Jan 12 2011
If you're like most people, losing those last few holiday pounds is high on your list of to-dos this month. Fortunately, one of the best diet aids is free, abundant and right at your fingertips: water.
According to research from Virginia Tech, dieters who started each meal with two eight-ounce glasses of water lost an average of five pounds more than those who didn't. Researchers say this is the first study that provides real evidence that water's appetite-suppressing benefits translate into actual weight loss.
But you know the saying, "You can lead a horse to water..."
Fortunately, these 11 easy tips from a variety of health and wellness experts are sure to make you drink:
- To make water taste better, Todd Bartee, the CEO of Aquasana, a leading maker of water filters for the home, recommends using an easy-to-install countertop filter to strip out the chlorine and other chemicals that are put in tap water to disinfect it. Says Bartee, "Once you remove the contaminants, you're left with the most pure and delicious water you've ever tasted. You'll notice a difference immediately." Top consumer rating organizations recommend Aquasana's AQ-4000 counter top filter, which uses a patented process to remove the chlorine, pesticides, lead and other chemicals in tap water. www.aquasana.com
- Chef-to-the-stars, Lulu Powers, who just released a new cookbook, Lulu Powers Food to Flowers, recommends adding slices of orange, mint or cucumber to your water to complement meals.
- Powers also suggests adding specialty ice cubes made from fresh fruits and herbs for an extra hint of flavor and to up the aesthetic factor.
- Ann Louie Gittleman, Ph.D., author of the national bestseller, The Fat Flush Plan, recommends diluting your juice with water, adding less and less juice—and more water—as time goes by.
- Dr. Gittleman also recommends including in your diet water-rich foods like broth-based soups, lettuce, broccoli and citrus fruits.
- Dr. Maoshing Ni, author of the bestseller, Secrets of Longevity, and the just-released follow-up, Secrets of Longevity: Dr. Mao's 8 Week Program, refers to filtered tap water as "a key to losing weight." Says Dr. Mao, "Filter your own water with a high-quality water filter like the one from Aquasana and drink it throughout the day to help with fluid retention. It is also a natural appetite suppressant."
- Dr. Mao also suggests making a "detox soup" with filtered tap water, seasonal vegetables like kale and winter squash, dried beans and legumes and aromatic herbs and spices. Bring the soup to a boil and simmer for a couple of hours.
- Track and monitor your daily water consumption by downloading an application for your phone such as Water Me or Water Your Body. www.itunes.com/appstore
- Substitute a cup of warm water with a drop of honey for the coffee you might have after lunch and dinner. This will also help you eliminate caffeine, which dehydrates the body.
- Outsmart the mid-afternoon blood-sugar blues. Set the alarm on your phone to ring at 3 pm to remind you to stop and drink a full glass of water before the afternoon munchies hit.
- Design your own, one-of-a-kind, stainless steel water bottle to make drinking water more fun and a way to express yourself. This works especially well with kids. www.siggskins.com