll need extra fluid in hot weather and when exercising for prolonged periods (over 1 hour) at a high intensity.

A cautionary tale

Be aware of hyponatremia…this is the main danger of excessive water intake which can result in nausea, collapse, loss of consciousness and even death. People at the greatest risk are participants in ultra endurance events who drink lots of water when their sweat rate is relatively low resulting in low sodium levels. To prevent this condition it is important to includes some salty foods or use a sports drink when you are exercising over an extended period of time.

YOUR SAY: Do you find drinking more water is helpful for weightloss? tell us below…

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