Drink Your Way Thin?

If you’ve been interested in fitness and health for more than a minute, then you know by now how important drinking plenty of water is for getting your body into top shape.

But do you drink enough water? And is it really going to impact your results?

Why Water Matters

Your body is made up of 60% water, which is incredible when you stop and really think about this fact. All day long you are constantly losing water by sweating and going to the bathroom – and this water must be replenished in order to keep your body is healthy, working order.

Many health authorities believe in the 8×8 theory: drink 8 (8oz) glasses of water throughout the day, or roughly half a gallon. However, a growing sector of fitness and health professionals are speaking out against this theory, stating that it is simply too little to keep you properly hydrated.

Those behind the movement to drink more than 8×8 per day are stating that the only way to truly stay hydrated is by sipping on water constantly throughout the day, and by making the effort to drink water when one doesn’t feel the signs of thirst.

Studies have come out that seem to prove that drinking more water throughout the day leads to better brain functioning, fewer headaches and physical performance.

Conversely, when you are operating in a state of mild dehydration you will experience diminished brain functioning, more frequent headaches and a decline in physical performance.

Does More Water = More Fat Loss?

Yes, it is quite likely that drinking more water will facilitate faster fat loss results. This is primarily due to two factors:

1. An increase in metabolism: Studies show that drinking water temporarily boosts metabolism for an hour or so. Drinking cold water will spike your metabolism even higher. This means more calories burned, and more pounds lost.

2. A reduction in appetite: Staying properly hydrated helps to reduce dehydration signs that are often mistaken for hunger. It is also a viable strategy to drink a full glass of water immediately before a meal in order to reduce the calorie intake of that meal, leading to lower overall calorie intake for the day.

Hydration and Health

Staying hydrated is going to help you lose fat quicker, but that’s not the only benefit that you will experience. The following are all health improvements that you have to look forward to when drinking water throughout your day:

  • Lower Risk of Cancer
  • Reduction in Constipation
  • Decreased Risk of Kidney Stones
  • Healthier Skin and Less Acne

It’s clear that drinking water throughout the day is an important part of being healthy and reaching your fitness goals. One of the best ways to make sure that you meet your hydration goals is to keep a large water bottle with you at all times, and to refill it every time that it is empty.

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Beware of Sports Drinks

Sports drinks are designed to refuel and replenish an athlete’s body after intense physical activity. These drinks are filled with the calories and sugars needed to fill exhausted muscles with new energy, which is fantastic for the track star who only has 40 minutes of recovery between competitive events.

HOWEVER for the fitness enthusiast in pursuit of fat loss, the sugars and calories found in these sports drinks can undo all of the hard work that you just did in your workout! Yes, these drinks taste good and are marketed to fit, active people, but always be aware of the calorie and sugar count before deciding if you should include it in your diet.

As we learned above, water is your most effective drink for reaching your fitness and fat loss goals.

3 Essential Snacking Tips

A big part of eating for fat loss is keeping your metabolism going all day long with small, sensible meals and snacks. In theory, this is simple and easy: eat a little something every 2-3 hours throughout the day.

Unfortunately very few people do it right, resulting in frustrating weight gain.

The content of your snacks and small meals is of utmost importance. If you’re eating the wrong thing every 2-3 hours then it’s easy to gain weight quickly, rather than what you want, which is to drop fat and clothes sizes.

Let’s jump into the 3 Essential Snacking Tips that I have for you today to keep you on track and burning fat all day long…

Snacking Tip #1: Watch out for added sugar.

Sugar is the biggest problem when it comes to fattening snacks, and so this needs to be the number one nutrient that you check. Your frequent snacks should contain very little, or zero, added sugars.

This is a pet peeve that I have: many ‘health’ foods have massive amounts of added sugars, which will destroy your results. Items like protein bars, jerky, dried fruit, green juice, and trail mix often have added sugars and preservatives that you need to watch out for and avoid.

Your snacks should have little to zero added sugars, and should be a nice blend of protein, fiber and complex carbohydrates.

Snacking Tip #2: Check the serving size.

When your snack comes in a package, after you make sure that it isn’t filled with sugar, check the serving size. It’s a popular technique for food manufacturers to give the nutritional facts for 2 or even 2.5 servings, on an item that you will likely polish off the entire package.

If the servings are more than just one then you’ll need to do some quick math. Calculate the total calories, sugar, carbs, fat and protein. Make sure that the numbers line up with your target nutrition sums.

Always be aware of how many servings you are eating in a single sitting. Do the math if you’re eating more than one serving – be honest with yourself!

Snacking Tip #3: Homemade and made-in-nature are best.

As convenient as packaged health snacks are, you will always see better results by eating whole foods found in nature, or snacks that you’ve made at home with real food ingredients. Even the healthiest packaged protein bar from the store is going to contain preservatives and additives that are completely avoided in homemade foods.

A handful of raw nuts, a piece of fruit with fresh nut butter, a hard boiled egg, a homemade fitness muffin (recipe below), some chicken breast on veggies or chopped flank steak on a salad are all better options than any packaged snack.

When possible, stick with whole foods found in nature and snacks and meals that you make at home.

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