Water Can Help Your Diet
N.C. Drinking water can help you in your efforts to lose weight,
says a Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center nutritionist.
can decrease your appetite," said Mara Z. Vitolins, R.D., Dr.
P.H., assistant professor of public health sciences (epidemiology).
"It is hard to distinguish between being thirsty and being hungry,
so try drinking water and waiting 20 to 30 minutes to see if you're
who also is part of the Center for Research on Human Nutrition and
Chronic Disease Prevention, added that drinking water also may help
you cut calories.
people drink sodas, coffee, and other such beverages and totally disregard
drinking plain water," she said. "Replacing the higher calorie
beverages with plain water or flavored water (without added sugar)
can significantly reduce calories."
most of these drinks contain caffeine. "The caffeine acts as
a diuretic to set you up for dehydration. By the time you feel thirsty,
you already are dehydrated."
of all ages need to drink plain water, she said.
is an important nutrient and is vital for a variety of bodily functions
and processes including removal of waste products, carrying nutrients,
and regulating body temperature," she said. "Water helps
reduce fluid retention, and helps keep bowel functions normal."
water is enough?
says one way to calculate how much you need is to take your weight
in pounds and divide by two. The result is the number of ounces of
water you should drink a day. So a 100- pound woman needs to drink
50 ounces of water each day -- just a little more than four 12-ounce
glasses, or three bottles of water (which usually are 500 milliliters
or 16.9 ounces.) A 175-pound man would need five bottles of water.
think many people would greatly benefit by recording the amount of
water they drink in a day," Vitolins said. "Many folks I
have asked to do this are surprised at how little they drink. It is
an essential nutrient yet so few actually get enough!"
plenty of water is as important in the winter as it is during the
summer, Vitolins said.
people realize fluid is used to produce sweat which keeps us cool
during exercise and the hot temperatures of summer, but not as many
are aware that the body also needs water to stay warm," she said.
"The best way to illustrate this is to think of your car. The
radiator needs fluid regardless of the weather."
said some people need to speak with their physician prior to increasing
their water intake, "especially people with kidney problems that
require fluid restriction."
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