Water: A Slimming Drinking Habit

Reviewed Jan 3, 2017

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Summary

If your kidneys don’t get enough water, the liver has to help do their job. This slows down the liver’s work of metabolizing stored fat in the body.

Are you a water drinker? Although the age-old recommendation of 64 ounces a day has come under scrutiny, you should at least drink enough water to satisfy your thirst and produce urine that is clear. Even this can be difficult for some of us. Perhaps more people would drink water if they knew it might lead to weight loss. If you’d like to drop a few pounds, take a good look at your water drinking habits.

Here’s to your health

When it comes to drinking water, your No. 1 concern is the healthy state of your body. The body is comprised largely of water—every cell and system needs proper hydration. Consider a few examples of water’s role in your health:

  • Regulates kidneys—flushes out toxins
  • Maintains metabolism and body temperature
  • Prevents water retention
  • Nourishes the skin and lubricates joints
  • Helps combat fatigue

A glance at some of water’s functions in your body makes it easy to grasp a few symptoms of mild dehydration:

  • Water retention
  • Dry, itchy skin
  • Joint pain
  • Fatigue and irritability

A toast for weight loss

You’ve accepted that water is vital to your health. So how do water’s many functions factor in to your weight? If your kidneys don’t get enough water, the liver has to help do their job. This slows down the liver’s work of metabolizing stored fat in the body. Also, if your body perceives the threat of improper hydration, it automatically retains more water to help itself function—thus, you carry excess pounds of water weight. If you want to see whether insufficient water intake is causing some of your extra pounds, commit to the following program:

  • Drink water, without fail, throughout the day.
  • Add a daily glass for every 25 pounds you are above your ideal weight.
  • Drink water before, during, and after exercise.
  • If you crave a snack outside of your regular meal times, drink a glass of water and wait 10 minutes: the craving might pass.
  • Drink cold water; the body absorbs it faster than warm water.

If this advice distresses you, it probably means you don’t like to drink water. You might even have trained yourself not to recognize thirst anymore. Keep the following in mind:

  • If you start drinking water regularly, you will begin to develop a thirst for it.
  • Some of your feelings of hunger might really be the body’s cry for water.
  • It’s OK to add a wedge of lemon to your water if that helps you drink it.
  • Expect more frequent urination at first, but this declines over time.

Too much of a good thing

A caution is necessary at this point. As wonderful and vital as water is to your health and weight loss, you can drink too much of it. The above program is sufficient for most people’s needs, but be sure to ask your doctor if you have any concerns, especially if you have kidney problems. Don’t go overboard and start drinking significantly more than the amounts recommended above or you risk over hydrating or water intoxication—when the body takes in more water than it can excrete and sodium levels drop too much. According to Maureen Haggerty, who writes for the Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine, an adult whose heart, kidneys, and pituitary gland are functioning properly would have to drink more than two gallons of water a day to cause water intoxication. She describes the risks of over hydration as follows:

  • Electrolyte imbalance
  • Digestive problems
  • Behavioral changes
  • Brain damage—seizures or coma

One more for the road

With the benefits and cautions well in mind, it’s time for you to attend to your own water drinking habits. Only you know whether you need to post reminders on your desk, refrigerator, or wherever you’ll be prompted to drink water. If it helps, fill a large cooler jug with ice water and sip or pour from it throughout the day. How about a drinking buddy—someone to hold you accountable in your efforts to drink more water?

If you’re not crazy about water, be patient. In time you’ll train your body to truly thirst for it. Try to see this as a healthy challenge, and start drinking.

Resource

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
www.eatright.org

By Laurie M. Stewart
Source: W. Hall, MD. (2001) "Are you drinking enough?" Journal of Gerontology and American Family Physicians; Sal D'Onofrio (1999) "Drinking Enough Water?"; Maureen Haggerty "Overhydration." Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine; "Why Should You Drink More Water?" Canadian Medical Journal (1994).
Reviewed by Maria F. Rodowski-Stanco, MD, Associate Medical Director, Beacon Health Options

Summary

If your kidneys don’t get enough water, the liver has to help do their job. This slows down the liver’s work of metabolizing stored fat in the body.

