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Can I drink Alcohol on a Low Carb Diet?

Can I Drink Alcohol on a Low Carb Diet?

(contributed by Linda Anegawa, MD, FACP)

The short answer:  yes, but…

First, discuss with your doctor whether the use of alcohol may negatively impact your health.  Potential dangers include interacting with medications you may be taking and/or worsening certain chronic conditions you may have such as fatty liver, gout, and hypertension.

Should you and your doctor feel that occasional alcohol is safe for you, it can be enjoyed in moderation as part of a low carb lifestyle.  For example, there are lower-carb alcohol options that you can choose such as dry wines and spirits.  You can also use sugar-free mixers to enjoy low-carb variations of your favorite drinks like a rum and diet coke or a Moscow Mule made with diet ginger beer.

Remember however, that even if your doctor feels moderate alcohol is safe for you, it still can stall or greatly slow weight loss.   

General rules for alcohol use with low-carb diets:

  1. Choose dry wines (cabernet, pinot noir, chardonnay, Chablis, zinfandel), champagnes, spirits and (very) low carb beer if any beer at all. Remember to only combine with sugar-free mixers.

  2. Limit your consumption. Too many drinks can not only add up in calories from the alcohol but also limit your ability to steer clear of the dessert tray or reaching for snacks when you’re not hungry. Know the size of your pour and be aware of your limit!  We generally advise patients to stay under 1 drink per day.

  3. Try to avoid dessert wines like ports and sherries due to high sugar content. Likewise, avoid fruit-flavored cocktail mixers and dark beers. 

 

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Magnesium: A Mineral that Matters

Magnesium: A Mineral that Matters

(contributed by Linda Anegawa, MD, FACP)

You may know magnesium as a mineral that is important for the function of all our muscles:  low magnesium levels may cause painful cramps in our arms and legs, particularly after we’ve done very intense exercise.  Magnesium is also critical for the function of our heart muscle, and when our levels get too low, serious arrhythmias may result. 

Magnesium is also critical for over 300 other metabolic and enzymatic reactions in the body.   In particular, the relationship of magnesium to blood sugar levels is an area of active study.  As a part of glucose metabolism, magnesium drives many of the reactions in the process of breaking down blood sugar.  

Magnesium deficiency is known to aggravate insulin resistance, because without magnesium, more insulin is required to metabolize blood sugar.  The pancreas pumps out more insulin, driving fat storage and increased hunger, leading to increased food intake.   When an individual is insulin resistant to begin with, the presence of low magnesium levels can feed an ongoing vicious cycle of worsening insulin resistance.

Some smaller studies have shown that giving individuals who are insulin resistant magnesium supplements improves insulin sensitivity and improves blood sugar control.  Whether magnesium can outright prevent diabetes or cause weight loss on its own is not completely clear.  While they don’t quite recommend supplements to prevent diabetes, the American Diabetes Association recommends that people with diabetes consume increased quantities of magnesium-rich foods.  These include vegetables and legumes, for example.

If you eat a lower carb or ketogenic diet, you may experience increased urination which means that you will lose extra water-soluble minerals including Magnesium.  So, remember the importance of this vital mineral.  You’ll be doing your muscles and your heart a favor, and maybe even put a damper on the cycle of metabolic syndrome that previously blocked your weight loss efforts. 

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Low Carb Travel Tips

Low Carb Travel Tips

(contributed by Linda Anegawa, MD, FACP)

Travel can be exhausting, even more so when you are committed to a healthier lifestyle. Even with careful planning, the unexpected can throw a wrench into things.  Canceled flights, traffic delays, and schedule changes are just a few of the things that can play havoc with your dietary plans.

Here are the best ways to set yourself up for success:

  1. Be Prepared

No matter how big or small the trip, having on-the-go food options will relieve a lot of stress.  Have a meal before leaving home, bring backup snacks, and seek out low-carb options.  Sticking to the basics can help you stay on plan and keep you from getting overwhelmed. Most restaurants and grocery stores will have healthy protein choices and vegetables available.

