Water is Awesome

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Question: Can water help me lose weight?

 

Answer: So water is not magical. It doesn’t have fat-blasting super powers or anything. But it IS pretty awesome and CAN help you with weight loss.

 

One of the very first things I ask my clients to do is to replace most, if not all, of their drinks with water (soda pop, juice, sweetened coffees, energy drinks, etc etc) and to start drinking as much of it as possible with the general goal of about a gallon a day. This change alone in your diet does lots of cool stuff including these immediate gems:

 

  • It gets rid of all the crap and chemicals that are literally poisoning you every time you ingest them - I’m mostly referring to pop/energy drinks here;

  • It gets rid of all that extra sugar that’s messing with your internal balance and cuts those unnecessary, useless calories from your daily consumption;

  • Most people are generally chronically dehydrated anyway (to some degree) so this is an immediate step in the right direction there; and so...

  • Your body is now able to start functioning better on the whole as a result. Tiny change. Huge payoff. Baaaaaaamm!

 

So by doing little things like drinking a nice big glass of water every morning and right before a meal, we start creating GOOD habits to replace bad ones. I know lots of people who not only drink coffee in the morning but also have a pop to “get them going”. What?!? We’ll NOT get into how bassackwards - I mean - counter-productive that is in this article, but we WILL talk about why drinking a large glass of water when you get up is a much better option. (And then by all means have your coffee Mr./Ms. CrabbyPants.) Every night as you sleep, your body isn’t in some weird zombie mode. It’s working hard repairing and restoring itself, building muscles and generally recouping from whatever you put it through the day before so it can get ready for whatever’s coming at it the next day! It’s been laying there for (hopefully at least) 6-8 hours un-fed, un-watered and neglected! Aaaahhh!! Calm down - it’s okay - don’t freak out. Our bods are made to work that way. (Phew!) But don’t feed it first thing with a can of sugary poison. (Actually - try not to do that ever.) A tall glass of H20 starts the day off right.

 

Another bad habit we’re working on replacing during a weight loss journey is overeating. Again, yes, water can definitely be a helpful tool in this goal. Not magic. But a good trick. We’ve become so out of tune with our own bodies that honestly, and I’m sure you’ve heard this before, half the time you’re reaching for a snack - you’re probably just thirsty.

 

Brain starts the conversation: “...I think I need something.”

Stomach and eyes are in cahoots - they’re all like: “Oooo! I saw some oreos in the cupboard!”

Brain’s like: “Um, I’m not sure if that’s the right…”

Bad habits/cravings are quite rude: “SHUT IT brain! Cookies sound great!”

Stomach: “I’m down with cookies!”

Bad habits/cravings: “See!? Baamm!”

Brain: “Ugh. I give up. Whatever.”

 

So we need to re-learn how to listen to poor ol’ Brain. He actually does know what he’s talking about. We just forgot how to listen. Drinking a big glass of water before every meal helps for sure. Fills up the tummy a little. If you’ve waited too long to eat, it quiets that “starving” feeling and allows you to eat slower and a bit less overall. And studies have shown time and again that groups employing the “water before meal” trick lose a few pounds more than the groups who do not.

 

Other than that, drinking water is cool and you should do it because I said so. No good? Fair enough. In that case, we’ll end here with some additional science-based reasons you should be drinking up. So get hydrated people!!

 

  • Being properly hydrated: Helps digestion - proper hydration stimulates your gastrointestinal tract allowing happy little muscle contractions leading to happy little potty trips. A happy colon makes for a happy camper. Right? Right. Happy happy!

  • Peeing is how we get rid of toxins. I don’t like hoarding my toxins. I’m actually trying to cut down. So I don’t mind peeing. A lot.

  • Helps prevent kidney stones. And I hear that’s about a negative gazillion on the fun-o-meter. So it’s a free country but water = awesome, kidney stones = really not awesome at all. Just sayin’.

  • Improves skin. Again - no miracle cure. But dehydration increases the appearance of lines and wrinkles.

  • Dehydration/severe dehydration (adrenal fatigue) actually starts a whole host of problems in our lymphatic system. Throws everything out of whack. Our lymphatic system is in charge of things like stress levels, toxin regulation, hormone creation and energy levels among other things. Do you claim to know more than your lymphatic system about how to run a body? I don’t. So I drink my aqua. :)

 

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Cassandra Shoneck is a Certified Personal Trainer (NASM), CrossFit L1 Trainer, and CrossFit Kids Coach as well as a health and nutrition NUT!  If she's not working out, training clients or creating healthy new recipes in the kitchen, she can be found reading and studying the latest articles and research regarding general fitness, nutrition & food, and how the body processes it all.  She can be contacted at Cassandra@LiveSoFit.com.

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"Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work." ~Aristotle

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