Water diets are currently fashionable, but like many diets, they are too low in calories to be healthy. Even worse, research has established that the majority of short-term diets are ineffective, simply because dieters put all the old weight back on once they revert to their old unhealthy eating and lifestyle habits.
If you want to lose your weight and keep it off permanently, you need a diet that you can adopt permanently, and this is where water is vital. Water has no magical weight loss properties, but it is an important ingredient in every good weight loss strategy. If you want to lose weight or even maintain a healthy weight, you must consume enough water.
How Water Contributes to Weight Loss
- Substitute water for caloric drinks like tea, coffee, carbonated soft drinks, fruit juice, and alcohol. This can cut hundreds of calories from your daily diet. While a cup of coffee contains only four calories, one teaspoon of sugar contains 16, and a bit of skim milk 12. Two cups of the lowest-calorie coffee therefore add 64 calories to your daily diet. Most carbonated soft drinks contain at least 10 teaspoons of sugar, so replacing it with water can save you 160 calories per drink. Each glass of wine contains 180 calories, which is roughly similar to a piece of chocolate. The contribution of water is therefore massive.
- Drink water five minutes before every meal. Research shows that people who drink water shortly before a meal eat between 75 and 90 calories less than those who do not. The water will make you feel full, which will help you to eat less. If you eat three times a day, you can cut 270 calories from your daily diet. If you eat five small meals a day, you might be able to cut over 400 daily calories. Best of all, this method requires no effort on your part. Compare it with the 40 minutes on the treadmill that helps you burn 400 calories, and you will realise how good it is.
- Drink refrigerated or room-temperature water to replace the hot drinks that most people consume throughout the day. Researchers have discovered that the body raises its metabolic rate for about an hour after drinking water, primarily because it needs to warm up the water to body temperature. This can burn between 10 and 20 calories per glass of water, which will enable you to burn at least 100 extra calories per day.
- Eat more water-rich food like fruit and leafy green vegetables; they almost always contain fewer calories than solid food. Instead of carrying energy bars in your handbag, carry fruits like apples and pears. Instead of taking sandwiches to work for lunch, take salad ingredients that you can mix at the office. If no refrigeration facilities are available at your office, invest in a good cooler bag to cool your fresh food and water. It will ultimately be worth it.
- Eat more foods that, though not naturally high in water, you must mix with water before eating. These include oatmeal for breakfast and broth-based soup (as opposed to creamy ones) for supper. They will make you feel full and you will be less likely to snack again soon after.
- Everyone knows that fibre is a necessary part of every good diet, but it is crucial to drink a lot of water with a high-fibre diet. Fibre can be either water-soluble or water-insoluble.
- Soluble fibre. Your body can digest this, but you need to drink a lot of water in which it can dissolve before it can be digested. Foods rich in soluble fibre include oats, barley, rye, root vegetables like carrots and potatoes, beans, dark green vegetables, and fruit.
- Insoluble fibre: Your body cannot digest this, but since it first attempts to break such fibre down before passing it to the bowels as waste, a lot of calories are burned to fuel these futile attempts. That is one reason why insoluble fibre is crucial to weight loss. Moreover, as it moves through your stomach and intestines, it absorbs water and increases in bulk to make you feel fuller. For this to happen, you must drink a lot of water. Foods rich in insoluble fibre includes wholemeal bread and cereals, bran, beans, dark green vegetables, and nuts and seeds.
While water may not contain any weight loss properties, it is nevertheless an essential ingredient in every effective and healthy diet.
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