Look for a bun-less burger with salads, or a grilled protein with veggies and olive oil – it doesn’t have to be fancy.  Remember, proper trip preparation takes practice, but it will get easier over time.

  1. Do your food recon beforehand

Before leaving for your trip, scope out the food scene where you’re going.  Websites like TripAdvisor or Yelp are great resources for this!  And most restaurants have their menus available online.  You can even call a restaurant ahead of time to inform them of your dietary needs.  Most chefs will appreciate the opportunity to be better prepared to serve you, and don’t be afraid to ask for modifications.    

  1. Assert your needs – don’t be afraid to ask for what you want

Traveling with family or colleagues can be especially challenging.  It can be helpful to explain beforehand why you’re committed to a low-carb lifestyle.  The more people understand why you’re making the choices you are, the more likely they’ll be to support you and they may even give it a try themselves.  Another tip: try grocery shopping together for what you want when you arrive.

  1. Move past slips

Even when we try our best, sometimes we go a bit off plan. If you do, it’s important not to spend time beating yourself up. Show yourself some compassion – acknowledge you did the best you could under the circumstances, and then determine to make the next good choice to help you get back on track.

  1. Most of all – enjoy yourself!

At the end of it all, trips and vacations are meant to be enjoyed. Brainstorm ahead of time all the ways to have a good time there that don’t involve food. Go on a hike or walk to explore your new area. If you’re visiting loved ones, focus on spending time with them.  Try not to be obsessed about every meal…just do your best. 

Happy Travels!

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How to Read Food Labels

How to Read Food Labels

Any time you pick up a jar or container of food, you’re sure to see a complex-looking label on the back. It’s the nutrition label, describing the ingredients and nutritional information for the product, which is required by law to inform consumers. Unfortunately, if you don’t know how to read the label correctly, the provided information will be of little use.

Nutritional labels on food offer helpful information about what you’re eating. Whether you’re on a diet, have food allergies, or are just paying closer attention to what you’re eating, knowing how to read food labels is a must.

Here’s everything you should know about a nutritional label, from top to bottom.

Serving information

The first thing you’ll see at the top of a nutritional label is the serving information. This tells you what the average serving size is, as well as how many servings are in the container.

Serving sizes vary based on the product. For cooked pasta, it might be one cup, but for sweets, it might be two cookies or pieces of candy. These sizes are loosely based on the average amount people eat of that particular food item.  It’s important to pay attention to serving size, because the rest of the nutritional information is almost always based on one serving, not the entire container. So, if you eat two servings in one sitting, you’ll be getting twice the nutrient content and calories listed on the label.

Some packages include nutritional information based on the full container in addition to or instead of a single serving. Each label will state whether its information is based on a serving or the whole container.

Calories

Below serving size, you’ll find calorie information. This provides the total calorie count per serving. This section may also show how many calories are from fat, which is important if you’re monitoring your fat intake.

Nutrient breakdown

Next, you’ll find a breakdown of the nutrients present in the food. This includes macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins and fats) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals).  The fats and carbohydrates sections may also list out the types of each, such as saturated fat or fiber and added sugar. Knowing the difference between these types of macronutrients and what they do is important.

Sodium and cholesterol are also usually included alongside fat, carbohydrates, and protein. Micronutrients are listed below the carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.

The total amount of each nutrient per serving, calculated in grams, is listed next to the nutrient. Next to that, there’s a percentage. This is the Percent Daily Value (%DV) for the nutrient.  Percent DV tells you what percentage one serving of that food provides of the recommended daily intake based on the government’s nutritional recommendations. For example, if the %DV for protein is 10 percent, it means one serving makes up 10 percent of the protein you should be eating each day.  A low %DV is five percent, and a high % DV is 20 or more. “Low” or “high” could be good or bad, depending on the nutrient and your general dietary choices.

