It’s the first day of spring and Mother Nature is about to crank up the thermostat, and you’re probably thinking about shedding those winter pounds. For best results, look no further than your kitchen sink; water is everywhere, and there are plenty of drops to drink. Additionally, the impending increase in temperature puts us at greater risk of dehydration, a preventable warm-weather affliction.
In an article published this week, personal trainer and blogger Tony Schober said, “Water makes everything in your body work more efficiently. From fat loss to lubricating your nose, it is involved in every human function.” According to Tony, when you’re not giving your body enough water, it will hold on to its limited internal supply, leading to water retention.” Once you start drinking more water, your body recognizes that it is getting a steady external supply, and it starts letting go of the water weight it’s been holding,” said Tony. The water weight is stored in the waist, face, and ankles, giving the body a bloated and puffy look.
It’s also important to know the symptoms of dehydration as we head in to spring and summer and our outdoor activity becomes more prevalent. Our resident nutrition expert Mary Hartley, RD lists dry mouth, increased thirst, headache, dizziness and dry skin as the most common symptoms of dehydration. “Be very concerned when there is severely decreased or no urine output, and when skin slowly sinks back to normal when pinched,” she said.
You probably don’t meet up with friends for a few after work glasses of aqua and restaurants aren’t exactly up-selling the stuff, so it’s easy to mismanage your water intake. Add in our natural tendency to skip water and our increased activity and exercise with the season and we could be in big trouble. In consulting with Mary on how to develop positive hydration habits, she said, “In a hot environment, drink small amounts of cool water throughout the day, stay in the shade and air-conditioned places, and avoid heavy clothes.”
We’ve all been told we need eight, eight-ounce glasses of water daily to maintain our health, but it all depends on the person. In Tony’s article, he revealed that The Institute of Medicine’s Food and Nutrition Board recommends a daily fluid intake of 91 ounces for women, and 125 ounces for men. At the Biggest Loser Resort, they encourage guests to drink half their weight in ounces each day (i.e. a 200 pound person would drink 100 ounces). If that seems daunting, he recommends filling a one gallon jug with water and making sure it’s gone by the end of the day.
The more water you drink, the better your body will feel, the easier it will be to reach your weight loss goals. No matter how you stay hydrated it’s best to start developing healthy water drinking habits now. After all, your local watering hole is just giving the stuff away.