I was super excited earlier this week!
I got on the scale and discovered that in 2 weeks I’d lost 4 pounds!
I know 4 pounds doesn’t seem like much, when my ultimate goal is to lose 25 pounds, but it’s a start, right?
While I’ve been wanting to lose the weight for a while, I really started making the effort 2 weeks ago. Remember that I got a Fitbit for Christmas? Well, 2 weeks ago I started using it to up my game in the effort to shed the pounds. I’ve been really keeping track of my walking and other exercise a lot more diligently. I’ve also started using it to keep track of my food intake, and remind me when it’s time to have a healthy snack to head off food cravings at the pass.
But that’s not the biggest change I’ve made in the past 2 weeks.
Instead of eating LESS of this or that, my biggest change has been getting MORE of something very important.
That something is water.
I started paying attention to my water consumption and realized I wasn’t getting nearly enough.
I really make an effort with water. I carry a water bottle everywhere; it’s like an extension of my hand. I set an alarm on my phone to remind me to drink. I try to eat water-rich foods so that I get water from different sources.
Even so, sometimes I still don’t drink the water, even though I know I should.
Water can help with weight loss. Studies have shown that regularly 16 ounces of water (that’s the size of a standard water bottle) before meals can help shed the pounds and keep them off. People who regularly drink the water and follow a low-calorie diet lose more weight than those who follow the same diet but don’t have the regular water intake. They were also shown to be more likely to keep the weight off for a full year after the study.
Hunger is also a sign of dehydration, which is why experts recommend that if you’re feeling hungry, you drink a glass of water instead of eating. By doing so, you’re not only eliminating unnecessary snacking, but you’re giving your body what it really needs.
If you’re trying to lose weight to boost your fertility, water can be the key ingredient. Issues with ovulation are the leading cause of female infertility, and we know that sometimes, just losing 10% of our body weight can help get ovulation back on track, and water can be the hidden weapon to help you get there.
So how much water do we need?
The common guideline is 64 ounces of water daily – 8 8-ounce glasses of water.
This is a good guideline, and certainly an easy one to remember. If you can get that much water every day you’re in pretty good shape.
I think we actually need more than that, and the amount does vary depending on the individual.
For the first week of my increased water consumption I did focus on getting 64 ounces each day, but starting the following week, I upped my goal to half of my body weight in ounces, as this is what most experts recommend. If you live in a hot, dry climate, you’ll need even more.
Most experts recommend our water intake to be half of our body weight in ounces each day.
How to know if you’re getting enough water?
- Check your urine. This is a quick, easy and surefire way to monitor your water intake. First, in terms of frequency, you should go to the bathroom a lot – about 4-7 times a day. If you’re going less, chances are good you need to up your water intake. Second, take a moment to check out what your urine looks like. Ideally, it should be a very light yellow or even clear color. If it’s dark and looks thick like pea soup, your body is telling you need more hydration. Heed this message.
- Check your poops. I know studying your stools isn’t high on anyone’s list of favorite things to do, but you can learn so much about your body from doing so! Water helps lubricate our internal plumbing, and keeps the digestive system doing what it’s supposed to do to absorb the nutrients we need and eliminate solid waste. If we’re dehydrated, the intestines soaks up water from food waste, which leads to both hard stools that are hard to pass and constipation. I suffer from constipation from time to time, which is a message from my body that I need more water. If you’re frequently “irregular” chances are good that drinking more water will correct this. You don’t have to go every day to be regular; if you’re going regularly and your stools are easy to pass you’re probably in good shape.
- Check your skin. The skin is our largest organ and it needs to stay hydrated. Dry skin is a good sign of dehydration and easy to spot. If you find yourself picking at the dry skin on your hands, drink a glass of water instead! I often use my feet as a barometer. When my skin is too dry my heels get really cracked. When I’m properly hydrated, my heels and feet are smooth and supple!
- Check your eyes. Lack of water leads to dry, bloodshot eyes because our tear ducts dry up when we’re dehydrated. While it may seem easy to correct this problem by using over-the-counter or prescription eyedrops to help us make tears, it makes a lot more sense (and is better for us!) to just drink more water!
- How do you feel overall? Are you tired, lethargic, have low energy? Are you feeling alert? How is your reaction time during times you need to be paying attention, for example, while driving? When we’re dehydrated, our body borrows oxygen from our blood, which leads to a lack of stamina, and the feelings of fatigue. Keep the water handy when you need a pick-me-up.
Now if you’ll excuse me, writing this post has made me thirsty!
To your health and fertility,
This post is also available in: Arabic