Water has been labeled the single most important catalyst in losing weight and keeping it off. Although most of us take it for granted, water plays an important role in long-term weight management. How does it do it? Water suppresses the appetite naturally and helps the body metabolize stored fat. Studies have shown that a decrease in water intake will cause fat deposits to increase, while and increase in water intake actually can reduce fat deposits. The important thing to know is that the kidneys cannot function properly without enough water. When they do not work to capacity, some of their load is dumped onto the liver. One of the liver's primary functions is to metabolize stored fat into usable energy for the body. If the liver has to perform some of the kidney's work, it cannot operate effectively. As a result, the liver metabolizes less fat, and more fat remains stored in the body which means weight loss stops. Water is also needed for the production of waste material. During weight loss, the body has a lot more waste to get rid of. All that metabolized fat must be shed. Again, adequate water helps flush out the waste.
So, if you don't drink enough water to be in "fluid balance," as doctors call it, you can impair every aspect of your body's physiological function. And the more you exercise, the more water you need to keep your body in fluid balance. People who fail to drink enough water encounter many health problems to include excess body fat, poor muscle tone and size, decreased digestive efficiency and organ function, increased toxicity in the body, joint and muscle soreness (especially after exercise) and water retention.
Symptoms of Dehydration
Early signs of dehydration include headache, fatigue, loss of appetite, flushed skin, heat intolerance, light-headedness, dry mouth and eyes, burning sensation in the stomach and dark urine with strong odor. Signs of more advanced, severe dehydration include difficulty swallowing, clumsiness, shriveled skin, sunken eyes and dim vision, painful urination, numb skin, muscle spasms and delirium.
The National Research Council recommends fluid intake of 1 ml/kcal energy expenditure for adults living under average conditions of energy expenditure and environmental exposure. For average males, this is the equivalent of 2,900 ml (12 cups) fluid per day and for average females, 2,200 ml (9 cups) fluid per day. Overweight people need one additional glass for every 25 pounds of excess weight.
As you can see, water consumption is an extremely healthy way to enhance your life and help you naturally lose weight. Drink more water!
For individualized meal plans and nutrition counseling, make an appointment with a Registered Dietitian.