Drinking eight glasses of water a day is not the solution to losing weight, but a few small changes to your lifestyle will make a big difference. Nutrition and dietetics consultant Megan Pentz-Kluyts weighs in on the topic.
Many women feel that if they avoid eating food and stick to drinking eight glasses of water a day they will lose weight. According to the article Drinking water won’t aid weight loss on www.iol.co.za, you will actually lose more weight by eating than avoiding food altogether.
Drinking water is not the only way your body keeps hydrated. Food, juices, fruit and vegetables all contribute to your overall intake. Water is definitely the healthiest form of liquid consumption, but you can consume other liquids in smaller quantities.
Recommendations for South Africans (adapted from the South African Food Based Dietary Guidelines and the US Beverage Guidance Panel, 2006) suggest that carbonated cooldrinks, fruit and vegetable juices and sports drinks should be limited to no more than one cup a day. Tea and coffee should be limited to no more than four cups of coffee or eight cups of tea per day. Rooibos tea, however, can be consumed freely.
Whatever you do, make sure you that you are always well hydrated, as dehydration affects many cardiovascular and thermo-regulating processes and responses. Pentz-Kluyts says, “Dehydration decreases physical strength and performance, and is the primary cause of heat exhaustion.”
Weight-loss tips from Pentz-Kluyts:
• Drink a glass of water before meals in order to reduce your appetite.
• Make use of the healthy plate model. Aim for a quarter of your plate as protein, a quarter as starch and half as vegetables and salad.
• Always shop with a shopping list and store pre-packed snacks so you don’t over-indulge.
• Avoid eating in front of the TV or computer because you will eat slower. This means less indigestion/heartburn and you’ll feel full quicker.
• Combining carbohydrates (fresh fruit, whole grains, starchy vegetables) and protein (lean red meat, skinless chicken, nuts or dairy) at each meal/snack will help to control blood sugar, curb cravings and sustain energy levels throughout the day.