You’ll undoubtedly have read somewhere that you’re meant to drink 8 large glasses of water to help with the weight loss. So today I’m going to be tackling a few questions that I kept asking myself because I’m sure I’m not the only one asking them.
Firstly then, a simple one: just how much is 8 glasses of water? Well, roughly speaking, in metric 8 glasses translates into 2 litres of water, give or take a little. That’s the equivalent of roughly 67.5 fluid ounces, and half a gallon. In other words, it’s a lot of water, so don’t try to drink it all at once!
The second question that I keep wondering about is: does it have to be water? Can it be tea, coffee, soda water? The jury appears to be out on this one; the Atkins website says ‘yes, it does’, but a variety of other sites suggest that it doesn’t matter provided that you’re getting some pure water into your system. The trouble we get into, I think, is that a lot of our water intake is actually included in our food. Celery sticks, for example, half a high water count. There’s water in pretty much everything we eat, so it becomes tricky for someone to say: you must do this thing! Mind you, the 8 glasses a day is supposed to be in addition to whatever we’re getting from our food. In my own experience, I don’t drink 8 glasses of water a day: but I do drink at least 2 glasses of pure water and substitute the rest with very large mugs of herbal tea. If I’m exercising, I do add in an extra couple of glasses of pure water. My rule of thumb is to use water to quench thirst and then drink tea mugs throughout the day, so far it’s been working just fine. Really, however, it’s up to you.
Okay, next question: why do we have to drink so much water a day to lose weight? Well, apart from the fact that the consumption of an appropriate amount of water a day is necessary for our wellbeing – regardless of whether we’re trying to lose weight or not – water helps move fat. In a nutshell, your kidneys need high amounts of water to be able to flush out your system. If you don’t keep them properly hydrated they’ll off load some of the work onto the liver, which is meant to be focussing on metabolising fat. Not only that, but all the fat that has been metabolised needs to be washed from the system, which your kidneys can’t do unless you’ve been drinking your water! Then there’s the other issues that crop up, especially when you’ve just started this new diet: constipation. Water keeps your bowels moving, stopping you from getting stopped up. And last, but not least, we often mistake thirst for hunger and act accordingly; next time you find yourself extremely hungry, have a glass of water first, not only will the water fill up part of your stomach, taking away that drastic urge to stuff your face with whatever’s on hand, but it’ll also fulfil any thirst requirement you’ve got. Apart from those things, water does a whole heap of good things for our bodies; proper hydration means clearer, healthier skin, eyes, hair, nails, muscles, you name it, it’ll do it.
And finally, what is water weight and why do we have to be aware of it while we’re on any kind of diet? In lay terms, water weight is the weight of the excess water your body retains. This water tends to be stored in fat cells as part of your body’s reserves. Those first few weeks on the LC diet where we lost a ridiculous amount of weight? Yeah, that was primarily water weight. Think about when bread gets wet, it tends to expand, like a sponge, soaking up as much water as it can. That’s a natural process, but now we’ve gone and cut out the bread, and the pasta, and the flour, and the rice. In other words we’ve cut out a lot of the things that help our body retain water, so the first thing that’s going to come lose – because it’s most easily shed – is water weight. This is also one of the reasons why you might feel bloated if you’ve cheated on your diet and one of the reasons why the scales are saying you’ve regained x amount of kilos – it’s not just the actual weight, it’s also water weight.
There we go, I hope I’ve explored a few options to let you think about. If you’ve got any questions, send me an email via the Contact Vee page and I’ll see what I can do!
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