KRON 4 | Eat Your Fluids and Lose Weight

Drinking the recommended amount of water every day may sometimes seem like a daunting task, but here’s why you need water to lose weight — and why you don’t have to drink all that water.

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Which would you rather have….?

Why You Need Water to Lose Weight

  • Water suppresses your appetite naturally.
  • Your body often confuses thirst with hunger. You may think you’re hungry, but you’re actually just thirsty.
  • When you lack water, you store more fat. Water is the key to fat metabolism. Water lessens the burden on your kidneys. Your kidneys can’t function properly without enough water. Thus, the liver has to compensate and can’t do its job which is to break down fats and produce energy.

NOTE: An overweight person needs more water than a thin one. The more fat you have to lose, the more water you have to drink per day.

Recommended Daily Water Intake

Aim for drinking half your weight in ounces. For example, if you weigh 160 pounds, drink 80 oz. of water (10 cups). Then adjust for hot weather, exercise, and medical conditions.

Fluid Content in Fruits and Vegetables 

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Percent Water in Vegetables
Cucumber, iceberg lettuce: 96%
Celery, zucchini, romaine lettuce: 95%
Tomatoes, bell peppers: 94%
Broccoli: 91%

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Percent Water in Fruits

Watermelon, strawberries: 92%
Cantaloupe, peach, nectarine: 88-90%
Plum, raspberries, apple, blueberries: 85-87%

Get More Mileage Out of Water-Rich Food

  • Water-rich food is full of water and fiber which makes food BIG and HEAVY. So it takes up more space (it’s filling!) without adding a lot of calories.

– Turn casseroles into soups.
– Eat rice (cooked with water) instead of dry, dense bread, bagels or crackers.
– Eat oatmeal (cooked with water) instead of cold dry cereal.
– Eat beans (cooked with water) instead of dense, fatty meat.

  • High volume foods help stop the diet-deprivation cycle. You can eat more food and feel less deprived.

When to Control Fluid Intake

Important note: People in the later stages of chronic kidney disease (CKD) have a limited ability to remove excess fluid since they have lost kidney function. Those living with CKD have to follow a fluid-restricted diet.

Apple c heart symbol_40x54 Fit Tip: Focus more on WHAT you eat vs. how much. Just eat more fruit at breakfast and add more veggies to lunch and dinner entrees.

Also, be sure to check the color of your pee. Your urine should be a pale straw color or transparent yellow (think light lemonade). If you’re dehydrated, your urine color will be darker yellow (think the color of honey or apple juice). Then it’s time to drink more water — about 1 to 1 1/2 cups to start — and eat some fruits and veggies!

KRON 4 | Payoffs from Losing Just Five Pounds

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If you resolved to lose weight at the beginning of the year, but haven’t reached your goal, here’s some good news. You really don’t have to lose that much weight to reap huge health benefits.

How Losing Just Five Pounds Boosts Your Health

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Lower Blood Pressure

  • The American Heart Association says if you are overweight, losing as little as five pounds may help lower blood pressure.
  • Lowering blood pressure reduces risk of stroke, heart disease, heart failure, and kidney failure.
  • The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute says for every 20 pounds you lose, you can drop systolic pressure 5-20 points. That is, drop a pound, drop a point.

Improve Urinary Incontinence (UI)

Simbolo toilette, bagno uomo e donnaLosing weight reduces risk factors for many medical conditions, especially heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. Now, there’s a new benefit that can be added to the long list of health benefits: reduced urinary incontinence (involuntary urination). About 25 million Americans have urinary incontinence and about 25% are men. About half of U.S. women over age 65 leak.

Causes and Cures for UI

  • Gravity, aging tissue, and hormonal changes all contribute to urinary incontinence.
  • Increased pressure on the bladder during pregnancy and as well a weakened or stretched pelvic floor from childbirth can cause incontinence.
  • Losing five pounds can reduce the stress on the pelvic floor and reduce incontinence significantly.
  • A UCSF study of over 338 women (average age of 53), those who lost an average of just three pounds reported 28% fewer urinary incontinence episodes. Those that lost 17 pounds had 47% fewer episodes. These outcomes improved quality of life measures. The study strongly suggests weight loss decreases incontinence episodes, and a reduction of intra-abdominal pressure (due to central obesity, i.e., belly fat) on the bladder and pelvic floor is possibly why.

Weight loss is an effective, nonsurgical, and noninvasive treatment and should be considered a first line therapy for incontinence. Incontinence drugs have side effects (e.g., dry mouth, dry skin, dry eyes, constipation, upset stomach), and it has been reported that 50% of women discontinue drug treatment within one year because of the side effects.

Improve and Prevent Arthritis Symptoms

  • Osteoarthritis is the leading cause of disability in the U.S.
  • When you carry extra pounds it puts huge pressure on your joints and puts you at risk of osteoarthritis (degenerative “wear and tear arthritis”).
  • In knee osteoarthritis, the cartilage in the knee joint gradually wears away. As the cartilage wears away, the protective space between the bones decreases. The deterioration of the “shock absorber” can result in bone rubbing on bone, pain, stiffness, loss of movement in the affected joint, and painful bone spurs.
  • Wake Forest University conducted an 18-month diet and exercise study on sedentary, overweight, older adults with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis. They concluded that for each pound of weight lost, each knee bears four pounds less pressure per step.

Amount of Knee Pressure When Walking

Senior woman power walking on a Gulf Coast beach.

  • If you lose five pounds, you reduce 20 pounds of pressure bearing down on each knee which can lessen pain.
  • When walking one mile (assuming 2,000 strides per mile), a five-pound loss in weight would be a reduction of more than 40,000 pounds of accumulated pressure on each knee.
  • Walking on an incline, walking up/down stairs, squatting, and jogging significantly reduce pressure on each knee even more.

Apple c heart symbol_40x54Fit Tip: Aim for losing a little weight versus a lot. It’s less daunting and the scientific evidence is clear. You’ll receive the health payoffs long before you drop large amounts of weight.

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