As 2021 looms large, some people are beginning to think about their weight loss goals for the year. You might be tempted to try and lose weight fast with unsustainable fad diets and workout regimes, but the best habits to develop are sustainable ones you'll be able to keep up with all throughout the year.
One of the best habits you can build is drinking lots of water (perhaps out of one of our best water bottles for the gym or the best water bottles for hiking). Not only is staying hydrated vitally important for your general health, but it can also help you lose weight when combined with a good diet and exercise.
A report from John Hopkins University (opens in new tab) looked at research around drinking water. One study found drinking two small glasses of water before a meal curbs your appetite by up to 22%. Not only does an increased water intake aid digestion, but a lower appetite stops you from overeating.
People in the legendary "blue zones", like the Japanese island of Okinawa, are famous for living long lives. One of the most well-known edicts of blue zone living is to "eat until you are 80% full", which is supported by research from the Cleveland Clinic (opens in new tab). Drinking water before a meal won't just help you lose weight - it will also contribute to a longer life.
The body needs water to burn fat, as a 2016 study (opens in new tab) found mild dehydration decreases our bodies' ability to convert fat into energy. Dehydration also increases your body's production of cortisol, the stress hormone, which encourages weight gain.
It stimulates your metabolism and helps you lose weight fast, in addition to a whole vista of other benefits like keeping your skin looking its best and ensuring your kidneys are functioning correctly. All that remains is to make sure you're adhering to your new 2021 hydration habit.
‘There are countless hydration apps available to download, all of which allow you to set a target, track your intake and type and review patterns over time,’ reveals Georgia Head, nutritionist at Fresh Fitness Foods (opens in new tab).
‘You can obtain a large amount of useful information with tracking in this way but also, simply the act of having to log it and wanting to reach your target makes you more accountable.’
Make sure you're hydrating while exercising, even in the winter: Staying hydrated replaces the water lost through sweating, preventing dehydration, cramps and keeping the body at a cooler core temperature.
- Kickstart your 2021 fitness journey with these Fitbit deals
Matt Evans is an experienced health and fitness journalist and News Editor at Fit&Well, covering all things exercise and nutrition on the Fit&Well website. Matt originally discovered exercise through martial arts: he holds a black belt in Karate and remains a keen runner, gym-goer, and infrequent yogi. His top fitness tip? Stretch.
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