Drinking Water Can Help You Lose Weight

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Everyone tells you to drink more water– and it can be life threatening if you don’t get enough.

However, not only is it important to stay hydrated for health reasons, being properly hydrated also helps you lose weight.

Let me explain.

Being properly hydrated helps you stay energized during physical activity and throughout your day.  The more active you are, the more calories you burn.

A hydrated body looks leaner. Why? Because when you’re dehydrated, you retain water.  Yikes!

I bet the magazine rack has at least one headline screaming “Rev up your metabolism with this one trick!” Well, here’s a good one.  If you drink enough water you help your body to metabolize properly. When you’re dehydrated, your metabolism can slow down.  We all know what that means for weight loss.

So how much water should you be drinking?

It depends. The suggested guidelines for water consumption used to be sixty-four ounces per day. While it is still a good amount of water for some, others may need more. Here are some guidelines to help you decide:

Drink more fluids when you are in situations where your body loses water:

in warmer climates,
during more intense exercise,
at high altitudes.

Try to be more aware of your water intake:

if you’re the type of person who usually doesn’t notice thirst; or
when you are very busy and likely to forget to drink.
If you talk for a living. Water is lost though saliva.

Here’s five tips to increase your fluid intake:

1) Try naturally flavored waters. Flavored water and various other “hydrating” drinks usually have some type of sugar in them, pay attention to the calories on the label.

An alternative to buying flavored waters would be making your own. The possibilities are endless. Cucumber, mint, ginger, lemon, lime, strawberries, and raspberries are all examples of natural foods and herbs you can flavor your water with.  Allow the fruits, vegetables, or herbs to soak in the water for a few hours for the flavors to release.

2) Eat foods that are mostly water each day.  Include foods high in water like oranges, watermelon, yoghurt, grapefruit, pineapples, and broth-based soups when choosing your meals and snacks.

(3) Replace still water with sparkling water. If you discover sparkling water works for you, consider getting an in home soda machine. They take up very little counter space. You also save money and there are less bottles to recycle. This helped my husband Matthew go from not liking water to drinking plenty of it!

4) Add a glass of coconut water to your day.  Coconut water is a great way to hydrate and get potassium.  It’s used as a natural alternative to sports drinks, but you don’t have to be a professional athlete to reap the benefits of this popular beverage.

5) Have a hydrating beverage with every meal. Tacking a new goal on to an established habit is usually less daunting than trying to develop a new habit on it’s own. For example setting a goal of drinking a glass of sparkling water at dinner seems more manageable than a goal to drink 64 oz. of water every day.

How do you know when you’re getting enough water?

The best way to tell if you are hydrated is the color of your urine. Clear to pale yellow is ideal. Yellow to dark yellow means you need water, and if it looks like tea or beer you are dehydrated! Supplements can also cause urine to be dark yellow. So keep that in consideration.

Avoid allowing yourself to get “thirsty”. If you are getting a thirst signal then the body is already too low on water!

At first it may seem like you have to go to the bathroom a lot. This is normal when you up your water consumption. It is not uncommon to have to use the restroom every hour.

If you sit at a desk, this will encourage you to get up and move every hour. It also allows you to monitor your progress!

Have a question or a comment? Leave a note for me below. I love to hear from you!

Blessings!

Jennifer Ledford

Back To School Weight Loss Tips

You can feel it in the air! Summer is ending. The light is changing and it’s back to school time! Whether you are a parent, teacher, student, or simply getting back to a Fall routine, the new season usually means much busier schedules.

A shift in schedule can potentially derail your weight loss goals if you let it. I’ve put together some simple guidelines on how to stay on track while adjusting to the new season.

Five Easy Weight Loss Tips for the Back to School Season!

1)  Plan!  Back to school usually means a more set routine. This can be used for your benefit to help you lose weight! Pull out your calendar and determine when you have time for exercise, meal planning, and healthy meal preparation.  Write these activities in like like any other important appointment.

Avoid biting off more than you can chew.  Look at your calendar before saying yes to extra projects.  If saying yes will interfere with your weight loss goals, you may want to take a pass for now.

2) Brown bag it! Breakfast is key to successful weight loss. If time is tight in the mornings, a healthy egg sandwich or smoothie are easy to eat on the go. Do your best to eat by 9:00 am, and no later than 10:00.

Pack lunches and have healthy snacks on you at all times. No matter what your day looks like, busy and hungry are a dangerous combination for weight loss. By planning ahead, you’ll have more control over the food you eat.

And if you are shuttling kids, pack snacks to have on hand. Not only will it contribute to their good health, it will save you time as well.

3)  Order out!  After looking at your schedule, you may realize that cooking some nights will be a stretch.  Let someone else do the cooking for you! Order healthy pre made meals from a company like Magic Kitchen.

