Just about any weight loss program you go on - regardless of its view on fats and carbs - emphasizes drinking 8 glasses or more of water a day. Why is this so key? And how can you accomplish it?
Isn't 8 Glasses A Lot?
At first glance, drinking 8 glasses of water during a day seems almost impossible. How could you possibly get that much water into you? But you will be amazed at how easy it is if you simply keep water NEAR you. Have a glass with breakfast, lunch and dinner. I can easily go through 2 or 3 glasses during dinner. So that's already 3-5 glasses.
Then, while you work or watch TV or go through your day, keep a glass or bottle handy. Your body always loves water! If that glass is next to you, you will amaze yourself with how quickly the glass empties. Really, it's not that 8 glasses is "a lot". It's that normally we are dehydrating our bodies by not providing them with the water they crave!
Tips for Drinking 8 Glasses of Water
Like I said, make sure you have a big glass of water with each meal. Keep bottled water in the car. Carry a bottle with you to class. Keep a glass of water on your desk. Have a glass by you when you watch TV. If the water is there next to you, it'll probably be drunk. The more you do it, the more a part of your life it'll be. It's at the point now that if I go to a restaurant and they aren't refilling my water glass, I get thirsty very quickly!
Won't I Bloat Up with Water?
Actually, your body grabs onto water if it thinks it is in a *water shortage* situation. If you aren't drinking enough water, your body conserves every drop it has, leading to bloating. But if you are drinking healthy amounts of water, your body no longer panics and hoards it. Instead, it lets the water flush out of your system as you drink it. So actually the way to FIGHT bloating is to drink more water.
Salt is known to cause water bloating, so definitely try to keep your salt intake down to a reasonable level.
Why is 8 Glasses Important?
Water is of course important to your body's function in many, many ways. Your body is 75% water and its systems are designed to use water in every stage. Your very cells need water to do their normal processes. Water helps you feel "full", so you don't crave foods and don't eat as much when you are eating.
But for weight loss in particular, water plays a key role. Your kidneys use water to help filter the blood of excess material - including excess fat that has been pulled out of your fat reserves. Your liver, on the other hand, is directly in charge of metabolizing your fat.
So if your poor kidneys don't have enough water to help them do their filtering, then they have trouble filtering. Meaning fat stays in your blood stream. Your liver tries to help out, also having trouble because of this lack of water. And if your liver is choking and spluttering its way through handling your blood, it doesn't have time to think about doing anything with fat. Meaning your fat just sits there, never leaving your belly, thighs and butt.
Long term, water also helps skin retain its elasticity. So as you lose weight, drinking lots of water helps your skin 'shrink back' to fit your new, slimmer body. Water also helps fight constipation!
The moral of the story - drink lots of water! It is CRITICAL to losing weight.
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