Are you a water drinker? Although the age-old recommendation of 64 ounces a day has come under scrutiny, you should at least drink enough water to satisfy your thirst and produce urine that is clear. Even this can be difficult for some of us. Perhaps more people would drink water if they knew it might lead to weight loss. If you’d like to drop a few pounds, take a good look at your water drinking habits.

Here’s to your health

When it comes to drinking water, your No. 1 concern is the healthy state of your body. The body is comprised largely of water—every cell and system needs proper hydration. Consider a few examples of water’s role in your health:

  • Regulates kidneys—flushes out toxins
  • Maintains metabolism and body temperature
  • Prevents water retention
  • Nourishes the skin and lubricates joints
  • Helps combat fatigue

A glance at some of water’s functions in your body makes it easy to grasp a few symptoms of mild dehydration:

  • Water retention
  • Dry, itchy skin
  • Joint pain
  • Fatigue and irritability

A toast for weight loss

You’ve accepted that water is vital to your health. So how do water’s many functions factor in to your weight? If your kidneys don’t get enough water, the liver has to help do their job. This slows down the liver’s work of metabolizing stored fat in the body. Also, if your body perceives the threat of improper hydration, it automatically retains more water to help itself function—thus, you carry excess pounds of water weight. If you want to see whether insufficient water intake is causing some of your extra pounds, commit to the following program:

  • Drink water, without fail, throughout the day.
  • Add a daily glass for every 25 pounds you are above your ideal weight.
  • Drink water before, during, and after exercise.
  • If you crave a snack outside of your regular meal times, drink a glass of water and wait 10 minutes: the craving might pass.
  • Drink cold water; the body absorbs it faster than warm water.

If this advice distresses you, it probably means you don’t like to drink water. You might even have trained yourself not to recognize thirst anymore. Keep the following in mind:

  • If you start drinking water regularly, you will begin to develop a thirst for it.
  • Some of your feelings of hunger might really be the body’s cry for water.
  • It’s OK to add a wedge of lemon to your water if that helps you drink it.
  • Expect more frequent urination at first, but this declines over time.

Too much of a good thing

A caution is necessary at this point. As wonderful and vital as water is to your health and weight loss, you can drink too much of it. The above program is sufficient for most people’s needs, but be sure to ask your doctor if you have any concerns, especially if you have kidney problems. Don’t go overboard and start drinking significantly more than the amounts recommended above or you risk over hydrating or water intoxication—when the body takes in more water than it can excrete and sodium levels drop too much. According to Maureen Haggerty, who writes for the Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine, an adult whose heart, kidneys, and pituitary gland are functioning properly would have to drink more than two gallons of water a day to cause water intoxication. She describes the risks of over hydration as follows:

  • Electrolyte imbalance
  • Digestive problems
  • Behavioral changes
  • Brain damage—seizures or coma

One more for the road

With the benefits and cautions well in mind, it’s time for you to attend to your own water drinking habits. Only you know whether you need to post reminders on your desk, refrigerator, or wherever you’ll be prompted to drink water. If it helps, fill a large cooler jug with ice water and sip or pour from it throughout the day. How about a drinking buddy—someone to hold you accountable in your efforts to drink more water?

If you’re not crazy about water, be patient. In time you’ll train your body to truly thirst for it. Try to see this as a healthy challenge, and start drinking.

Resource

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
www.eatright.org

By Laurie M. Stewart
Source: W. Hall, MD. (2001) "Are you drinking enough?" Journal of Gerontology and American Family Physicians; Sal D'Onofrio (1999) "Drinking Enough Water?"; Maureen Haggerty "Overhydration." Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine; "Why Should You Drink More Water?" Canadian Medical Journal (1994).
Reviewed by Maria F. Rodowski-Stanco, MD, Associate Medical Director, Beacon Health Options

Summary

If your kidneys don’t get enough water, the liver has to help do their job. This slows down the liver’s work of metabolizing stored fat in the body.