4)  Get creative! If your normal exercise time is conflicting with your child’s activity or sport, go for a walk while you are waiting for them. One of my clients decided to get a low cost membership at the gym across the street from her daughter’s dance class.  She’s going to run on the treadmill while her daughter is taking class.  Another option would be to see if there was an adult class to try during her daughter’s class.

Early morning and lunch time workouts are a great way to sneak exercise into the day. This strategy helps you avoid evening interruptions such as working late. 

5)  Create a fit lifestyle!  One of the reasons people are so much more active in the Summer is all of the fun outdoor activities that are available. That doesn’t have to end just because it’s Fall.  Like the beach or hiking? Bundle up and take a walk. Personally, I think Autumn is one of the most beautiful times of year!

Choose active recreation on the weekends to counter the less active time during the week. Recreational activities are a great cross trainer if you are doing more formal gym workouts during the week.  Try turning off screens (computers, TV, phones, etc. ) as much as possible on the weekends!

All it takes is a little bit of planning. Fall is a great time to meet your weight loss/management goals.  Embrace this time of year and all of the fullness it brings!

Please let me know if you have any questions or a tip you’d like to share!

Blessings!

Jennifer

 


 

How To Handle A Food Craving And Avoid Binging!

Food cravings can lead to binging and sabotage your weight loss efforts!  If you haven’t already, read part 1 — Cravings vs. Hunger: How to Tell the Difference  The last thing I want is for you to ignore true hunger signals. 

Food cravings are normal!

We all experience food cravings from time to time.  Don’t worry!  It’s normal.  You just need to follow some simple steps that will help you handle the craving and avoid the binging.

First off, there is a difference between craving food and experiencing real hunger.  Part 1 gives you detailed steps on how to tell the difference.

Have you ever heard that if your body is craving a certain type of food, then “it probably needs it?”  This is not always true.  If your body is craving a big salad with lots of raw vegetables, that concept is totally reasonable.  However, I don’t think there is anyone on the planet that has to eat Chocolate Chip Cookies to survive!

Simple Tips to Stop Food Cravings from Controlling You!

1)  Give in!  Yes, you read that correctly.  Years ago I was taking classes from a well known nutritionist in southern California.  Because of her location, many of her clients had eating disorders.  She told me a story about a young model who would eat an entire bag of baby carrots in one sitting to keep herself from eating a chocolate chip cookie.  She told the nutritionist she was trying to avoid the “bad” food.

Fortunately, she got some health benefits from  eating the carrots.  But, she consumed more calories with the carrots than if she ate one small cookie.

The point of the story is that when you attempt to eliminate a food from your diet entirely, it can trigger binging. You’ll may redirect the binge to another food. Or once you allow yourself to eat the “forbidden” food, you are at risk of over doing it.  Better to have a small amount of the food you are craving than to try avoiding it entirely.  For example, if you crave ice cream, find a low calorie flavor you like and measure out a serving.  You may even find a half serving will do the trick.

Don’t let food control you!  If it’s only certain foods, try keeping them out of the house for awhile until you can practice moderation.

2)  Go to bed!  When you are in need of rest your body will crave sugar for a pick me up.  Go to bed early that night.  Your body will thank you for it.

3)  Drink some water!  Dehydrated bodies can send a hunger signal.  If you have eaten a full balanced meal within the last few hours, then try a glass of water before you eat more.  If you are still hungry, have a small snack.

4)  Redirect!  Find yourself digging through the cupboards for no reason?  You could be bored.  When you find your self mindlessly foraging for food redirect that behavior.  Try walking, doing a household chore, meditating, catching up on phone calls or email, or reading.  Make a list of replacement activities and keep it posted.  Use the list when the craving begins.

5)  Avoid using food for comfort! We’ve all heard of “comfort food.”  There’s no such thing as comfort food.  Food does not offer comfort.  We can associate a positive time in our life with certain foods, which is why you may feel warm and fuzzy when you eat them.

With that being said, elevating your serotonin levels does help fight depression.  But, turning to the sweets to elevate your serotonin levels is not the best choice.  You may feel great for a moment after eating a large piece of cake.  However, when your blood sugar drops, you can go right back into the dumps and may experience guilt for sabotaging your weight loss goals.

Choose a balanced meal with complex carbohydrates to elevate the serotonin in your body.  If dessert is really your thing, have a small serving that will fit into your daily calorie expenditure.

Just remember we all have food cravings from time to time.  It’s how we deal with them that will make or break our weight loss and management goals!

I hope this has been helpful.  Please let me know if you have any questions or tips you’d like to share to control food cravings.  I love to hear from you!

Blessings!

Jennifer