Weight Watchers Get Healthy Freestyle Journey Week 22
The Importance of Hydration When Dieting
Yes, it’s MONDAY already and time to continue our journey into health and wellness. It’s also time once again to reflect on the past week! Hydration was a big issue this week. So this week I dive into the subject of staying hydrated. Learn how important it is to stay well hydrated and how much water it takes to stay that way.
If you’ve missed any of the posts in the recent weeks be sure to check them out. In addition to uncovering where sugar is hiding in your food (aka sugar bombs) and looking at the benefits of shopping at farmer’s markets, we’ve also covered the importance of milestones, how to stay motivated, the smart use of free foods, some tactics for dining out, surviving the holidays while dieting, the benefits of a 5% weight loss, diabetes, the importance of exercise, starting an exercise routine, beginner exercises, and exercising in the summer heat. Since beginning my weight loss journey in January, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Memorial Day, and now the fourth of July have come and gone.
Hydration for Weight Loss
You would think that after everything I’ve written and learned about being healthy that I would know how important it is to stay hydrated. However, like many people, I didn’t understand how important it was to stay well hydrated and how much water it took to stay that way. That became evident when after several days of severe pain, I went to the clinic to get it checked out. Even with drinking 64 ounces of water daily plus all the water I get from the cornucopia of fruits and vegetables that I eat, I was severely dehydrated.
Why Water Is So Important
Almost two-thirds of the human body is made up of water. It regulates our temperature, cushions and protects our vital organs, aids digestion, transport nutrients to working muscles and organs, helps dispel waste and can help prevent us from over-eating.
Sometimes We Can Mistake Mild Dehydration For Hunger.
When we don’t drink enough fluids, our body gives us signals which resemble hunger pains. When this happens, many of us start eating unnecessary calories because we have misunderstood what our body is trying to tell us. Drink water whenever you are feeling thirsty or hungry.
A lack of water consumption can be detrimental to your body. If your hydration levels drop by only 2 percent, you may experience fuzzy thoughts, lack of concentration and difficulty focusing visually. It has also been linked to increased risk of cancer, premature aging, irritability, anxiety and numerous other ailments. There also has been a correlation made between chronic dehydration and obesity.
While a diet rich in fiber is essential for weight loss, fiber cannot do it alone. Water consumption is the other team member to a healthy gastrointestinal tract. Drinking a lot of water keeps the food flowing through your digestive tract and prevents constipation and bloating.
According to Revive Your Life, a study conducted at the University of Washington found that drinking one 8-ounce glass of water eliminated midnight hunger pangs in 98 percent of the subjects. Thereby decreasing caloric intake from midnight snacks.
One of the most important ways your level of hydration affects your caloric burn is in relation to your ability to perform physical activity. When you start to become dehydrated your muscle tissue starts to lose water and it makes it harder for that muscle to contract effectively, reducing your strength and endurance.
While water is world’s most effective, least expensive, and virtually side-effect free weight loss supplement, there are other ways to stay hydrated.
Water is best, but fruit and vegetables can be great sources of hydration. These water-rich foods tend to be lower in calories. While fat-rich foods, which have less water, are generally higher in calories. Fruits and vegetables not only have a high water content, but they also contain key vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Celery, for example, is 95% water and has only 6 calories per stalk. It is also a source of folate and vitamins A, C, and K.
Clear soups and broths can also help you feel full for very few calories, thus contributing to weight loss. Skim milk and low-fat, no-added-sugar yogurts and puddings also help hydration and nutrition without excessive calories. Drink your water and eat it, too.
Are you drinking enough water each day?
You can quickly check for dehydration at home with the tent test. Here’s how to do it. Pinch the skin over the back of the hand, on the abdomen, or over the front of the chest under the collarbone between two fingers so that it is tented up. Hold for a few seconds and release. This will show skin turgor. Skin turgor is the skin’s elasticity. It is the ability of skin to change shape and return to normal. Skin with normal turgor snaps rapidly back to its normal position. Mild dehydration will cause the skin to be slightly slow in its return to normal. Lack of skin turgor occurs with moderate to severe fluid loss.
