Weight loss has almost become a national past-time. According to the Boston Medical Center, approximately 45 million Americans diet each year.
Among the fad, unsafe and dubious weight loss products, one beverage stands out from all the others. Unbelievable as it may seem, water is the single most important catalyst in losing weight and keeping it off.
In fact, water may be the only true "magic potion" for permanent weight loss.
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 an increase in water intake can actually reduce fat deposits. How? The kidneys can't function properly without enough water. When the kidneys don't 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 do part of the kidney's work, it can't perform it's primary duty (metabolizing stored fat into usable energy) as efficiently. As a result it metabolizes less fat, causing more fat to remain stored in the body, and weight loss stops.
Drinking enough water is the best treatment for fluid retention. When the body gets less water, it perceives this as a threat to survival and begins to store every single drop. Water is stored in extra cellular spaces, outside the cells. Fluid retention often shows up as swollen feet, legs and hands. Diuretics offer a temporary solution at best. They force out stored water, but the body perceives this as a threat and will replace the lost water at the first opportunity. The best way to overcome the problem of water retention is to give the body what it needs: plenty of water. Only then will the stored water be released. If you have a constant problem with water retention, excess salt may be to blame. Your body will tolerate a certain amount of sodium. After that, the more salt you eat, the more water your system retains to dilute it. Luckily, getting rid of unnecessary salt is easy - just drink more water. As water is moved through the kidneys, it takes away excess sodium.
Water helps maintain proper muscle tone by giving muscles their natural ability to contract and by preventing dehydration. It can also help combat sagging skin that often follows weight loss; shrinking cells are buoyed by water, which plumps the skin and leaves it clear, healthy, and resilient.
Water helps rid the body of waste. During weight loss, the body has a lot more waste to get rid of - all the metabolized fat must be shed. Again, adequate water helps flush out the waste. Water can also potentially help relieve constipation. When the body gets too little water, it siphons what it needs from internal sources. The colon is one primary source, which results in constipation. Drinking water can often help return bowel function to normal.
How much water is enough??
On the average, a person should drink eight 8-ounce glasses every day. That's about 2 quarts.
However, the overweight person needs one additional glass for every 25 pounds of excess weight. Larger people have larger metabolic loads. Since we know that water is the key to fat metabolism, it follows that the overweight person needs more water.
The amount you drink also should be increased if you exercise briskly or if the weather is hot and dry.
Water should preferably be cold - it's absorbed into the system more quickly than warm water. And some evidence suggests that drinking cold water can actually help burn calories.
For fun tips on how to fit 8 glasses of water into your day, visit Dottie's Weight Loss Zone.