It’s usually recommended you do not exceed 100 percent daily intake of some nutrients, like saturated fats. However, you should aim to reach 100 percent or more of other nutrients, such as vitamin D and fiber.

Percent DV is based on a 2,000 calorie-per-day diet and the average recommended value of each nutrient so if you eat fewer or more calories each day these percentages won’t be correct.

Ingredients

Finally, the nutritional label may contain an ingredients list. All food products containing more than one ingredient are required to have an ingredients list.

Ingredients are listed in descending order based on weight. Usually, the first ingredients listed are the most prevalent. Take a close look at the first few ingredients, since these make up the majority of what you’re eating.

It’s also helpful to know how to recognize the “sneaky” names for things like added sugar, which may appear several times in an ingredients list. There are at least 56 different names for sugar that appear frequently in ingredient lists.  Here are a few of the more common ones…barley malt, corn syrup, sucrose, glucose, lactose, fructose, maltose, mannitol, maltodextrin, maple syrup.

Careful observation goes hand-in-hand with education

Understanding how to read nutritional labels means little if you don’t understand how different macronutrients and micronutrients affect your body. Consult your doctor or a dietician to understand what amount of fats, proteins, carbs, and other nutrients your body needs to stay healthy.

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Staying on track with Intermittent Fasting (IF)

Staying on track with Intermittent Fasting (IF)

There are a lot of diet and eating plans out there. One of the most popular and successful is intermittent fasting (IF), but it’s not a traditional diet. Instead, it’s considered an eating plan or “eating pattern,” because it focuses on when you eat instead of what or how much you eat.

IF can be tricky to navigate if you’re new to the idea. Fortunately, once you get the hang of the pattern and find tips and tricks that work for you, you can easily make it part of your daily health routine.

What is intermittent fasting?

IF is an eating plan that revolves around periods of fasting, or not eating, followed by specific periods of eating. During periods of fasting, you’ll eat nothing or just a very small amount of food. IF is often simple, healthy, and sustainable in the long term—which is why we recommend IF as part of the LOVIDIA Way.

There are many ways to do IF, but the most common method is fasting for 16 hours, followed by eating within a period of eight hours, known as the 16:8 method.

The goal of IF is to force your body to rely on stored energy (like fat) for certain parts of the day. This helps promote weight loss and more.

When you follow an IF plan, your body undergoes a few changes. Your stored body fat becomes more easily accessible, meaning it’s burned off faster. Your cells also begin a cycle of intense repair.

Benefits of intermittent fasting

The biggest benefit of IF is weight loss, for a few reasons. First, IF can help you reduce your caloric intake because you are not eating at all times of the day. When you reduce calories, you naturally reduce the amount of weight you can gain. Second, the changes your body goes through make it easier to burn off stored fat for energy. This means that your fat stores deplete faster, resulting in weight loss.

Beyond weight loss, research shows IF may have many other health benefits that promote life-long health. For example, it may help reduce inflammation and insulin resistance, and improve heart and brain health.

Staying on track with IF

Although IF is relatively simple, sticking to the eating plan can be challenging. Hunger pains and tempting snacks offered outside of your eating period may force you to break your fast. And, once it’s broken, getting back into the routine can be even more difficult. LOVIDIA can help you succeed with IF by taking the edge off hunger during fasting periods.  Here are some other useful tips to help you stick with IF:

