By Bob Greene from TheBestLife.com
There’s some debate over what water can and can’t do: Does it fill you up? Can it help you slim down?
Research shows that foods with a high water content (like fruits, vegetables, broth-based soups) do fill you up; water by itself, on the other hand, doesn’t appear to be as filling. And yet, studies show that people who drink more water end up consuming fewer calories during the day. In fact, the stat I often refer back to comes from researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: People who drink an average of 6.5 cups of water each day consume 200 fewer calories a day.
If water doesn’t fill you up, then how can it help promote weight loss? There are a few theories. First, it seems that water drinkers have a healthier diet overall. Drinking water also keeps your hands and mouth busy—if you’re gulping down a glass of water, you’ll be less likely to snack. Not to mention, many people confuse hunger for thirst; when you’re fully hydrated, you may not be tempted to ease those pangs with food.
And of course, water is essential for good health. It helps with digestion and metabolism, aids in the removal of toxins from your system, and regulates body temperature. It’s for all of these reasons that I’ve made drinking more water (48 ounces per day) one of my Best Life guidelines.
Not sure how to hit that mark? Here are a few H20 hints:
Take it slowly. Frustrated by frequent restroom visits? Train your body to take in more water by gradually working up to your goal. Start with four glasses for a week, then move up to five for a week, and finally work your way up to six.
Gulp at the gym. You already know to drink water during and after your workout, but you’ll get more out of your sweat session if you hydrate before you exercise. Aim to have at least one glass of water before you hit the gym.
Sip at mealtimes. Have a glass of water at each meal and you’ll be halfway to your goal. Feel like plain water is a little too…plain? Try adding a squeeze of lemon, lime or fruit juice.
Make it portable. Make sure to carry a bottle of water with you wherever you go—if you have it, you’ll be more likely to drink it.