Tips to lose weight + improve health
We sat down with Canadian fitness expert, Greg Hetherington, the owner of Fuel Training, in Toronto, who shared some of the less commonly known health benefits of water. Here is what he had to say.
Everyone knows the importance of drinking water. However, aside from hydration, which improves digestion, cognition, physical performance, mood and more, there are other things about water consumption that matter.
Let’s start with how water can indirectly lead to weight loss. At its simplest, if you consume fewer calories through eating or drinking than you expend through exercise, movement and your body’s daily energy requirements, you’ll run at what’s called a “caloric deficit”, which can lead to weight loss. It’s not the only factor in weight loss but it’s a significant one. Here’s where water comes in: if you consume water prior to a meal instead of a calorie beverage (CB) like juice, soda or milk, you’ll consume fewer calories during a meal. That’s right, consuming CBs can needlessly increase your meal’s caloric intake by 15%. (Source)
Although the mechanism is not fully understood, it’s speculated that since most CBs are sugar-based, a spike in insulin can open the gates to hunger. You simply eat more when your body is primed and consuming CBs may help do that. Consuming water, on the other hand, fills up your stomach without affecting blood sugar and simply leaves less room for food, so you feel full faster. More importantly, calories you consume through CBs are usually not needed by your body (unless you’re exercising intensely for more than an hour) and so are stored as fat.
Since CBs are the easiest and least filling way to consume calories, they’re the easiest way to increase your caloric intake. If weight management and body composition are goals for you, CBs should be minimized. Or, save them for your evening glass of wine or beer and don’t waste them during the day!
And another thing…
Weight loss isn’t the only thing to think about when it comes to the water you drink. Public drinking water is fine but purifying your water can improve its taste and reduce impurities– like heavy metals or human waste as result of dirty plumbing. Fluoride, which may not be necessary for most people can also be removed, as can chlorine, which are reduced in purified water.
A Reverse Osmosis system is a great way to get better tasting, pure water. You can learn more about RO systems and how to install one at your sink here.