After indulging during the holiday season, many people focus on healthier diets at the start of the new year. Diets come in all shapes and sizes. Some are complex, some are simple, and some are just fads. Whether it involves exercising, monitoring portion control, eliminating sugar and carbohydrates, or eating every other day, the one constant for weight loss is drinking water.
Water is an important part of dieting because of its health benefits. Along with good nutrition and exercise, water is essential for digestion and elimination. It helps remove toxins, carry nutrients to cells, and prevent dehydration, which is all necessary for healthy weight loss. Additionally, it assists the body in metabolizing and burning fat. Since it does not contain calories, fat, or cholesterol, and is low in sodium, water is a natural appetite suppressant.
How exactly is water effective in losing weight? Metabolizing fat is a primary function of the liver. Since the liver is unable to perform at its peak when helping the kidneys function, less body fat is digested and more is stored. Without sufficient water, the liver cannot be productive and break down fat efficiently, causing it to be stored in the body.
This leads to weight gain and water retention. When the body does not get enough water, it retains what it has and stores it. When the body gets a sufficient supply of water, it releases the water it has been holding since there is no longer a reason to store it. Thus, to reduce fat and lose weight, plenty of clean water is needed to maintain kidney and liver functions.
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How much water is needed?
Research shows that it is essential to drink at least eight glasses of water a day or one cup (200~250ml/per cup) for every 20 pounds of body weight to maintain optimum health. When dieting and exercising, more water is needed to replenish the water lost while working out. Most importantly, it should be pure water. While coffee, tea, fruit juice, and other beverages consist mainly of water, the body needs pure water to fully hydrate and rid the body of toxins. The color of urine is an ideal indicator of the body’s hydration. The paler the color the more hydrated; the darker the color the more dehydrated.
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Besides successful dieting, the health benefits of drinking clean water go well beyond hydration and weight loss. Water plays a key role in overall wellbeing, because it contributes to how every cell, tissue, and organ in the body functions. Studies report that people can live for weeks without food, but just a few days without water because the body is made up of approximately 60% water. Additionally, being dehydrated affects people physically as well as mentally. Good hydration acts as a fuel for energy, stamina, and memory, which ultimately leads to a healthier and happier life.
As people increase their water intake for personal weight loss, nutrition, and overall good health, they should be conscious of the impact it could have on the environment. Large amounts of consumer plastics, like plastic water bottles, contaminate the marine environment every day, harming water supplies and water quality. Pollution has become one of the most widespread problems for the world’s ocean and waterways. By recycling plastic water bottles, reducing waste by using products with less packaging, and choosing reusable items over disposable ones, people can maintain good health for themselves as well as for the environment.
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