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Guide To Water and Weight Loss

How Water Is Related To Weight Loss

Water Contains Zero Calories

Because the calorie-content of water is zero, drinking water instead of milk, fruit juices or regular sodas helps to lower the calorie content of your diet and thus helps weight reduction. That said, water contains no nutrition either. By comparison, soft drinks like milk and fruit juice have significant nutritional content. Milk is a good source of calcium and protein, while citrus fruit juice (like orange or grapefruit juice) is an excellent source of vitamin C. In fact, one glass of citrus fruit juice can meet all your daily vitamin C needs.

Water Can Fill You Up

Some dieters find it helpful to drink a glass of water when they feel hungry between meals, or just before a meal. However, I do not recommend this as a regular appetite-reduction tactic. Firstly, because hunger is an important indicator of low blood sugar, which water can do nothing to correct. And if blood sugar falls too low, it can lead to irresistible urges to eat junk food or binge. Secondly, drinking water purely to fill up your stomach is merely an artificial short-term measure which does nothing to help create the sort of eating habits that are essential for long term weight control.

Nutritional Alternatives to Water

If you wish to increase your fluid intake, a good option is to eat more fruit, like any citrus fruit. As stated above, as well as being rich in water, these foods are highly nutritious and rich in fiber. They help to fill up your stomach, satisfy your sweet tooth and boost your intake of vitamin C. Eating fruit is definitely a great eating habit to increase your chances of losing weight without regain.

Low Sodium Diets Reduce Water Retention

The body maintains a healthy fluid balance by a complex cell mechanism involving sodium, potassium and other electrolytes. In simple terms, if you eat too much salt (sodium) you will retain more water, leading to weight gain. Anyone who suffers from fluid retention and accompanying swelling (edema), especially women who experience premenstrual symptoms (PMS) or obese men with high blood pressure, is advised by dietitians to follow a low sodium diet (eg. the DASH diet). Ideally, limit your intake to 1000 milligrams of sodium per day, until the water retention eases.

Low Carb Diets Reduce Water Retention

Very low carb weight loss plans also reduce fluid retention, but not in a healthy way. In simple terms, because carbohydrate binds with water in the body, the fewer carbs you eat the less ‘water weight’ you carry. To many dieters this sounds a very effective way of reducing weight. Unfortunately, as soon as you return to eating a normal diet, the water weight returns. Meantime, by not eating healthy carbohydrate, most low carb dieters run an increased risk of nutritional deficiency. And an unhealthy body frequently leads to an inefficient metabolism and slower weight reduction.

Best Way To Reduce Excess Fluid Retention

Here are three tips to reduce unnecessary water retention.

  • Reduce your sodium intake, (to 1000-3500 mg per day).
  • Raise your calcium intake, (to 1200-1350 mg per day).
  • Drink plenty of fluids, (8-10 glasses of water per day).
  • Eat plenty of diuretic fruit and vegetables.
  • The healthier your daily diet, the less water retention you’ll have.
  • For more, see Diet To Reduce Fluid Retention
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