Each day we exhale about two cups of water as water vapor. Normal daily perspiration causes about two cups of water to be lost. The intestines and kidneys utilize about six cups of water each day for normal functioning. That totals ten cups. When you add exercise to that, you increase the minimum amount of water you need just for daily functions. And for weight loss benefits, tack on a couple more cups to that total.
The amount of water you need to drink will depend on several factors, including your age, gender, activity level, weight, climate, and more. Most experts agree that drinking eight glasses of water, or 64 fluid ounces, is a sufficient amount for the average person to be properly hydrated.
However, here’s a good general guideline when it comes to recommended daily water intake for both health and weight loss benefits. To calculate how much water you should drink a day multiple your weight by 2/3 (or 67%) to determine how much water to drink daily. For example, if you weigh 175 pounds you would multiply 175 by .67 and learn you should be drinking about 117 ounces of water every day.
Since you are expelling additional water when you sweat, you should add 12 ounces of water to your daily total for every 30 minutes that you work out. This number also does not include additional water loss from sweating from being in a climate. Ask your healthcare provider or nutritionist for your body’s exact needs.
Drinking water during weight loss provides hydration without unwanted calories.
You burn roughly one calorie for every fluid ounce of water you drink, but this only true if the water is extremely cold. For example, if you drink a liter of ice cold water that is an extra 32 calories burned without doing any extra physical activity!
All we have of freedom, all we use or know —
This our fathers bought for us long and long ago.
~Rudyard Kipling, The Old Issue, 1899
How my freestyle weight loss week went:
This week was a week of pain for me. Normally I’m driving other people to appointments and rarely have them for myself. However, this week I was in constant pain and every time I had the urge to urinate I was in extreme pain. To make matters worse on Tuesday we got stuck in traffic traveling less than a half mile in over an hour trying to get to Marcus’ appointment. The pain of holding it for so long had me thinking of climbing in the backseat and peeing in a bottle. After all, we weren’t moving. The problem was taller vehicles were all around us. So I held it and held it. Until we got to where I could pull in to a fast food restaurant. Not getting any better I went to the clinic Thursday morning. They checked for a UTI and did a few tests to rule out my appendix. When they did the tent test my skin just hung there. I was severely dehydrated! With orders to drink 128 ounces of water every day, I was on my way to do blood work. They only need two small tubes yet, I was so dehydrated that I left there with three new holes in me and they only got one and a tiny bit in the second.
After this the rest of week was spent drinking water, eating high water foods like watermelon and cucumbers, and drinking more water. I spent some time working on our blog and tending the garden. With temperatures in the 90s and heat indexes over 100, we are all losing more water than we are taking in. I picked some of my pickling cucumbers and will be making pickles today. I continue to do my new exercise routine. Even though I didn’t feel well most of the week, I pushed myself to do some and felt better for it. I’m not sure where the week went but before I knew it it was time to step on the scale once again. With all that water I drank this week and getting rehydrated, I gained a half pound. Hopefully, with continued hydration, I’ll be seeing better numbers in the weeks ahead. Until next week… Remember to stay positive and keep looking forward.
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This year, the Fourth falls on a Hump Day. Deciding when to celebrate can be a bit tricky.
Will you celebrate the weekend before and then again on Wednesday, on Wednesday then back to work until the weekend after for more celebrating, on the 4th only, or do you go for it and celebrate all 10 days?
Whatever you decided, I hope you have a safe holiday and stayed hydrated.
Share your thoughts on the importance of drinking water and how you celebrated the 4th below or on my Facebook fan page.
I am not a medical professional. The contents of this website are for educational purposes and are not intended to offer personal medical advice. You should seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.