Updated: Aug 13, 2018
Incredible as it may seem, water is quite possibly the single most important catalyst in losing weight and keeping it off. Although most of us take it for granted, water may be the only true “magic potion” for permanent weight loss.
Water suppresses the appetite naturally, and helps the body metabolize stored fat. Studies have shown that an increase in water intake can actually reduce fat deposits.
Here is why. The kidneys can’t function properly without enough water. When they don’t work to capacity, some of their load is dumped into the liver. One of the liver’s primary functions is to metabolize stored fat into usable energy for the body. But if the liver has to do some of the kidneys work, it can’t operate at full throttle. As a result, it metabolizes less fat, more fat remains stored in the body, and weight loss stops.
Drinking enough water is the best treatment for fluid retention. When the body gets less water, it perceives that as a threat to survival, and begins to hold onto every drop. Water is stored in extracellular spaces (outside the cells). This shows up as swollen feet, legs, and hands.
Diuretics only offer a temporary solution. They force out water along with some essential nutrients. Again, the body feels threatened, and will replace lost water immediately. Thus, the condition returns.
The best way to overcome a problem with water retention is to give your body what it needs...plenty of water!
The overweight person needs more water than the average person. Larger people have larger metabolic loads. Since we know that water is the key to metabolism, it seems obvious that the overweight person needs more water.
Water helps to maintain proper muscle tone by giving muscles their natural ability to contract by preventing dehydration. It also helps to prevent the sagging skin that usually follows weight loss; shrinking cells are buoyed by water, which pumps the skin and leaves it clear, healthy, and resilient.
Water helps rid the body of waste. During weight loss, the body has a lot more waste to get rid of. All of that metabolized fat must be shed. Again, adequate water helps flush out the waste.
How much water? Shoot for 1/2 your body weight in ounces. It may not be achievable initially but it gets easier as you drink more, and your bladder will adapt as well!
-Corey Evans, CSCS, CISSN