Although weight loss is the main focus of almost all participants in our Bootcamps, I emphasize at all times the need to achieve it by safe, healthy and sustainable means. One method that ticks all of the above boxes is very simple: drink more water.
I’m not sure if it’s because we’re surrounded by the stuff or because it seems too good to be true, but clients’ Food/Lifestyle diaries consistently show me that most of them do not drink enough of it. I find this frustrating, because of all the nutrition, exercise and lifestyle changes I recommend, this has to be the easiest to implement.
So let’s have a quick re-cap on why water is so important and how it can help you to get leaner and fitter.
Our bodies are made up of about 60% water and among it’s many functions, it is responsible for growth, body temperature regulation and it helps transport nutrients throughout the body.
However it’s the lack of adequate water levels that tends to sabotage our efforts to lose weight. When we are de-hydrated by as little as 1-5% our energy levels, mental focus and athletic performance are seriously hampered.
I find that when this happens, many people will crave sweet snacks/drinks or caffeine to give them an instant energy buzz, and although it may seem to work in the very short term, it does not fix the problem. What it usually does is create more sugar cravings and an expanded waistline.
As mentioned above, de-hydration also adversely affects athletic performance. That means that even if you do manage to motivate yourself to go training, your workout is likely to be far less effective than if you’d taken enough water on board ,and you’ll miss an opportunity to burn off even more body fat.
So let’s deal with some of the common reasons/excuses for not drinking enough water:
Excuse 1: I forget to drink it
Solution: Keep a glass or container within sight and arms reach at all times. Out of sight is out of mind.
Excuse 2: I don’t like the taste.
Solution: Put a slice of lemon/lime/orange etc in your container to flavour it. Note that this should be a slice of fresh fruit and not a processed/concentrated fruit juice
Excuse 3: It’s too cold.
Solution: Leave it at room temperature before you drink it.
Excuse 4: I end up going to the toilet too much.
Solution: Count it as part of your daily 60 minutes exercise.
I often tell clients that water is the cheapest weight loss supplement in the world – it’s certainly the most under-rated. Guidelines for optimum hydration levels vary, but a very simple guideline would be to drink 2 litres of good quality water over the course of the day. Drink more when you train and during warm weather.
Following this simple suggestion will ensure that your energy levels rise and your body fat levels start going in the opposite direction. Drink Up!