Low carb cookbook free Atkins GI Greek Doctor's diet recipes

Bookmark and Share

13 - Water and weight loss

Click on a question to see the answer, or show all answers or hide all answers.

It has to be said that not eating at all and just water fasting will make you lose weight, including fat, eventually. But don't expect to be healthy afterwards if you do it for long, and don't expect to be able to lose weight easily again in future once you've used this method a few times! People who have been on diets frequently in the past may even find that water fasting has no effect at all on their weight until they've been fasting for quite some time. (When you stop eating what you usually eat you may well have an initial weight loss, but that is usually only water, not fat).

The 'problem' with water fasting as a method of losing weight is that inbuilt survival mechanisms make your metabolism slower when there is no food around, to maximise the chances of you surviving until your next meal.

Water fasting for any length of time also depletes your stores of vitamins and minerals, and affects your thyroid. This means that your metabolism may not work properly after you start eating again.

Water fasting, unless over a very short period, also forces your body to break down your lean muscle for its protein requirements. When you start eating again you'll probably put on fat rather than replace the muscle, which is bad news because less muscle means a slower metabolism, which means you now need even fewer calories than you did before to maintain your weight.

So if you use water fasting as a method of losing weight you're building up big problems for yourself, and will find it harder and harder to control your weight in the future.

More about avoiding the traps that many dieters fall into such water fasting or not eating enough, is explained in the book "Why Can't I Lose Weight".

Most authorities say you should drink at least 64 oz (approx. 2 litres) of water per day, and it is suggested that you drink an additional 8 oz (approx. 250 ml) for every 25 pounds (approx. 11.5 kg) over your ideal weight. During hot weather, and any physically strenuous activity, you should drink even more.

As Donald Robertson, an American doctor, explains:

"Studies have shown that a decrease in water intake will cause fat deposits to increase, while an increase in water intake can actually reduce fat deposits. This is because the kidneys can't function properly without enough water. When they don't work to capacity, some of their load is dumped onto the liver. One of the liver's primary functions is to metabolise stored fat into usable energy for the body. But, if the liver has to do some of the kidney's work, it can't operate at full throttle. As a result, it metabolises less fat, more fat remains stored in the body and weight loss stops.

Drinking enough water is the best treatment for fluid retention. When the body gets less water it perceives this as a threat to survival, and begins to hold onto every drop. Diuretics offer a temporary solution at best. They force out stored water along with some essential nutrients. Again, the body perceives a threat and will replace the lost water at the first opportunity. The best way to overcome the problem of water retention is to give your body what it needs - more water. Only then will stored water be released. The overweight person needs more water than the thin one.

Water helps maintain proper muscle tone. It does this by giving muscles their natural ability to contract and by preventing dehydration. It also helps prevent the sagging skin that usually follows weight loss.

During weight loss, the body has a lot more waste to get rid of - all that metabolised fat must be shed. Again, adequate water helps flush out the waste.

When the body gets too little water, it siphons what it needs from internal sources. The colon is one primary source. This can result in constipation, which is normally alleviated when enough water is drunk."