Water, water everywhere – and plenty of drops to drink! Samuel Taylor Coleridge wasn’t thinking about weight loss when penning Rime of the Ancient Mariner, but he nonetheless knew water’s inestimable worth. Many Prime Women take on the water mantra themselves, especially when drinking water to lose weight. Here’s how to maximize water’s impressive liquid secrets to reach your optimum weight-loss goals this year.
Drinking water is beneficial at any age, but it’s a particularly potent tool in weight and health management after reaching the 50-plus age bracket. For women trying to shed a few pounds, hydration can compensate for hindrances that seem to have cropped up out of nowhere. For starters, a woman’s metabolism tends to slow down after age 50 – meaning that it’s harder to burn energy from the food you consume. In a Prime Women article detailing pertinent info about your metabolism, we explain how and why older people have slower metabolic rates, which can affect the ability to lose weight. An efficient metabolism breaks down food and uses it for energy, and an inefficient one has the opposite effect of storing the food as fat.
Fortunately, science backs up claims that you can actually change your metabolism through hydration. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism released a report stating that water consumption speeds up your metabolism by as much as 30 percent for at least short periods of time. Healthline also notes a temporary increase in metabolism, suggesting that drinking adequate amounts of water 30 minutes before meals may have significant weight-loss benefits. It can also make you feel fuller and thereby consume fewer calories. The Mayo Clinic states that drinking water before eating a meal cuts down on overeating while also helping your body break down fat and burn it more quickly.
The general goal then is to drink at least 64 ounces per day. This is easy to remember with the “8 x 8” rule: eight 8-ounces glasses of water per day. But remember that things such as hot weather, your exercise routine, and even your body weight can impact the amount of water you need. Trent Nessler, managing director of Baptist Sports Medicine in Nashville, tells WebMD, “In general, you should try to drink between half an ounce and an ounce of water for each pound you weigh, every day.” When drinking water to lose weight, it can be even more nuanced, taking into account when you hydrate. A study cited by the US National Library of Medicine showed that dieters who consumed 17 ounces of water prior to eating a meal lost 44 percent more weight over a three-month period than dieters who did not.
Another popular water-based weight loss method is to drink up as soon as you wake up. Drinking a glass of water the first thing in the morning is an effective way to rehydrate your body and kickstart your metabolism.
So how do you get all that water into your system every day? The Mayo Clinic Health System provides a list of fun ways to incorporate hydration into your daily life without even noticing that you’re doing something so incredibly good for your body.
A few ideas include:
It’s always a good choice to reach for water instead of sugar-sweetened beverages, like soda or sports drinks. The CDC states that “substituting water for one 20-ounce sugar-sweetened soda will save you about 240 calories.” You can also indulge in unsweetened tea, coffee, or sparkling water in moderation. Increasing your hydration options keeps your water intake from feeling like an obligation, and that will help keep you on track.
As if all this isn’t enough to get you guzzling, drinking water has a slew of other benefits. According to the Mayo Clinic Health System, water helps every cell in your system work properly. Plus, it aids in toxin flushing, kidney function, and joint and muscle lubrication. And while you’re enjoying that trimmer body, the water hydration is also gifting you with younger, fresher-looking skin. That’s why so many skincare products tout the ability to moisturize and nourish your skin – because it keeps you looking more youthful. Instead of just adding product to the outside, take the time to ‘moisturize’ from within and double your efforts.
If you find it’s challenging to get in enough water each day, you should take the time to find the tools that will bring you success. Would a water bottle that keeps your water icy cold help? What about a pitcher that allows you to use fruit to infuse flavors into your beverage? Such minor changes can make a big difference in making and keeping a successful water-drinking routine each day. With the potential benefits of weight loss and healthier skin, what’s stopping you?