Dieting is one of the hardest things for most people to do. You get into patterns of eating food that may not be the best for you, and it is really hard to break. Plus, dieting takes time to see results, which lead to most people quitting after a very short period.
There is no ‘magic cure’ that water gives you to help with dieting, or eating better, but it is a very important part of just healthy living. It is known that being properly hydrated can decrease hunger pangs, because a lot of the time your body can mistake thirst for hunger.
We know that water is essential to everyone’s health, and that drinking more water can benefit anyone. But when it comes to those trying to shed a few pounds, or those in the midst of a full lifestyle change due to health reasons, drinking water properly can be one of the most important parts of your diet, and probably the easiest.
The health benefits of water are numerous, but this list is how drinking more water can help your diet:
- Water fills you up.
This isn’t hard science. If you drink 500ml of water just before a meal, your stomach has that much less space in it, meaning you’ll be full while eating less food. Essentially, this also means you’ll ingest less calories, if you’re looking for a way to reduce caloric intake each day. This also is in effect throughout the day for snacking. If you feel the urge to snack, drink water first, or in the place of that snack.
- Drinking Water Aids in Digestion.
Drinking during a meal helps break up your food faster and better, which means your body can get the most nutrients with the least amount of food.
- More water in your body = Increased Metabolism.
Its known that drinking cold water can increase your metabolism, as your body warms the water to body temperature. It is a very minor boost, but every part counts!
- Proper hydration gives you more energy.
A great side effect of being properly hydrated is higher energy levels. Essentially, when your body is well-hydrated, it is running at its best, and more energy is a byproduct of that. This is important during diets, as you are hopefully lowing the caloric, carb, or fat intake, which would make your body try to conserve energy.
While you can just jump in and start drinking more water, it does help to know how much water you should be drinking, and get a schedule of when you’ll be drinking water.
The proper amount of water you should be drinking (at a minimum – add more if you’re hitting the gym), is 1/2 your body weight in ounces. Its pretty easy to calculate. Try to hit that level daily, and adjust that number weekly if you’re weight changes!
If you need reminders of drinking water, there are a number of smartphone apps that will help you out, both by keeping track of what you drink, and by hitting you with reminders hourly to drink water. I find them very helpful.
Lastly, here are some ideas of how to get yourself to drink more water, and get on a pattern of drinking more water often:
- Leave reminders for yourself: an empty glass on your kitchen counter for that glass of water before breakfast, post-it notes on your door before you leave, etc.
- Add flavour to the water – add lemon slices, cucumber slices or strawberries to your water for a burst of flavour.
- Get a bottle that you like to drink from and keep it with you wherever you go.
- Download a smartphone app that reminds you. It almost makes it a game.
- Get a drinking partner at home and at work – make them remind you often to fill your bottle!
Getting more healthy is a hard thing to start, but totally worth it in the end, when you accomplish your goals and look and feel great. While drinking more water is only part of what you need to do to be a healthier person, it is an essential step and needs to be part of your daily life.
Header image credit: Paola Kizette Cimenti
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