This week I want to talk about the basics of getting healthy. P
People who tend to live a healthy lifestyle and/ or are educated in fitness and nutrition tend to leave out the most basic facts about getting healthy, because they think it will be a "given" to their friends or clients. But as a formally fat person (FFP!), I know these are lessons that not only need to be shared but practiced as one begins to transform their bodies and lives.
Today that one fact is going to be about water, and your daily intake of it.
Here are some facts about our bodies:
- Our muscles are 75% water
- Our brain- 90% water
- Our blood- 83% water
- Our bones - 22% water.
As a whole, our society needs to lose weight. No matter where you are in your journey of getting healthy, I think it is be safe to assume you have at a least a few unwanted pounds that you would like to loose.
Here is a news flash: Water helps you lose weight! Yep. Water.
Water acts as an appetite suppressant, it has zero calories, it aids in the flushing of toxins in your body and when you drink enough water your body learns that it no longer needs to retain water because you are providing it more than enough. Let me say that again..... When you drink enough water your body LEARNS that it no longer needs to retain water because you are providing it more than enough.
You will hear me say this statement a lot as we talk about getting healthy: "Your body learns."
There are MANY benefits to drinking water. Better skin, helps prevent infections and other health problems. Water makes your brain work better and drinking water generally means you will be in better general health. Muscle and joints can become stronger and water assists in carrying oxygen to the muscles.
Water is vital for keeping your system clean. It helps with detoxification and assists the bile acids in flushing your system. It can help boost your metabolism by as much as 30%. Water will also help with cravings. Simple cravings for salt and sugar can be a sign of simple dehydration, not a cry from your body for good.
So how much water should one consume in a day? You can line up 100 professional and ask them this question and you will get 100 different answers. But with my experience, my education, and lessons learned as a FFP, I consistently suggest to people 5 liters of water per day. This equals out to be 169 ounces of water per day. Now before you close down my blog and think I am crazy hear me on this.
No, you do not want to sit down and drink 5 liters of water in a short period of time. But yes, drinking 5 liters of water a day is not only beneficial to your health, the function of your body but it also will aid in that weight loss. Many people ask me, does this include the water in my protein shakes, coffee, soda or vodkas waters or those pretty and expensive Vitamin waters? The answer is NO. You should consume 5 liters of pure water each and every day.
I will try not to go off on a rant about Vitamin Waters, but please people save your money and your bodies!!! In my opinion this is the last kind of water you want to consumer. If you look at the ingredients the second ingredient in those handy and cute little Vitamin waters is crystalline fructose. That’s a fancy word for high-fructose corn syrup, pretty much the worst legal thing you can put in your body. There’s a ton of it in the bottle: about 32 grams and 125 calories. It’s basically no different as drinking a can of coke, except that it doesn’t taste as good. In addition it is made with distilled water. There’s a lot of controversy surrounding whether or not distilled water is good or bad for you. I know I do not want to put anything in my body that is surrounded by controversy. One fact you may not know about distilled water is it is stripped of its minerals (“soft”) it will attract vitamins and minerals from your body and you will expel them. That would mean vitamin water actually takes nutrients from you. And finally, there aren’t that many vitamins in it. Way less than in a glass of orange juice.
Along with telling the people I help to get their 5 liters in a day I advise them to add lemon juice to 2 liters of the 5 they are going to be drinking. You want to add enough lemon juice to the water so it appears cloudy. Now, I am a busy mom of 5 so I do not have time to fresh squeeze my lemon juice. I do however purchase lemon juice from Whole Foods that is organic, and this is the brand I suggest to those who I help.
Why lemon juice in the water?
Starting your morning with a glass of warm (or cold) lemon water introduces a healthy natural digestive aid into your stomach. The citric acid interacts with other acids and enzymes in your stomach to jump start your day of problem-free digestion.
Lemons improve your digestive system by reducing symptoms of heartburn and bloating. It even stimulates the liver by dissolving uric acid. Calcium builds bone density and potassium helps the brain and nerves cells function – two more reasons lemons are smart food.
Lemon zest can aid weight loss because the zest contains pectin, which is a soluble, dietary fiber that can lower LDL cholesterol levels and prevent spikes in blood sugar. The Journal of the American College of Nutrition concluded that, after eating pectin, hunger levels are reduced for four hours.
An average lemon weighs 100 grams. Of that, more than 90 grams is water. The rest is 8.63 grams of carbohydrates, .4 grams of protein and .4 grams of fiber. There is neither fat nor cholesterol, but, there are 13 important vitamins. So, for a fruit that is almost all water, what’s in there that’s so good for fitness and health? The answer is citric acid.