We are in full swing into the holiday season, with multiple parties and social gatherings on the horizon. As we participate in these festive activities, we also are more likely to partake in the festive foods and drinks that are within reach. And why not? It’s the perfect time for celebration as we get together with family and friends, while we also wrap up the end of another year.
During the winter months, it is common to overindulge in warmer foods and drinks that are typically high in calories, which then leads to gaining additional pounds. Let’s face it, the idea of eating healthy during this time of year has been thrown out the window. It’s natural and you are human. It is not realistic to be the one person at the party eating celery sticks while surrounded by holiday goodies. Enjoy your favorite foods and don’t beat yourself up.
But there is one way to help curb your appetite so you don’t eat everything in sight. Drink water!
The adult human body consists of about 60% water, according to the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). Not only does drinking water keeps us hydrated, it also helps regulate body temperature; flushes out toxins; and assists in transporting nutrients to different parts of the body.
Water is clearly key to our survival, but it can also contribute to successful weight loss.
Drinking water before a meal can give you the sensation of feeling full faster, which can keep you from overeating. It can also slightly increase your metabolism. If you’re drinking high-calorie beverages, replace those drinks with water. Following this health tip has helped me achieve my personal weight-loss goal — especially since I was someone who used to constantly drink sugary drinks.
So, how much water should you drink?
We’ve heard the common advice that each person should drink eight glasses of water a day. But realistically, the quantity depends on a person’s gender, age, weight, health issues and amount of physical activity. With that said, NASM recommends a daily fluid intake of about 16 cups for men and about 12 cups for women.
Drinking this much may seem nearly impossible for some. When I’ve spoken to some of my fitness clients about the importance of drinking water, the most common comment I hear is, “I hate water. It is too boring and it is tasteless.” If you struggle with drinking water because of its lack of taste, add fresh-cut fruit to give it a bit of natural flavor. Adding strawberries or lemons can liven up that healthy ice cold beverage.
Eating vegetables and fruits, like watermelon and spinach, can contribute to meeting our daily water intake, too. Both of these foods are made up of 92% water weight, according to NASM.
Is there such a thing as drinking too much water?
Yes, it’s called hyponatremia. It occurs when the kidneys get over flooded with fluid. But unless you are a high-endurance athlete or have a health condition that does not allow you to sweat properly, you probably don’t need to worry about this issue. Consult your doctor if you have concerns about your current water intake.
Stephanie Swearngin is a group fitness instructor at VillaSport Athletic Club and Spa and at VASA Fitness in Colorado Springs.