Perhaps you want to start taking better care of yourself, lose a couple of pounds or just feel better overall? Water is always step one.
Do you suffer from digestive disturbances, heartburn or constipation? Do you get a lot of urinary tract infections? Do you have dry skin? Is your urine very dark? You may be ignoring your body’s many cries for water.
Before reaching for a Tylenol next time you get a headache. Try a couple of glasses of water and wait about 15 minutes; it’s surprising how many headaches are due to dehydration. It isn’t uncommon to see long standing conditions disappear simply by adding water.
Despite its importance, most people I meet don’t drink enough water. About 20% of the population don’t drink any water at all and about 42% drink a mere 2 glasses a day or less. Did you know that the thirst signal can actually be confused for hunger when your body is in a state of dehydration?
A lot of folks get discouraged when they attempt to increase their water intake because they’re constantly running to the washroom.
Have you ever forgotten a plant outside and let it get really dried out? Did you notice that when you first watered it when it was in that very dried up state, the water just poured right out the bottom?
Our bodies react similarly when severely dehydrated. Attempting to guzzle two or three liters a day when you usually only manage a glass or so, will result in the water pouring right back out.
The key is to start gradually. I generally suggest increasing your water intake by one cup first thing upon waking and maybe one cup between lunch and dinner and do that for a week. The next week add another cup in the morning and another cup in the afternoon and so on.
Keep in mind that our bodies are most contracted and acidic in the morning since a lot of detoxifying happens during the night while we sleep. So starting your day with one or two glasses of water is really a gift and a great habit to get into.
The more water you drink and as your body rehydrates, the more you will notice the thirst response returning.
Concerned about weight loss?
We are all exposed to toxins from our environment, from our food, the air we breathe, personal care products etc. Whatever toxins the body cannot metabolize will get stored far away from the major organs such as the liver, heart or lungs. Most toxins are stored in the fat and in joints, basically out of harm’s way and away from essential operations.
So when you ask your body to release fat, it automatically implies that you will be releasing toxins into the system. Your body will never release these harmful and reactive compounds into the system and into the circulation if you are not giving your body the means to eliminate them through the bowels, urine or sweat. Metabolism will slow down or even come to a screeching halt if it has to, rather than expose the tissues to harmful toxins.
When clients come to me for weight loss, I always get them to chart how much water they are taking in on a daily basis so that they can make the connection between weight loss and sufficient water intake.
What they always notice is; days when weight loss stopped or plateaued are always preceded by days when they were out and about and didn’t manage to get all of their water in. When they resume their proper water intake, weight continues to come off.
I hope this has inspired you to drink a bit more water this holiday season. I promise it will help you maintain your weight and help prevent putting on those unwanted pounds. Increasing water intake is simply a habit that needs to be changed. Find a trick or method that works for you.
I find that having water in plain view is my best incentive to drink. I also prefer water at room temperature. One client claims it tastes sweeter that way. I also like to power drink in the morning so that I can quit early in the evening to avoid too many trips to the bathroom at night. Some clients keep elastics around their reusable water bottle. If for example you calculate that you need to fill your water bottle five times a day, you would place five elastics around the bottle and remove one each time you’ve polished one off. Some clients get more water in if they drink from a straw. There are also apps that you can download onto your phone to remind you to drink.
Try to drink most of your water between meals. Drinking large amounts with meals will dilute digestive juices, reducing digestion and assimilation. Sipping small amounts with meals is fine.
Finally, keep in mind that nothing replaces pure water. Coffee, tea, soda and concentrated juices will upset our water balance and can act as diuretics, causing us to eliminate more water than the beverage contains.
Pure water is nature’s best medicine.
Would you like to learn more practical tools for overall health and prevention or just get inspired to make wiser choices? Join me for a workshop where I will share my top tips; practical things that you will be able to implement right away that will have noticeable impact on your diet and health.