Weighing in on Water, by Susan Maurer, CNS
I saw a local TV spot once for a dry cleaner that went something like this: “When you wash your own clothes, you end up with wrinkled shirts. When you end up with wrinkled shirts, the girl you are dating stops calling you back. When the girl you are dating stops calling you back, you end up alone and miserable.
Don’t wash your own shirts
Missing out on enough water is a little like that ad: one action will set off a cascade of events that can leave you feeling less energized and even more likely to put on some weight. So whether you are looking for more reasons to reinforce your everyday water habit, or you’re looking for incentives to increase your water intake, here are three less-known facts that might be of interest:
1. The Water-Stress Cycle
A drop in hydration does more than make you feel sluggish, it also leads to an increase in the stress hormone, cortisol. As little as a 2% drop can signal a stress response, which increases insulin levels. Insulin that is too high, over time, can lead to a pre-diabetic state. Unfortunately, stress can also cause a state of dehydration and dehydration leads to stress, so making sure that adequate water intake is part of your daily routine can break this cycle.
2. Water (at the Right Time) Aids Weight Loss: Study Proves It
A study reported in Science Daily and the journal Obesity asked one of their two test groups to drink 16oz of water ½ hour before each meal. After 12 weeks, the group that drank the 16oz of water lost, on average, 10lbs more than the control group.
It is important to note that you should NOT drink 16oz of water WITH a meal. When you drink that much during a meal, you dilute the efforts of hydrochloric acid (HCL) in the stomach, which is critical for breaking down fats and proteins during digestion. A reduced level of HCL can lead to increased indigestion from food that is not broken down adequately in the gut. Additionally, after the age of 40 we lose some of that HCL anyway. So load up on water before a meal, but drink less (4oz) during a meal.
3. Water Helps You Burn Fat
Water is necessary for metabolizing fat: it interacts with triglycerides and makes them ready for a process called lipolysis, which is when the fats are turned into fatty acids and can be burned.
Creating New Habits: One Small Shift
Try adding this small shift into your routine: whenever you drink water, think of one of these benefits (among many) from Medical News Today :
- It increases energy during working out
- It maintains healthy joints
- It helps with weight loss
- It boosts skin health and beauty
Pick just one and focus on it every time you drink some water. You’ll end up feeling like a simple task such as drinking water yields some great rewards, well above getting your clothes to the dry cleaner.
About Susan Maurer, CNS
Susan Maurer, CNS, has been a nutritionist for over 15 years, working both independently and in doctor groups. She sincerely believes that we have over-complicated the idea of eating by focusing too much on misinformation that is delivered via word of mouth or through the media. Her philosophy is to start from the beginning: clean the slate of all the information about food that we think may be beneficial, and focus instead on the basics of what our bodies truly need to be healthy. With this greater awareness and base of knowledge, she then begins to fine tune a client’s diet, health, exercise and sleep habits. Susan has worked with a variety of patients for weight management as well as other challenges such as diabetes, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and digestive issues. She is licensed in Connecticut and a member of the American Nutrition Association (ANA).
Good eating habits and a healthier life starts with a conversation. And with that dialogue, Susan will help you see the power of food and the fact that anyone can feel healthier and more energized.