Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Weight Loss Tips 2

In these posts I share any useful tips or ideas that I have found worked for me - they may not be best for you/fit into your own plan!

2) Drink water - and plenty of it!

This is so straight forward that it may not sound like a tip at all, but just common sense. However, I NEVER used to drink enough water, and once I started I could not believe the benefits I felt.

Some days I would get through 3-4 double espressos, just to try and shake the cloudy-headed fug I seemed to be in all the time. They never worked - all I experienced was a faster heart rate. But when I started drinking water, guess what? Fug gone! There is also some evidence that caffeine works against you when you're trying to lose weight, by increasing insulin resistance, increasing appetite and contributing to food cravings, so if you were thinking of trying to get over your caffeine dependency, now's the time!

I keep a big 2L plastic bottle in my room, and generally try to keep it filled. That way if I feel thirsty, I can't make the excuse of 'the kitchen is too far'. I also take two 500ml bottles to Uni with me each day, and refill them as necessary during breaks. That way, I'm never too far from water, and have no excuses for not drinking enough.

Besides the main benefit I got (helping me feel more awake), there are other reasons why drinking more water might be a good idea, especially during weight loss:

- A cold drink of water first thing in the morning is a great idea, perhaps a better idea than a coffee. It rehydrates you after a long night, and drinking icy cold water has an added benefit - you have to use energy to heat the water up to body temperature, so that means calories burned! The first thing I do every morning (after weighing of course!) is to have a big drink of water.

- Water can fill you up, albeit temporarily. If you want to avoid snacking between meals, filling up with water might help - it won't last forever, but it might carry you through to the next proper meal.

- You use water to properly store energy after eating. Without getting too scientific, you use water when you store glucose in your liver (as glycogen). Drinking enough makes sure this goes off without a hitch (incidentally, this is also one of the reasons you lose extra water weight on low-carb diets: you use up your stored sugar, and therefore the water stored with it).

- Water is also an important element in the release of energy from your fat, or adipose tissue. 

- It has zero calories!

- It's FREE!

Many people will probably think they drink enough water already, but its worth double checking, especially for those wanting to lose weight (and, since people who want to lose weight are probably larger than average, they'll need more than the average recommended daily intake). Swapping sugar-filled drinks for water will not only help you avoid those empty calories, but help you to avoid possible complications from too much sugar in your blood (like diabetes), and as you can get it for free from your tap/faucet, it will make your bank balance healthier too!


  1. I had a terrible time drinking water when I moved to Utah - the water here is so full of minerals it tastes like licking a rock! Yuk! So we keep a water cooler in our kitchen, one of the big five-gallon jobs that you usually see in offices. And because it's ice cold, and 'on tap' it is a lot more tempting. Costs a little, but its so very worth it for us!

  2. This post is like: "appreciate the little things".