Water and Weight Loss
EAT Your Water!

Most Common Weight Loss Mistakes
Water and Weight Loss: Not Eating Enough Water

water cooler cartoon
That's right, eating...Keep reading...

If you've ever tried to lose weight you've likely been told that you should drink water to lose weight. I'd like to introduce you to a new notion...

Eating enough water is key to losing weight...

...eating enough water-rich foods that is.

Water and Weight Loss

Water has weight, but no calories.

That's important because you feel physically full only after you have a particular amount (that is, weight) of food in your stomach. If you eat "dense" foods (not a lot of water content...like bread, cereal, crackers, energy bars, nuts, meat, cheese) the calories rack up faster than water-rich foods (yogurt, fruit, vegetables, soup).

In other words, your stomach doesn't feel full from calories, it feels full from weight. Why not fool it with some weight that doesn't have calories!

(Now are you starting to see why water and weight loss are related?)

Water not only has weight, it helps food stick around longer

When water is bound to food, it slows down the absorption and gives a longer lasting feeling of fullness in your belly.

Imagine you had such a bad cold that you couldn't taste anything. You could eat a pound of strawberries or a pound of pretzels - each would make you feel equally satisfied and full...

...because in either case, you've eaten 1 pound of food.

However, the strawberries have fewer calories because their water content naturally displaces calories.

Eating a greater number of water-rich foods is a great way to be able to eat bigger portions and still lose weight...

You could eat 1 pound of strawberries for a snack and it will cost you less than 150 calories. Eat 6 pretzel rods (1/8 lb.) and you've downed over 200 calories.

curious guy

And if there was a whole bag available, would you really stop at 10?

More on calories and weight loss.

Calculate how many calories you need.

Get it? Foods with high water content increase the fullness factor and at the same time contribute fewer calories. Foods that have lots of water tend to look larger too and the higher volume of these foods provides greater oral stimulation.

Water and Weight Loss

Include These High Water Content Foods Regularly:

  • fruits
  • vegetables
  • broth based soups
  • oatmeal
  • yogurt

Important point: I'm not suggesting you have to eat these foods to the exclusion of all others. I just want you to eat proportionally more of them, that is, include more high water content foods at every meal...

...for example...

For breakfast, why not have

  • a bowl of berries sprinkled with cereal vs.
  • a bowl of cereal sprinkled with berries

This slight shift in thinking will save you hundreds of calories over the week, which will result in weight loss over time. And, you can enjoy eating greater volumes of food as you watch the pounds slip away!

At lunch, ask for lots of tomato slices (get crazy and even add a whole sliced tomato) and a little less turkey on your turkey sandwich. At dinner, how about making a main course of a hearty vegetable-filled soup rather than a dense serving of meat beside a little pile of cooked, dried-out vegetables?

How about a fruit smoothie for a snack?! When water is incorporated into food or shakes, satiety (a sense of fullness) is increased and you ultimately eat less food.

For more ideas and recipes, I highly recommend The Volumetrics Eating Plan and The Volumetrics Weight Control Plan by Barbara Roll, PhD.

The whole notion of Volumetrics is that there are ways to feel full without packing on the calories and pounds. Read my review!

Eat your water and weight loss will follow.

Drinking water and weight loss

Finally, no discussion of water and weight loss would be complete without a comment on how much fluid to actually drink.

Drinking water is always recommended for weight loss, despite the fact that water satisfies thirst and not hunger and despite the fact that thirst and hunger are regulated by entirely different mechanisms.

That being said, I personally swear by drinking a lot of fluid, and I professionally recommend it to all of my clients. After all, when you're drinking water, you're not quenching your thirst with unneeded calories!

Out with the Old, In with the New: New Water Guidelines
How Much Is Enough?

Are you making any more of the most common weight loss mistakes?

Avoid Getting TOO Hungry
Consider Alcohol Calories
Eat Sloooooowly
Eat Plenty of Fruits
Eat Enough Vegetables
Exercise FOR REAL
Get Enough Water
Kick "Quick" Weight Loss
Know What's On Your Plate
Quit Eating Haphazardly
Practice Portion Control

You were likely raised thinking you needed to drink eight 8 oz. glasses of water each day, in addition to any other drinks you might choose. However, new research has brought this into question and the latest recommendations from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) say you no longer need to worry about drinking specific amounts of water.

The new recommendations say healthy adults may use thirst to determine their fluid needs. Exceptions to this rule include anyone with a medical condition requiring fluid control, athletes, and people taking part in prolonged physical activities or whose living conditions are extreme.

The IOM report did not specify requirements for water but made general fluid intake recommendations of ~9 cups daily for women and 12.5 cups for men.

Fluid is technically anything that's liquid, so milk, juice, tea, coffee, etc. would technically fulfill fluid requirements. However, water, being calorie-free, is the ideal choice...

...particularly if you're trying to lose weight!

If you're unsure whether you're getting enough water or fluid, pay attention to signs of dehydration, such as dry mouth and concentrated urine, which indicate a need for more liquids.

Eat more water, drink more water, and enjoy your weight loss!

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