Are you a water drinker? Although the age-old recommendation of 64 ounces a day has come under scrutiny, you should at least drink enough water to satisfy your thirst and produce urine that is clear. Even this can be difficult for some of us. Perhaps more people would drink water if they knew it might lead to weight loss. If you’d like to drop a few pounds, take a good look at your water drinking habits.

Here’s to your health

When it comes to drinking water, your No. 1 concern is the healthy state of your body. The body is comprised largely of water—every cell and system needs proper hydration. Consider a few examples of water’s role in your health:

  • Regulates kidneys—flushes out toxins
  • Maintains metabolism and body temperature
  • Prevents water retention
  • Nourishes the skin and lubricates joints
  • Helps combat fatigue

A glance at some of water’s functions in your body makes it easy to grasp a few symptoms of mild dehydration:

  • Water retention
  • Dry, itchy skin
  • Joint pain
  • Fatigue and irritability

A toast for weight loss

You’ve accepted that water is vital to your health. So how do water’s many functions factor in to your weight? If your kidneys don’t get enough water, the liver has to help do their job. This slows down the liver’s work of metabolizing stored fat in the body. Also, if your body perceives the threat of improper hydration, it automatically retains more water to help itself function—thus, you carry excess pounds of water weight. If you want to see whether insufficient water intake is causing some of your extra pounds, commit to the following program:

  • Drink water, without fail, throughout the day.
  • Add a daily glass for every 25 pounds you are above your ideal weight.
  • Drink water before, during, and after exercise.
  • If you crave a snack outside of your regular meal times, drink a glass of water and wait 10 minutes: the craving might pass.
  • Drink cold water; the body absorbs it faster than warm water.

If this advice distresses you, it probably means you don’t like to drink water. You might even have trained yourself not to recognize thirst anymore. Keep the following in mind:

  • If you start drinking water regularly, you will begin to develop a thirst for it.
  • Some of your feelings of hunger might really be the body’s cry for water.
  • It’s OK to add a wedge of lemon to your water if that helps you drink it.
  • Expect more frequent urination at first, but this declines over time.

Too much of a good thing

A caution is necessary at this point. As wonderful and vital as water is to your health and weight loss, you can drink too much of it. The above program is sufficient for most people’s needs, but be sure to ask your doctor if you have any concerns, especially if you have kidney problems. Don’t go overboard and start drinking significantly more than the amounts recommended above or you risk over hydrating or water intoxication—when the body takes in more water than it can excrete and sodium levels drop too much. According to Maureen Haggerty, who writes for the Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine, an adult whose heart, kidneys, and pituitary gland are functioning properly would have to drink more than two gallons of water a day to cause water intoxication. She describes the risks of over hydration as follows:

  • Electrolyte imbalance
  • Digestive problems
  • Behavioral changes
  • Brain damage—seizures or coma

One more for the road

With the benefits and cautions well in mind, it’s time for you to attend to your own water drinking habits. Only you know whether you need to post reminders on your desk, refrigerator, or wherever you’ll be prompted to drink water. If it helps, fill a large cooler jug with ice water and sip or pour from it throughout the day. How about a drinking buddy—someone to hold you accountable in your efforts to drink more water?

If you’re not crazy about water, be patient. In time you’ll train your body to truly thirst for it. Try to see this as a healthy challenge, and start drinking.

Resource

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
www.eatright.org

By Laurie M. Stewart
Source: W. Hall, MD. (2001) "Are you drinking enough?" Journal of Gerontology and American Family Physicians; Sal D'Onofrio (1999) "Drinking Enough Water?"; Maureen Haggerty "Overhydration." Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine; "Why Should You Drink More Water?" Canadian Medical Journal (1994).
Reviewed by Maria F. Rodowski-Stanco, MD, Associate Medical Director, Beacon Health Options

The information provided on the Achieve Solutions site, including, but not limited to, articles, quizzes and other general information, is for informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical or health care advice. Nothing contained on the Achieve Solutions site is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or as a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care professional. Please direct questions regarding the operation of the Achieve Solutions site to Web Feedback. If you have concerns about your health, please contact your health care provider.  ©2017 Beacon Health Options, Inc.

 

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