The Biggest Mistakes That Lead To Weight Gain – Part 3: Water

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We know that to lose weight and keep it off, we must pay attention to our diet (nutrition) and work out daily (exercise). But what if I told you there are 4 HUGE mistakes having NOTHING to do with nutrition OR exercise that lead to WEIGHT GAIN?!

That’s right! There are things you could be doing right now that are causing you to either GAIN WEIGHT (and not the good kind) or that are dramatically hindering your efforts towards your weight loss and fitness goals.  I don’t know about you, but I want my diet and exercise efforts to work! So, if there are other things I can do – or not do – to help myself out, I want to take advantage of them.

How much water should you drink daily?

In this series, I will share with you the TOP MISTAKES that lead to (unwanted) WEIGHT GAIN, why they lead to WEIGHT GAIN, and HOW TO AVOID THEM!!

While it is true that drinking more water will help curb appetite, it only works if you are in fact dehydrated. Most of us live in a dehydrated state due to poor habits, poor nutrition, medications, environment…. However, there is misinformation that states everyone should drink at least 1 gallon of water daily. This can be misleading and harmful to some.

If you are not dehydrated, drinking in excess to curb your appetite can lead to OVER-HYDRATION. Over-hydrating will flush out your electrolytes – primarily sodium.

ELECTROLYTES are important nutrients that perform many bodily functions like regulating heartbeat, maintaining muscle and nerve functions, moving water and fluids within the body, generating energy, influencing immunity, and more.

The major electrolytes include:

  • Calcium
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Sodium
  • Phosphate
  • Chloride

Drinking too much water can contribute to an electrolyte imbalance resulting in increased appetite and hunger pangs. Your brain will send you signals – through cravings – so you will eat certain foods containing the lacking electrolytes to get your body back in balance. For example, if you are low in sodium, your body will crave salty foods. The translation for most? Chips, which are not good for the waistline or your health.

How much water should you drink daily?

If you are not dehydrated, drinking in excess to curb your appetite can lead to OVER-HYDRATION

Many things dictate how much water one should drink daily – level of activity, environment, heat index, humidity, medications, work conditions, etc. For the average person, the ratio is ½ your body weight in ounces of water daily. For every hour of exercise, add 8 oz. If you are in extreme weather conditions, add more. You can determine the exact amount by doing a sweat test. (Contact me if you are interested in doing a sweat test.)

On a good note, you can supplement your hydration through your nutrition by eating watery foods (watermelon, cucumbers, cantaloupe…), soups, and smoothies which all contain electrolytes, too.

Note that your hydration needs change as your weight fluctuates up or down. Make the necessary adjustments to your hydration needs according to your weight loss (or gain), environment, and activity level to keep yourself hydrated, healthy, and feeling and performing your best.

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