Tuesday, December 28, 2010

About that water, eh?

Another thing I should be doing more of: drinking water.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta on CNN answered a reader's question regarding drinking water and losing weight asking if drinking more water helps you lose more weight. I always thought that dieting websites and articles said to drink more water in order to lose weight because people will do anything those articles say, especially if it's as easy as that. And so mentioning it in an article would be a simple way of getting a generally dehydrated population to drink more of the good stuff, instead of there actually being any body of evidence that shows more water means more weight-loss.

Anywhos, I was wrong. Dead wrong. A couple studies published by Dr. Brenda Day, associate professor of human nutrition, foods and exercise at Virginia Tech, showed that not only did "people who drank water before meals [eat] an average of 75 fewer calories at that meal" but also that "people who drank two glasses of water 20 to 30 minutes before every meal lost weight more quickly initially and lost significantly more weight than those who didn't."

As Dr. Gupta quickly calculated, eating 75 fewer calories at lunch and dinner for a year would result in a loss of 14.5 pounds over that year! Wow...and all due to drinking more water.

Dr. Gupta also explained that sometimes thirst can be mistaken for hunger by our bodies and so we overeat when instead we are just thirsty. And lastly, "water-based foods like soups, vegetables and low-fat dairy, which are equally important for weight loss, as they lower the calorie density of meals. That can help you reduce calories without reducing portions."

And I almost forgot: "In addition, being even 1 percent dehydrated can cause a significant drop in metabolism." Whoa. That's nuts.

Anywhos, it's good that it's winter soup weather and I'm a big fan of dairy. Now I just have to focus on the two glasses of water 30 minutes before dinner and I should be set. I mean, I'm already a big water drinker but I definitely don't drink right before eating so that's something new to try.

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