Reduce the quantity of processed foods you consume. There are hidden sugars and fats, plus lots of chemical additives you’ll want to avoid. Read labels – if you need a science degree to understand the ingredients you probably shouldn’t eat it.
Reduce your salt intake, use only natural quality salt which is chemical free and contains minerals.
Add flavor with herbs, spices or lemon juice instead of adding salt.
Reduce you fat intake. Consume only healthy fats. Learn more about dietary fats
Eat fresh fruits and vegetables. Reduce the quantity of meat you consume. Look at the portions on your plate – make sure vegetables make up 75%.
The human body is mostly water trapped inside the fragile walls of cells.
We drink water to maintain the optimum level of hydration in our bodies, to flush the toxins out and cleanse the body, to cool off, to keep our joints lubricated and to assist in the food digestion process. Although they don’t realize it, most people are suffering from chronic dehydration.
The minimum daily recommended water intake is 2 liters, because this is how much water the body uses throughout the day through perspiration, respiration, urination and other bodily functions. Without replenishing lost water, the body goes into dehydration mode and all functions start to suffer. Water is essential to life and proper bodily function.
Your the metabolism is dependent on water to work properly. Without enough water, the process of breaking food down and converting it to energy slows down dramatically, which means that too few calories are burnt and little weight is lost. Not drinking enough water can be compared to “running on fumes” and if you’re dieting and you seem to have hit the plateau, then you are probably not drinking enough water. When the metabolism slows down, weight loss slows down even more dramatically, especially since exercising becomes less effective as the body’s energy levels diminish.
Water also plays an important part in the process of digestion and elimination of toxins. Not drinking enough water is a one-way ticket to constipation and a host of other problems of the intestines. Poor digestion means that you will not get enough energy from the food you’re eating. This will prompt the body to ask for more food and this is how the weight loss process stops and the weight gain process begins. A dehydrated body sends out fake hunger pangs, thus tempting you to forget about the diet and eat more food than you should. Thirst is often mistaken for hunger.
Not to mention that water is also a good filler. If you want to eat less food, drink a tall glass of water half an hour before every meal. The water will fill a large part of your stomach and the body will be content to feel that the stomach is not empty. This is not idle speculation, but a sound advice whose effectiveness can be confirmed by many dietitians and weight loss experts. Nobody can overeat with half of the stomach filled with water, your brain will signal to you: “Seems like we’re almost full. We don’t need that much food, so cut it short this evening”.
Keep in mind that in order to reap the benefits of drinking enough water, you will want to spread the intake throughout the day. Don’t drink 2 liters of water all at once because the body will simply flush the excess and a lot of it will simply be wasted. Also, you don’t need to restrict yourself to water. Fruit juices, tea and coffee count as liquids that can be used by the body for hydration, although fruit juice has lots of sugar and calories so it’s probably best not to overdo it. Alcohol is out of the question, because alcohol has the opposite effect on the body. Don’t be afraid that drinking a lot of water will make you retain fluid. It’s dehydration, not abundance, which forces the body to hang on to what it has.
If you find water a bit boring, add a squeeze of lemon juice to each glass – it helps cleanse your system.
Of course it’s preferable to drink filtered, purified water using a system like the Hexagon water filter.
Trying to lose weight? You’ve stuck to your diet and stalled on a weight loss plateau? The first thing to check is your water intake. Research suggests that most people unknowingly suffer from mild, chronic dehydration, and you could be one of them!
So why should you care? Because water is an essential ingredient for your weight loss. In fact, water is needed for a wide range of the body’s biochemical processes, but lets just look at what water does for dieters:
Water is essential for your body to metabolize stored fat into energy. Your body’s metabolism can be slowed by even relatively mild levels of dehydration. The slower your metabolism, the slower your weight loss (and the greater your fatigue), until eventually your weight loss just crawls to a halt, and you hit the dreaded diet plateau.