  • Plan ahead: IF is much easier if you take time to plan ahead and work around your fasting windows. Plan to fast when you are most likely to not eat (like when you are sleeping). Many people eat from 1-9 p.m. and fast through the night and into the morning. This period allows you to eat a late lunch and normal dinner, which can accommodate social plans.
  • Plan around your lifestyle: You can also adjust your fasting window to match your lifestyle. If you’re an early riser, you may want to make the eating period earlier to accommodate when you will be awake. Or, if you go to the gym at a certain time, you can plan to break your fast before then, so you have energy.
  • Adjust the method: You also have the freedom to adjust the length of fasting and eating periods to match your needs. If the 16:8 method doesn’t work for you, another IF method like 12-hour fasts or alternating days might work better. Starting small and working your way up to longer fasting periods may be easier if you’re new to the eating plan.
  • Remember to drink: Fasting does not extend to non-caloric or low-calorie beverages like water, coffee and tea. If you’re feeling hungry, try drinking a cup of something. Just make sure you’re not adding sugar or creamer that contains calories!
  • Distract yourself: If you’re starting to feel hunger settling in, you might be more likely to focus on the hunger and even break your fast. To help keep your mind off food, find things to distract you, such as work, a hobby, a brief walk, or light exercise. Some people find meditation beneficial in clearing the mind and pushing off feelings of hunger.
  • Make healthy choices: Some people give up on IF early on because they aren’t seeing results just from fasting. Remember, making healthy food choices is still an important part of IF. Loading up on junk food and lots of calories during your eating period may cause you to keep weight on and feel worse. Eat nutrient-dense foods to keep you fuller for longer and prevent nutrient deficiencies during your fasting period.

Fasting is a great way to get your health back on track in more ways than one. Just make sure you’re sticking to a fasting schedule and being smart about what you eat. Keep yourself accountable and your dedication is bound to pay off!

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Jennifer R.

Jennifer R.

My relationship with food is still a work in progress, but I am beginning to take control of how I feel on the inside. I recently began meditating, making conscious food choices, listening to audio books, but since starting Lovidia, it has helped as a catalyst and assistant with my self-control. With Lovidia, I can say I am growing on so many internal levels that it’s impacting me externally, and it shows!

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Danielle G.

Danielle G.

Our health and wellness journeys are unique but at the core of every successful transformation is a loving relationship with our minds and bodies! Lovidia has supported my wellness journey by providing me with the time and space to really connect with my hunger cues – it lets me recognize when I need to fuel my body with food or when I’m in need of a few moments of purposeful reflection because I’m confusing hunger with an emotion, like boredom.

@healthygypsyfw

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If You Want to Control Your Weight, Get Your Hormones Working FOR You!

If You Want to Control Your Weight, Get Your Hormones Working FOR You!

Your weight is largely controlled by hormones.  Here are some of the more important hormones that control weight, as well as some things you can do to get them working for you. This is a quick read to help you stop the “blood sugar overload” and start to lose weight!

Insulin/Glucagon Cycle – The Blood Sugar Balancers

Insulin and glucagon are two hormones produced in the pancreas that work together to balance blood sugar.

Insulin allows your cells to utilize blood sugar (glucose) to fuel your body.  When the amount of sugar in your blood is more than your body needs, the excess is stored in the liver and muscle in the form of glycogen and in fat cells in the form of triglycerides. 

When your blood sugar is low (due to fasting or simply eating fewer carbs), glucagon causes the liver and muscle to convert the stored glycogen into glucose.  Glucagon also acts on fat tissue to stimulate the breakdown of fat stores. 

Insulin and glucagon are critical for maintaining a healthy blood sugar level.  Think of them almost as a see-saw – one rises and the other falls in order to balance your blood sugar. 

Here’s how the see-saw can become unbalanced.  Some individuals who have a condition called Metabolic Syndrome over time develop a resistance to insulin’s effects.  With Metabolic Syndrome, insulin becomes less effective at doing its job.  This leads to the blood sugar rising higher and higher.  Over time, Metabolic Syndrome worsens, and the blood sugar becomes chronically high.   This leads to the serious long-term health problem of Type II Diabetes.  What is even worse is that the increased blood sugar “overflow” leads to excess sugar being stored as fat – so the cycle of worsening blood sugar and weight gain becomes very difficult to stop once it starts.

