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Drinking Water and Fat Loss

Drinking enough water is the easiest thing you can do to lose excess fat. And best of all, it's free!

Drinking water is not just to make your mouth feel less dry. In fact, if you wait until you're thirsty, your body is already dehydrated because your salivary glands are the last resort for getting hydration to your cells. Water is what causes your body to function efficiently.

One of the first signs that you aren't getting enough water is fatigue. Sometimes we satisfy the need for a burst of energy with coffee, which is the opposite of what you need. Coffee is a diuretic, which actually dehydrates you further, nurturing a self-destructive cycle.

You'll see that drinking sporadically during the day also suppresses your appetite your hunger for water is the cause of the craving, not the need for extra calories. Thirst signals are often confused with hunger signals. If you aren't used to drinking much water, this could be more of a problem to you than for people who are familiar with the feeling of being thirsty. People who don't drink water get a small amount from the food they eat, which is not nearly enough. For them, hunger and thirst feels like the same thing so along with the tiny bit of water absorbed from food, they also get the unnecessary calories, which are stored as extra fat.

A sure sign that you're dehydrated is the color of your urine. If you're drinking enough water, it should be very light yellow to clear in color. Medium yellowish to nearly orange in color merits a trip to the water fountain. (Any other colors merit a trip to the doctor.)

Water helps your liver convert fat into usable energy. If you don't drink enough water, your kidneys are overwhelmed with concentrated fluids, and they make your liver do extra work. Your liver works hard to turn your body fat into energy you use, and if it has to do the kidney's work, then you hold onto the extra fat that would have been burned if you'd simply had enough water. And what's worse is that instead of excreting water and waste products, you reabsorb used water to reuse. This is what causes water retention and bloating.

When you don't get enough water, your body panics and holds on to it selfishly, as though you're in a famine. The best way to get rid of this water retention is to drink enough of it. You'll also feel thirsty more often, and this will start a healthy cycle of thirst leading to hydration. But you have to keep it up because if you stop drinking enough water, all the good things you've gained from drinking water (balanced body fluids, weight loss, decreased hunger and thirst) will reverse back to the way they were.

You need at least 8 cups of water a day. If you exercise or live in a dry climate, add 2 more cups, and if you're overweight, drink 1 to 2 extra cups. Overweight people have higher metabolic requirements, more waste products to flush out, and it helps keep extra skin from sagging after the fat is gone.

Here's a good water drinking schedule that will help you remember to drink until you don't have to think about it anymore:

Get a 32 oz. plastic cup at a drug store to drink from. One big cup seems easier than lots of little ones.

Sip one big cupful in the morning as you're getting dressed.

Have one cupful during the late morning/early afternoon.

Drink one cupful gradually in the late afternoon/early evening the earlier you finish this one the better so you won't have to get up during the night.

Even without changing your eating and exercise habits, increasing the amount of water you drink will cause your fat cells to shrink. Do all three consistently, and you'll easily get to (and maintain) a healthy weight.

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