Water is a natural appetite suppressant. In the hypothalamus, a region in your brain that controls appetites and cravings, the control centers for hunger and thirst are located next to each other, and there tends to be some overlap. This has both advantages and disadvantages for the dieter: on the down side, it means that chronic mild dehydration can confuse these control mechanisms, leading to feelings of hunger, rather than thirst. But on a positive note, it means you can use water to reduce your appetite. For example, in one University of Washington study, drinking a glass of water reduced nighttime hunger cravings for most of the dieters studied.
Water is an essential component of the processes that enable muscle to contract. This means that water helps to maintain muscle tone. Better muscle tone means a better looking body, and isn’t that what dieting and weight loss is about?
Water also helps to prevent the sagging skin that often follows weight loss – water plumps the skin cells, giving the skin a younger and healthier look.
Water helps rid the body of waste. During weight loss, the body has a lot more waste to get rid of, as a byproduct of all that metabolized fat. So adequate water is essential to your health while dieting.
Water can even help with constipation. When the body gets too little water, it siphons what it needs from within, particularly from the colon. This leads to constipation. But normal bowel function usually returns with adequate water intake.
More generally, mild dehydration can cause a number of health problems, in addition to your diet plateau. The symptoms of mild dehydration can include: –
Headaches & feeling light headed, as dehydration interferes with normal body processes, including waste disposal.
Fatigue, as the body’s metabolism is slowed – mild dehydration is probably the most common cause of daytime fatigue.
Hunger & cravings due to weakening of the thirst mechanism
Fluid retention as your body tries to hold on to the water it already has
Constipation, as the body works to conserve its internal water sources
Not a pretty picture, is it? But once you get your water in balance, you reach the “breakthrough point”, a concept pioneered by Dr. Peter Lindner, a California obesity expert. Once you’ve reached the breakthrough point, fluid retention eases, the liver and endocrine system start to function more effectively, you will start to regain your natural thirst and your hunger cravings will be significantly reduced. And so the end result of reaching and sustaining the breakthrough point in your water balance is that your body is able to metabolize fat more effectively.
So how much water should you drink daily, for a healthy and ‘adequate’ intake? First, a couple of basic principles:
The easiest way to tell if you are drinking enough water is to monitor the color of your urine: It should be clear or a very pale yellow in color. (but note that some supplements and medications may also affect your urine color).
Get in to the habit of drinking regular and adequate amounts of water. Never wait to drink until you’re thirsty, because if you’re feeling thirsty, then dehydration has already started to occur!
Having said that, an adequate water intake for a sedentary but normal-weight adult during cool weather, is generally recognized as 8 x 8 oz glasses.
Remember, you need additional water in hot weather, when you lose more water through sweat.
You also need additional water when you exercise. Athletes attempt to enhance their performance by maintaining an optimal fluid balance while exercising, estimated to require 6 to 12 oz of fluid at 15 to 20 minute intervals. Even if you’re not concerned about your athletic performance, you should consume a similar amount of water when exercising, in order to maintain adequate hydration.
And if you’re overweight, you’ll need an extra glass of water for each 25 pounds overweight, because the extra weight creates extra metabolic demand
But how do you manage to drink so much water? A typical recommendation from the weight loss experts is 3 glasses of water with every meal. That’s 3 glasses with breakfast, 3 with lunch, and 3 with dinner. Plus, of course, additional regular water between meals when you’re exercising or when its hot. It’s quite daunting to drink 3 glasses at a sitting, so spread them out, drink 1 glass 10-20 minutes before a meal, 1 glass during your meal (I recommend adding a squeeze of lemon juice), 1 glass after your meal. Plus it helps to replenish your hydration levels if your drink water after each visit to the restroom. Plus after brushing your teeth. These “events” are just reminder triggers.
So if you’re dieting, stalled on a weight loss plateau, or suffering some of the classic symptoms of dehydration, do, first of all, ensure that you have an adequate water intake. It could be the ‘missing ingredient’ in your diet regime.