The good news is that changing a few eating habits can have a big effect.  Avoiding sugar, refined carbohydrates and fast food helps reduce the blood sugar “overflow” and reduces insulin levels as well.  When insulin is low, fat storage declines.  And remember the see-saw of insulin and glucagon?  Low insulin and low blood sugar are then associated with a rise in glucagon, causing your body to start mobilizing sugar from stored glycogen and fat – leading to weight loss!

This is the basis for our recommendation to reduce your overall consumption of carbohydrates to approximately 100 grams per day….and try to eat mostly healthy carbs, avoiding the unhealthy ones.  Doing this gets the see-saw tilting in your favor in your efforts to lose weight. 

GLP-1 and PYY – The “Stay-Full-Longer” Hormones

Anti-hunger hormones GLP-1 and PYY are produced by L-cells that line your intestines.  Eating food naturally stimulates the release of these two important hormones.  GLP-1 and PYY delay gastric emptying (the time it takes for food to leave your stomach, keeping you full longer) leading to a decreased desire to eat.

GLP-1 and PYY have other anti-hunger effects, too.  GLP-1 helps reduce blood sugar, decreasing the likelihood of developing Type 2 diabetes.   PYY activates areas of the brain that lessen hunger and increase feelings of fullness.

LOVIDIA’s unique blend of ingredients is designed to increase the body’s natural production of these hormones.   The time-release formula delivers a proprietary blend of ingredients directly to the lower intestine where L-cells are most dense.

Ghrelin – The “I’m Hungry” Hormone

Ghrelin is another important “hunger hormone.”  When your stomach is empty, it releases ghrelin, which sends a message to your brain telling you to eat.   When the stomach is stretched full, ghrelin levels will drop, which signals us to stop eating.  However, studies have shown that when people suffering from obesity eat, ghrelin doesn’t drop as much as it does in people of normal weight.  When ghrelin levels remain high, the brain doesn’t receive a strong enough signal to stop eating, which is why weight gain and obesity can get much worse over time.

How can you reduce your ghrelin?  Studies have shown that protein is probably the most effective nutrient at reducing ghrelin levels.  Therefore, ensuring adequate protein with all meals and snacks can be highly effective.   

Cortisol – The “Emotional-Eating” Hormone

Cortisol is a hormone released by the adrenal glands to help your body deal with stressful situations.  Your brain triggers cortisol release in response to many kinds of stress and our levels naturally rise and fall.  But when we are under high levels of stress on a constant basis, then cortisol hurts more than it helps.  Over time, high cortisol levels raise blood pressure and blood sugar levels.  High cortisol can also disrupt sleep, negatively impact mood, reduce your energy level, and increase appetite and fat storage – all negative effects when you’re trying to control your weight. 

Fortunately, there are many ways you can reduce your cortisol levels. Here are some of the most important ones:

  • Get the right amount of sleep
  • Learn relaxation techniques (e.g., deep breathing, yoga, meditation)
  • Avoid stressful situations
  • Reduce sugar consumption

Cholecystokinin (CCK) – The Other “Stay-Full-Longer” Hormone

CCK is a hormone produced by I-cells in the upper small intestine.  CCK reduces gastric acid secretion, increases bile acid production in the liver, delays gastric emptying and stimulates digestive enzyme production in the pancreas. When CCK is high, we slow down our eating – so high CCK levels may be a good thing from a weight-loss perspective.     Eating fat has the most powerful effect on CCK, followed by protein and fiber. 

Summary

As you have now learned, the proper functioning of hormones is critical to control your weight and avoid serious lifestyle diseases.  Fortunately, you don’t have to become a hormone ‘expert’ to get them working for you.  The LOVIDIA Way’s unique emphasis on helping your hormones work FOR you can help you lose weight, lower blood sugar, cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure and even avoid lifestyle diseases such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

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Live the LOVIDIA Way!

Live the LOVIDIA Way! 

