10 Reasons for Weight Gain - #6

(Not Drinking Enough Water)

by

Veda Polk

6 Minute Read

The next two reasons for weight gain are, in my opinion, the most overlooked and underutilized factors in our day to day life and benefits in our health and wellness journeys. Water and Sleep are the two biggest factors that we take for granted. We know we are made mostly of water, we know we need sleep - so why do we fight these two factors so much? We struggle to drink the appropriate amount of water and we struggle to get the appropriate amount of sleep each night. Let’s look at reason #6 - Not Drinking Enough Water.


Did you know… dehydration increases irritability?? 

Did you know… increasing water helps our mood, energy level, metabolism and hunger??


Think about it - we are mostly water so we need to replenish ourselves and provide proper hydration. When we hydrate properly, it can increase your metabolism by 3%. It might not seem like much, but it adds up over time just by drinking water. The reason being your body has to heat up the water that you drink and it takes more energy to perform that task. During this process, because you are exerting more energy you are burning more calories and increasing your metabolism. 


Let’s also look at how it can help with hunger. Our body, as we learned in the last blog, has alarms and signals put in place to communicate with you. When it comes to actual hunger versus thirst, the signal is the same. We feel hungry when we need to replenish our body with water and we feel hungry when we actually need food. So how do we know when we are actually hungry or just needing water? 


Here’s a tip:

When you feel hungry, chug an 8oz glass of water. After doing so, wait 15 minutes. If you are still feeling hungry after 15 minutes, then have a meal or snack. Most times, if it’s between meals, your body is signaling that you need water and once you do that, the hunger signal goes away. You might also notice that energy levels increase as well!


Best Practices and Tips to Remember:

  1. Rule of thumb, however, is half your body weight in ounces of water

If you are struggling to consume that much the best starting place is having 8-8oz cups of water (increase with exercise)

  1. Consume more foods with high water volume (fruits, teas, oatmeal, etc)
  2. Another trick: drink 2 cups of water before each meal


I always recommend that if you are not able to focus on your nutrition plan or exercise routine, focus on maintaining your consumption of water and sleep routine at night. Both of these, because they are just as important as nutrition and exercise, will provide you with the ability to, if nothing else, maintain your weight. 


BUT - if you have a great nutrition plan in place, exercise routine that you have set, focus on drinking water because increasing both hydration and exercise increases metabolism, muscle mass, mood, aids in weight loss as well as decreasing fatigue and helps burn more calories!



UP NEXT:

Learning about the benefits of Sleep