The World's Best Diet Aid

by Susie Michelle Cortright

Introducing a natural, fat-free appetite suppressant that contains no calories and no cholesterol. It is low in sodium, helps the body metabolize fat, improves energy levels, and helps maintain skin and muscle tone. It is in abundant supply, and, many times, free of charge.

We are talking, of course, about water. But even with all its benefits, most of us don’t drink enough.

The Function of Water

Only oxygen is ranked more essential to life. Every physiological function depends on water. Water…
· Suppresses the appetite.
· Helps regulate body temperature.
· Transports oxygen, nutrients, hormones, and antibodies.
· Helps eliminate toxins and other wastes from the body.
· Lubricates your joints.
· Lubricates your hair, skin, mouth, nose, and eyes.
· Protects organs and tissues.
· Increases the efficiency of proteins and enzymes essential to metabolism.
· Relieves water retention (though it may seem counterintuitive, when you’re retaining water, the best course of action is to drink more water, not less.)

On the flip side, dehydration can have devastating effects. Dehydration has been linked to asthma and allergies, constipation and heartburn, hypertension and headaches, poor muscle tone, and inefficiencies in digestion, metabolism, and organ function.
Warning signs of dehydration may include low energy, mental confusion, and pain in the joints, stomach, and back.

Water and Weight Loss

Water is a natural appetite suppressant. When your stomach is full of water, you’ll find yourself feeling full sooner. Drinking plenty of water also helps your body metabolize fat. When you’re dehydrated, your liver must step in to help the kidneys function. That means your liver becomes less efficient in doing its own job of metabolizing fat and cholesterol.

"But I’m not thirsty…"

Ever notice that, when you drink more water, you find yourself thirsty, but when you live on caffeinated soda, you’re not thirsty at all? The truth is, thirst is not a good indicator of water deprivation. A lack of thirst may actually signal dehydration. "Dry mouth" thirst is a sign of extreme dehydration. When your body is deprived of water, it adjusts by disabling the body’s thirst sensor. Once you start hydrating yourself, thirst kicks in again.

How much is enough?

Each day, your body replaces 2 ½ quarts of water. In fact, experts say we lose 1 to 2 pints of water each day just in the process of exhaling. A good rule of thumb: drink one half-ounce of water for each pound of body weight per day. If you are physically active, bump it up to two-thirds of an ounce of water for each pound.
When you exercise, experts recommend drinking 16 ounces of water before, 4 to 8 ounces (every 20 minutes) during, and 24 ounces following your workout.
You’ll also have to make up for the water lost through popular dehydrators, such as caffeine and alcohol. Drink an additional 8-ounces of water for each cup of coffee, caffeinated soda, or serving of alcohol you enjoy. When your urine runs clear, you’re probably getting enough water, and when you first begin to rehydrate, you might feel like you’re spending all your time in the bathroom. Just wait it out. Within a few weeks, your body will adjust and you will urinate less frequently.

Some tips to get down eight 8-ounce glasses:

· Carry a water bottle everywhere you go. I have a 32-ounce plastic container with a built-in straw. When I have it with me, I drink a lot more water. Some days, I have to fill it three or four times. · Liven up ordinary water with a squirt of lime or lemon juice. Sometimes, I add a splash of fruit juice to the water. Try to go easy on the juice, though. Most juices are high in sugar, which adds calories and stimulates the pancreas.
· Purchase an inexpensive water filter, such as the Brita water filter. For about $30, you can enjoy great tasting water all the time. Plus, when you have cold, refreshing water ready in the fridge, you’ll be more likely to pour yourself a glass.

Copyright Susie Michelle Cortright

Susie Michelle Cortright is the founder and publisher of Momscape, an online magazine devoted to nurturing the nurturers. Visit her at to escape in inspiring articles and essays, subscribe to Momscape's free email newsletters, and register to win free pampering packages.

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