In many of my articles I stress the benefits of keeping hydrated with regards to losing weight. This article is dedicated to drinking water and why you shouldn’t take it for granted. In particular I hope you pay attention as it’s really important that you follow this advice for efficient fat loss.
3 Reasons To Drink More Plain Water or Risk Weight Loss Success
The main constituent of the human body (and other living organisms) is H2O – water. Without water life on earth would not exist, at least not in any form you wouldn’t consider alien. So even from a metaphysical point of view it’s vital that we take hydration seriously.
- A dehydrated body functions inefficiently - This is extremely important if you want to exercise and hope to burn fat. Exercising whilst dehydrated greatly decreases your workout effectiveness, meaning you burn less fat and don’t achieve you fitness goal efficiently. Being dehydrated also affects your concentration and causes fatigue, headaches and dizziness. A lot of people are walking around right now dehydrated and not knowing so, they are used to it.
- Soft drinks, alcoholic drinks and caffeinated drinks are NOT good for weight loss – Soft drinks contain sugar, high calorific content and the easiest carbohydrates to digest and be absorbed into the bloodstream. Alcoholic drinks also have high calorific content and even more so for cocktails (often contains extra sugar), alcohol also makes you pass more water making you dehydrated. Caffeine also makes you pass more water.
- You brain confuses thirst and hunger – It’s been found that the brain doesn’t distinguish between the sensations of hunger and thirst, so oftentimes when you think you are hungry you actually need to have some water. This is likely the case between meals.
Before I took the time to find out about the effects of water on the body I had a vague idea of reasons 1 and 2, but absolutely no clue regarding 3. It’s fascinating that the hypothalamus (the part of the brain which controls thirst and hunger) sends the same prompt whether we are needing food or water.
To ensure that I don’t suffer from any of the above – dehydration, unwanted calorie intake and false hunger – I devised some rules to follow.
3 Rules For Drinking Water (No Kidding, I Follow These Rules Everyday)
There was a time when I drank large amounts of soft drinks, caffeinated drinks and alcoholic drinks. But these habits gradually went out the window when I found out how bad they were for my body, they were also stopping me from losing my last ounces of excess fat.
With a lot of effort I found a way to drink water the way I realized I had to, and it turns out that by setting a 3 rules for myself was all it took. As with all rules they can be broken, occasionally.
- Drink 2 cups of water when I wake up each morning – To hydrate your body after a night of fasting, because a hydrated body functions efficiently. And you’ll feel better, reduce morning sluggishness and give concentration a kick start.
- Drink 2 cups of water 30 minutes before each meal AND 1 cup between meals - Helps to reduce your appetite so that you don’t over eat. I never grew out of my teenage appetite and so over ate at almost every meal until I started going by this rule. Drinking 1 cup of water between meals ensures that I’m well hydrated, which also reduces any thirst/hunger signals sent from my brain.
- Only drink plain or enhanced water (Please see below for my water enhancing recipes) – Avoiding all other liquids with calories is important for losing weight. It’s way too easy to misjudge the amount of sugar you are consuming when you are drinking it. Apart from unwanted calories sugar makes your blood glucose level fluctuate a lot, it makes you hungry between meals and impedes the fat burning mechanism.
This may all seem a bit too strict, but I assure you it becomes second nature after as little as a few days. Once you get used to it you’ll wonder why you never did it before.
If you’re not used to drinking plain water and find it boring or hate the taste (not that it tastes of much) then read on, I have some solutions.
How To Make Water Taste Delicious and Fun
So I knew that I had to start replacing what I use to drink with plain water, but plain water is boring! Drinking water became a chore, which is ridiculous. But how do you make chores easier and more enjoyable? You make it more fun and interesting.
I searched for way to make water taste interesting, and devised ways to make drinking water into a game.
Super recipes for tasty water without adding calories
OK you might add a few calories in the making of these delicious drinks but the amount is negligible, unless you plan to drink an impossible amount of them.
Mint, ice and lime
- Grab a glass
- Fill it with some ice cubes
- Crush a couple of mint leave between your fingers and place in the glass
- Squeeze in a quarter of a lime
- Pour on some still or carbonated water and enjoy!
There are a whole host of herbal teas you can try, and they are a great alternative to tea and coffee. Perfect for a cold day, or alternatively you can leave it to cool and serve with ice on a hot day.
You can get hold of a large variety of dried herbal teas from local shops either as teabag or as loose dried leaves and flowers. If you want to try freshly picked herbs and flowers then you can do that too. All are to be infused in freshly boiled water for around 5 minutes.
- Chamomile – A really good one to have on a cold day, it’s calming and soothing and with a sweet fragrance. Highly recommended just before bed, as the calming effect helps you fall asleep quickly.
- Mint – I have yet to meet someone who dislikes mint
- Ginger – This one is fiery when made with fresh ginger, and works very well with a few drops of lemon juice. Ginger is great for calming the stomach, and prevent nausea. It’s generally good for the gastrointestinal system. Make sure to leave the skin on as that is where most of the potency is. Use boiling water which helps release more flavor, and leave to infuse for as long as you wish.
- Peppermint – Has an amazing smell and refreshing taste.
- Green tea and lemongrass – This contains real tea, but green tea is actually really good for you and conducive to weight loss. Green tea goes really well with lemongrass, I love it.
Make Drinking Water a Bit More Fun
You may think it’s impossible to make anything to do with water fun unless it’s at a swimming pool. But when you set your mind to it anything can be made fun or at least much more interesting.
- Try a new herbal tea everyday – Experiment with the vast variety of infusions available to you. Use combinations of herbs, and even use small amounts of spices to spruce it up. Adding small quantities of honey is can enhance flavor greatly without adding significant amount of calories.
- Use a funky straw – Get yourself a cool straw, it’ll make drinking water much less about the water and more about the straw. In fact get a whole set of different ones.
- Use cool glasses – You can serve your tasty water in a cool glass. It could be a scary goblet or a retro stein, a beer mug or a tankard. Get a set of these and start using them.
I know these ideas may seem trivial and silly, but trust me adding little touches makes things more fun and interesting. Stay hydrated.