There’s no shortage of advice when it comes to weight loss. In fact, everyone seems to have an opinion. Naturally, this leads to many myths and misconceptions. But one of these stands head and shoulders above the rest. I’m referring to none other than the “drink 8, 8 oz. glasses of water for optimal weight loss” myth.
Here’s the thing… water does a body good. And yes, you need it to lose weight (just like you need it for every other one of life’s daily functions). But that’s about it. There’s nothing special about water and weight loss – especially not 8, 8oz. glasses of it.
So, why is this myth so pervasive?
It all started with a recommendation by the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Research Council back in the 1940’s. Specifically, they recommended that adults ingest about 2.5 liters of water a day.
And since then, everyone took that advice and ran with it. The problem is, they also ignored the rest of the recommendation which pointed out that most of the water you need is in the foods you eat. In other words, there’s no need to force yourself to hit that “magic” number of 64 ounces. Furthermore, you can also fulfill your requirements by drinking coffee, tea, or even juice.
Now, here’s the million dollar question: if you don’t need 64 ounces of water per day, how much should you drink. And the answer is: it depends. Some days you’ll sweat more, so you’ll need more and vice versa. In general, you should use your natural thirst instinct to guide you. What a concept, right?!!!
Nevertheless, if you need a little more guidance in this department, here’s another way to know if you’re getting enough fluids. Check the color of your urine. If it’s dark, you should be drinking more. On the other hand, if it’s very light – or even clear – you need to lay off the bottle for bit.
Alright, let’s quickly recap. Most of the water you need comes from food. When you need a little more, reach for a beverage (this doesn’t necessarily have to be water). And finally, listen to your body: when you’re thirsty, drink – when you’re not, don’t.