Saturday, January 3, 2009

Water for Weight Loss? Yup!

You may have heard me say before that I consider water the greatest weight loss drink in the world. Why? Let me count the ways. Water is needed for virtually every metabolic process. It helps flush toxins out of the body. It helps give you energy (even 2% dehydration can negatively impact physical and mental performance). And much of what we perceive as hunger- driving us to overeat- is actually thirst.

For almost a decade I've been recommending that for weight loss, the ideal amount of water to drink on a daily basis can be approximated by taking your current weight and dividing by 2. That's the number of ounces you should aim for. For example, if you're 200 pounds, go for 100 ounces a day. (I was happy to see, recently, that this is exactly the same formula recommended by Deepak Chopra.)

But even though all nutritionists I know recommend drinking plenty of water, we didn't really have a lot of research to back up what most of us "knew" intuitively.

Now we have some!

In two separate studies, (both published in recent issues of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism) researchers found that within 10 minutes of drinking about a pint of water, metabolic rates in both men and women begin to increase as much as 24-30 percent!

They don't completely know why, but it might have something to do with osmotic pressure changes. (If you're wondering, other drinks don't seem to have the same effect, so it's definitely the water that's doing it.)

You know, if you drank this much water every day upon rising you could actually burn an extra 17,400 calories a year- for a loss of five extra pounds. Just from drinking water!

Now granted, that's not an awful lot of weight. But added to all the other benefits of water, the little bit of extra weight loss is a nice bonus!

For best results consume it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.

And then keep on drinking all day!



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