Diet

Water and Weight Loss: The Value of H2O

Water and weight loss are unshakably linked. If I want to drop pounds, I have to pound down way more H2O.

“I’m in charge of how I feel and today I choose to feel great!”

Today’s Affirmation
In the multi-pronged attack on weight loss, using water is like my secret weapon
In the multi-pronged attack on weight loss, using water is like my secret weapon

Water and weight loss: My secret weapon

In the multi-pronged attack on weight loss, using water is like my secret weapon. It helps me lose weight in unexpected ways. Upping my water intake during this 16-week program is one of the simplest, yet most reliable things I can do to shed pounds.

Drinking more water, which I need to do in greater amounts anyways, has multiple benefits. Increasing hydration can:

  • Reduce appetites in older people (like me!)
  • Cause you to burn more calories in resting mode
  • Expedite removal of waste from the body
  • Make workouts more effective
  • Burn fat
Drinking water before a meal will help reduce my appetite, making it less likely I will overeat.
Drinking water before a meal will help reduce my appetite, making it less likely I will overeat.

Drinking more water before meals reduce appetites in older people, leading to weight loss

I’m only eating once a day, but I’m drinking all day long. There is science to suggest that in older people, staying properly watered reduces appetites, which leads to less overeating.

This is important to me because I need an extra advantage in my corner. Slowing metabolism and age make weight loss tougher in general and I think my metabolism runs slower than most.

I drink coffee, turmeric tonic, and tea. But I also drink just plain water, and I shoot for about 3 quarts a day total. Before I have my once-a-day dinner, I drink at least 3 – 4 cups of water. Bone broth, which I drink on occasion, is mostly water, too.

Water is a fuel that fires up our metabolism, yet contributes no calories.
Water is a fuel that fires up our metabolism, yet contributes no calories.

Like a car running on no gas

Water is, of course, calorie-free. Yet it causes the body to work to metabolize it, which increases our resting metabolism. Since our bodies cannot burn the zero-calorie count of water, it has to reach into the stored weight for the energy necessary.

The improvement is not substantial; it amounts to about a 2 – 3% increase in metabolism about an hour after drinking. But marginal and steady improvements, even by just 1%, can certainly add up. And I’m a big fan of incremental improvement.

Nothing keeps the body regular like lots of water, and that helps with weight loss, too.
Nothing keeps the body regular like lots of water, and that helps with weight loss, too.

Flush it out

The body needs an appropriate amount of water so that it can properly digest and pass food through its system.

I am chronically under-hydrated and my digestion suffers for it. Drinking more water will help me remove the toxins and waste that build up in my kidneys. Plus filling my gut with water helps my bowels move its stuff out faster.

Getting that waste “dumped” does me a world of good. I feel slimmer, my energy levels are increased, my mood is better, and I see decreasing numbers on the scale.

My diet needs to be more heavily favored towards vegetables and greens. Plant fiber loves to pass through undigested and is recommended for internal health. It also passes through more effectively when saturated with lots of aqua.

Water, exercise, weight loss

Staying properly hydrated is key to an effective workout
Staying properly hydrated is key to an effective workout

Part of my program includes exercise. So proper hydration is a must for optimal benefits from working out.

Muscle tissue relies on water to prevent cramping and fatigue during workouts. Water helps all the other organs, including lungs and heart, function at their best during cardio exercises. It allows the body to sweat, thereby preventing overheating.

Exercise is an important element of my weight loss strategy. So whatever I can do to improve my performance in exercise helps me lose weight. That includes drinking more water.

One thing I didn't know until recently is that water helps the body burn fat.
One thing I didn’t know until recently is that water helps the body burn fat.

Putting water on the fire

Lipolysis is the body’s way of breaking down fat and lipids. This includes dietary fats as well as stored fat. Lipolysis breaks down stored fat and pumps it into the bloodstream to be used for energy. For lipolysis to work, it requires the process of hydrolysis, by which a compound is broken down by interacting with water.

I’m not a scientist or doctor or biologist. But as a chef, I am familiar with the way hydrolysis helps with cooking, digestion, and even pot-scrubbing. So I understand how drinking extra water helps my body burn fat.

My revising diet for weight loss will feature a water-fast twice a week.
My revising diet for weight loss will feature a water-fast twice a week.

Where I am at

  • My weigh-in today was 243.8 lbs, which I am making my new starting weight.
  • Finally got in my full program of exercise, meditation, and diet.
  • Drank about 96 oz of water in total.
  • Intermittent fasting – ate my one meal, preceded by 3 cups of water.

I’m taking my return to the program seriously, but it is really hard. I have to balance my will between understanding that I have to take it slow and steady and the desire to go all-in and recover lost ground. The days are winding away and I truly do not want to end this year in the same shape I have been in. A focal point of my meditation is to remind myself why I’m on this program.

This week I’m looking forward to a mix of alternate-day fasting and intermittent fasting. I will eat a full program meal for three days then a reduced-calorie meal on two days.

2 days a week will be water-only.

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