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Water, Your Metabolism, and Weight Loss

April 14, 2007
No Diet 4 Me

Anybody who reads my articles on health and weight loss knows that my number one recommendation is to get more exercise and try to eat healthy.

Most people have long known that eating healthy includes drinking enough water. Most people also understand and would probably agree that they probably don't drink enough water.

What most people don't know is that drinking enough water, staying hydrated, can be an important part of a weight loss program in several ways.

First of all, water helps with almost all the activities of the body at a cellular level including the distribution of nutrients and elimination of waste. Even if we simply accept that if we are healthier we are more likely to do things relative to weight loss, increasing our water consumption is already one step in our favor.

Another factor is that when thirsty, our bodies can send signals that are misinterpreted as hunger. Many a midnight refrigerator raider is actually in need of a glass of water when they eat what's left of the apple pie. Not only are they consuming extra calories and depriving their bodies of the water necessary for health, but they are perpetuating a condition of chronic dehydration.

In fact, it has been estimated that up to 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated and dehydration can SLOW DOWN METABOLISM!

If you add these small items to the facts that remaining properly hydrated can improve mental acuity, lubricate joints, thus easing back and joint pain, and is believed to decrease the risk of certain cancers, you can see why drinking enough water is important.

However, how much IS enough?

Obviously, the actual amount may vary from individual to individual, and you may already be getting a fair share of the total amount you need. Also, such things as activity, climate, and altitude may effect your individual need, Here are a few guidelines:

1. Divide your body weight by two and drink that many ounces per day.

2. When you exercise, or if you live in an arid area, try to get an extra amount each day. Add a pint for dry climates, and eight ounces for each 20 minutes of exercise.

3. Coffee, tea, and sodas actually are diuretics and will contribute to dehydration. If you must drink them, drink an equal amount of water.

4. Do not try to substitute juices for water. While there is nothing basically wrong with juice, and it is in fact normally a healthy drink, it also contains calories. Water doesn't.

5. Unless you are engaged in really intense exercise, stick with water. Sports drinks also contain calories and unless you are a professional athlete or are training for a marathon you will probably not need to replace the electrolytes by means of a calorie and carbohydrate loaded drink. Water will do just fine.

As good and important as water is, as necessary to health as it is, as much as it can help with your weight loss program, it is still only a helper in that aspect. The key ingredients needed to lose weight and increase your metabolic rate will still be exercise and eating healthy.

About the Author

Donovan Baldwin is a Texas writer and a University of West Florida alumnus. He is a member of Mensa and is retired from the U. S. Army after 21 years of service. In his career, he has held many managerial and supervisory positions. However, his main pleasures have long been writing, nature, and fitness. In the last few years, he has been able to combine these pleasures by writing poetry and articles on subjects such as health, fitness, yoga, the environment, happiness, self improvement, healthy eating, and weight loss. He has a collection of articles on health, fitness, diet, and weight loss at .

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Donovan Baldwin is a freelance writer currently living in the Dallas - Fort Worth area. He is a University Of West Florida alumnus (1973) with a BA in accounting. He is a past member of Mensa and the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, and has held several managerial positions while in the military and in civilian life. After retiring from the U. S. Army in 1995, he became interested in Internet marketing and developed various online businesses. He has been writing poetry, articles, and essays for over 40 years, and now frequently publishes articles on his own websites and for use by other webmasters. He has a website on health, fitness, diet, and weight loss at .

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