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Glug... Glug.... Ugh! Why So Much Water

From eDiets - The online diet, fitness, and healthy living resource

Water! An essential element of life and a very important and critical component of any serious weight-loss plan. The other day, I was responding to an eDiets member, who was struggling with drinking her daily allocation of water. I should add that this is not uncommon for those in the process of weight loss.

For those who feel like dieting is a punishment they must suffer for poor eating, this part of the program is often viewed as water torture. Many people would much rather drink their soda or juice than water, but if you are to succeed at weight loss, you must learn to love water. That is a simple fact of weight-loss life. As I was preparing to respond to this member, I thought I would do a little research on the topic. Let me give you some water facts and then offer a suggestion for those of you struggling to drink your daily water requirement.

So, join me as I offer you some ramblings on the wonders of water...

By definition, water is a clear, odorless, colorless and tasteless liquid. Chemically, it is a compound of hydrogen and oxygen, and it is everywhere. As a matter of fact, according to the World Book Encyclopedia, it is the only substance on earth that is naturally present in three different forms -- as a liquid, a solid (ice) and as a gas (water vapor).

Water is a common topic of conversation at eDiets. Let me share with you an excerpt about water from our HELP menu under the Frequently Asked Questions banner:

“How much water do I have to drink every day, and what else can I drink? Is it possible to drink too much water?"

Because water makes up 80 percent of your blood and brain -- and about 50 percent of the rest of your body's tissues, water is vitally important to your good health! You can estimate how much water you need by dividing your weight by two…the result is approximately the amount of water you should drink each day.

Water regulates the body temperature and aids the liver and kidneys in processing body toxins. Water is necessary for nutrient and oxygen transport in your body, and for absorption and utilization of vitamins and minerals. If you don't drink enough water, you can become constipated, dehydrated and very, very ill! When you're exercising, make sure you drink before, during and after your activity. Although you do get water from foods and other fluids, we recommend drinking at least 8 glasses (8ozs. each, or 64 ozs. total) of water daily. Some beverages, such as no sodium added club soda and herbal tea may count towards your water intake, but coffee and tea, which contain caffeine, are "dehydrating," and cannot be counted as water.

It's difficult to drink too much water, although it is possible! Drinking too much water, or “overhydration,” usually only occurs in an adult whose heart, kidneys and pituitary glands are not functioning normally. A normal person would have to drink more than two gallons of water in one day to develop “overhydration!”

Here are some other interesting facts about water that I found on a government web page, called “Water Science For Schools” (located at http://ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/earthhowmuch.html).

Just how much water is there on (and in) the earth? Here are some numbers you can think about: The total water supply of the world is 326 million cubic miles (a cubic mile is an imaginary cube, a square box measuring one mile on each side). A cubic mile of water equals more than one trillion gallons.

About 3,100 cubic miles of water, mostly in the form of water vapor, is in the atmosphere at any one time. If it all fell as precipitation at once, the earth would be covered with only about 1 inch of water.

The 48 contiguous states in the U.S. receive a total volume of about 4 cubic miles of precipitation each day.

Each day, 280 cubic miles of water evaporate or transpire into the atmosphere. If all of the world's water was poured on the United States, it would cover the land to a depth of 90 miles.

Of the freshwater on earth, much more is stored in the ground than is available in lakes and rivers. More than 2,000,000 cubic miles of fresh water is stored in the earth, most within one-half mile of the surface. Contrast that with the 60,000 cubic miles of water stored as fresh water in lakes, inland seas, and rivers. But, if you really want to find fresh water, the most is stored in the 7,000,000 cubic miles of water found in glaciers and icecaps -- mainly in the polar regions and in Greenland.

The bottom line is that water is everywhere, and it is the best friend a dieter can have. If you want to lose weight and get healthy, you simply must escape the water torture mentality and learn to embrace a water-drinking lifestyle. I mentioned above that I had a suggestion for those of you struggling with drinking your daily allowance of water. I offer it here for your consideration.

In my Monday morning meeting here at eDiets, one of the members posted a very interesting comment about drinking water. The moment I read it, I knew it could be helpful to others. She said that, every time she takes a drink of water, she imagines that she is "watering her internal seeds of change." What a great mental image to use to reinforce the water drinking habit! So, I suggest, as you grab that vessel of water, think of yourself as a health gardener -- watering your internal seeds of change. I love it!! That calls for a drink -- of water that is!

Dr. John Sklare, director of the eDiets Emotional Support Center, shares his expertise on "emotional eating" with the eDiets community. Dr. Sklare is also the author of the eDiets Audio Companion Program -- the powerful and innovative new offline support program for your online eDiets program. With the current emphasis on Mind/Body medicine and natural healing, Dr. Sklare stands firmly on the leading edge!

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