Finally, a sustainable and simple way to manage eating that your body will love!

After years of research and human testing, the LOVIDIA Way has emerged as a clinically-proven way to lose weight. It’s not a fad diet, or a calorie counting diet. The LOVIDIA Way combines the use of LOVIDIA products with reduced-carb eating and intermittent fasting  to help you lose weight and improve important indicators of metabolic and cardiovascular health.

LOVIDIA products are designed to enhance the release of beneficial anti-hunger hormones GLP-1 and PYY.

Understanding how your body reacts to food is a science in itself. Let’s break down how LOVIDIA works on a hormonal level. LOVIDIA is designed to increase the natural production of anti-hunger hormones GLP-1 and PYY.  

These two hormones delay gastric emptying (the time it takes for food to leave your stomach, keeping you full longer) leading to a decreased desire to eat. Along with reducing your hunger, GLP-1 also helps reduce blood sugar, decreasing the likelihood of developing Type 2 diabetes. PYY, in addition to delaying gastric emptying, activates areas of the brain that lessen hunger and increase feelings of fullness.

Amplify your results with a reduced-carb diet to lower blood sugar and insulin levels which helps block fat storage.

In addition to a boost in GLP-1 from LOVIDIA, our bodies’ production of GLP-1 is increased when carbs are reduced.  GLP-1 production is further enhanced by eating anti-inflammatory foods (such as nuts, olive oil, avocados) rather than foods that increase inflammation (such as sugars, processed foods, and white flour).   Research has shown that chronic inflammation is at the root of most diseases so eating low-carb, anti-inflammatory foods can improve your overall health.

Additionally, by reducing daily carbs, you’ll naturally be eating more protein and fats which increase satiety.  A reduced-carb diet in combination with the hunger control boost from LOVIDIA means you don’t need to worry about how much you’re eating…in other words, there’s no need to count calories.  Our advice is simple: eat when you’re hungry (during your intermittent fasting eating window) and stop when you’re comfortably full.  Sounds too good to be true, but with LOVIDIA your excessive hunger should no longer be an issue; the biggest potential obstacle to avoid is mindless eating due to emotional and/or social triggers.

Intermittent Fasting (IF) can also lower blood sugar and insulin levels and help you lose weight in an extremely flexible and sustainable way.

Our trifecta is being able to truly adopt intermittent fasting which adds to the beneficial effects of LOVIDIA and carb reduction.  What we love about IF is that it is flexible and forgiving. During periods of fasting, levels of Human Growth Hormone (HGH) go up (as much as 5-fold) and insulin levels go down.  HGH is produced by the pituitary gland and helps to regulate your body composition, muscle and bone growth, and fat metabolism.  Additional IF health benefits include reducing insulin resistance, as well as chronic inflammation and many of the risk factors associated with heart disease. Lowering blood sugar, a healthier heart, weight loss, are you seeing a trend here? Well, clinical studies are underway to investigate the potential benefit of IF for cancer and Alzheimer’s prevention.  Intermittent fasting may even help you live longer! 

And it doesn’t stop there, intermittent fasting and reducing carbs both lower insulin and lower insulin drives the body towards fat-burning mode.  Fat burning (i.e., fat reduction), takes place when your body takes fatty acids from your stored fat and converts them to ketones (a process known as ketosis).  Ketones then fuel your cells instead of glucose from carbohydrates.  Fasting also leads to an increase in the hormone norepinephrine in the bloodstream which is an important regulator of fat metabolism.

The proof is not in the pudding but rather in a simple process. In a 13-week LOVIDIA Way clinical study using LOVIDIA in combination with intermittent fasting, the results were outstanding. Participants lost an average of 14 pounds and lowered their blood sugar levels, cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure. And most importantly, LOVIDIA helped participants stay on their IF schedule by controlling hunger during their fasting periods. 

