Your weight loss plan is doing well but ‘you must take more water with it’ you frequently hear. Well, yes. You should drink adequate amounts of fluid because your body is made up of 98% water. Every cell in your body is bathed in fluid. By the time you start to feel thirsty your body is already starting to dehydrate – which is why it sent out that ‘thirsty’ signal to your brain. Not only that, but if you fill your stomach up with water there is less room for you to feel hungry! Equally important, on a weight loss plan, your body is burning off excess fat and the by-products of fat burning need to be eliminated from your body. To be able to do this efficiently, your body needs to have adequate fluid so that it can eliminate waste successfully as urine.
This brings me to another point. If your body is eliminating waste products as urine and you are not drinking sufficient fluids, the waste products in your urine could crystallize in your bladder or kidneys and grow into kidney stones – and, my brother assures me that getting rid of calciferous stones from those areas is a very painful business. So, if you are following any weight loss plan, my best advice to you would be to take enough water with it. By this I mean 6 to 8 glasses of water a day. However, don’t go to the other extreme. Too much water is very harmful to you because it could dilute some very necessary chemicals in your body and this could make you very ill indeed. It is often fatal.
The chemicals in your body that too much water can disturb are called electrolytes. Too much dilution of your body’s electrolytes can disrupt the function of the brain and heart. This is why it is so dangerous when small children get diarrhea and lose a lot of water from their small bodies; it is the reverse reaction to electrolytes being diluted too much. Diarrhea in infants causes a disturbance of their electrolytes and rather than plain water to replenish their bodies they need isotonic fluids, the same as athletes and for a similar reason. Isotonic drinks contain potassium and sodium, both chemicals needed to maintain a healthy electrolyte balance.
So, drink plenty of water but, if taking water in large amounts because you are thirsty on a hot day or after vigorous exercise, make sure the fluid is isotonic and not just plain water. Recent research obtained by the Institute of Medicine has indicated that women should drink 2.7 liters of total water a day; men should be drinking roughly 3.7 liters a day. This figure includes tea, coffee, and other fluids and also includes fluid that is naturally contained in food. For safety’s sake you need to be aware of how much you are actually drinking because the symptoms of dehydration are very similar to the symptoms associated with drinking too much water, such as nausea, confusion, dizziness and apathy.
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