If you are already taking LOVIDIA to manage your daily hunger, we hope we have convinced you to take the next step and try the LOVIDIA Way. LOVIDIA plus a reduced-carb diet, and intermittent fasting are the perfect combo to manage your weight and improve your health.

Live the LOVIDIA Way, and LOV a healthier you!

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The Importance of Drinking Water Throughout the Day

The Importance of Drinking Water Throughout the Day

One of the most common pieces of health and wellness advice you’re bound to hear over and over again is to drink lots of water—and for good reason! There are tons of great health benefits associated with proper hydration. In addition to preventing dehydration, drinking plenty of water throughout the day can help you slim down, fight fatigue, elevate your mood, enhance your skin and improve your digestion.

But how much water should you be drinking each day and what can you do to make sure you’re drinking enough? Keep reading to learn more about the many benefits of drinking more water, including exactly how much to drink each day. We’ve even got a few quick tips to help you develop good habits for daily H2O consumption.

The many benefits of drinking more water

The benefits of staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day are virtually endless. Not only does it contribute to healthy digestion and prevent several adverse medical conditions, you’ll look and feel better too. Grab a water bottle and drink up! Here’s what you can look forward to:

  • Prevent dehydration: It may sound obvious but drinking plenty of H2O prevents your body from becoming dehydrated. Beyond avoiding severe thirst, dehydration can be a very dangerous condition, especially chronic dehydration. It’s a problem easily avoided by drinking water regularly throughout the day.
  • Slim down: Did you know water has no calories? Also, drinking cold water can have a positive impact on your metabolism, helping you burn more calories throughout the day. It can even assist in eliminating waste from your body, contributing to a slimmer physique.
  • Fight fatigue: As mentioned, it’s crucial for you to avoid dehydration by drinking plenty of water. When you’re dehydrated, you may feel tired and groggy, and experience muscle fatigue. Conversely, drinking water can provide you with increased energy levels, along with better concentration and improved mental alertness.
  • Improve mood: Are you the type of person who gets cranky and irritable when you’re hungry? Eating usually fixes the problem. But did you know not drinking enough water can lead to some grumpy side effects, too? Dehydration can contribute to stress, tiredness, lack of focus and a generally negative state of mind. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day to keep your “glass half full!”
  • Enhance skin: Drinking water can also prevent signs of aging, improve your skin tone and prevent pimples. Dehydrated skin is more prone to wrinkling. Using a moisturizer is one way to keep it supple but hydrating from the inside out is your best bet for enhancing the appearance of your skin. Drinking plenty of H2O will also increase circulation and blood flow, while flushing toxins out of your body. The result is healthy, clear skin and a beautiful, glowing complexion.
  • Digest better: Common side effects of dehydration are bloating and constipation, both of which are associated with poor digestion. Consuming water can have a positive effect on your digestive tract by allowing waste to pass through your body. Good hydration can reduce constipation, bloating and other inflammatory health conditions affecting your gut and bowels.

How much water is enough?

All these benefits are great, but you’re probably still wondering: How much water is enough each day?

There’s no perfect answer, but there are some great benchmarks. For starters, aim to drink about half your body weight in ounces of water every day. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you should drink around 75 ounces of water. There’s also the 8×8 rule: eight ounces of water eight times a day. 

Something else to keep in mind is that if you feel thirsty, you’re probably already dehydrated. Have a glass of water right away to get back on track.

Quick tips for drinking more water

  • Get a water bottle you like! Believe it or not, using a water bottle you like can increase the amount you drink each day.
  • Keep your water bottle filled up and keep it with you at all times––at your desk, in the car and anywhere else you go throughout the day.
  • Set an alarm on your phone or download a water reminder app to remind you to drink water regularly throughout the day.
  • Build drinking into your habits. Every time you stand up or send a text message, make it a rule to take a sip of water.
  • Don’t like plain water? Try adding a squeeze of lemon or lime. Drinking tea also counts toward your daily water consumption.