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Weight Loss and Water: The Unknown Secret

Weight Loss and Water: A Way to Make Your Body Shed Pounds Fast and Keep Them Off!

Almost everyone reading this -- even the skinniest -- think they should lose weight. And Americans are almost obsessed with weight loss. We think about it, read about it, talk about and -- most important for marketing folks -- we spend a lot on it!

First off, perhaps we would all be better off if we got some perspective. Many of us are measuring ourselves against the latest hunk or model (choose your gender) we see on TV on in the magazines. What we don't remind ourselves is that looking like that requires lots of work. Many of these beautiful people spend hours a day looking that good. They are also often assisted by trainers, cosmetics people, and photographers. Yes, photographers. It is a shocking thing to meet some of the beautiful people in person. While they are still beautiful, their beauty is, well, a little less spectacular. And that's because wonders can be done with cameras, depending on the angle of the shot, the lighting, and a myriad of other factors. Not to mention what can be done with a computer now.

The point I'm saying is to ease up on yourself. Losing weight is difficult enough without measuring yourself against someone. Measure against yourself, and you'll have plenty of work to do.

In a rich society (and that's us, folks: measured against much of the rest of the world, and against the rest of history, anyone who has a home and food -- not to mention all the rest of what we have -- is rich) we do not have to worry about food. We know that there will be food to eat, at least 3 meals a day, and usually more. And part of the problem is that we never get hungry.

I'm not suggesting that there's some good in real famine-type hunger. That's a real, live tragedy. But we go through our lives eating before we've had a chance to feel any hunger pangs. We don't know what it feels like to have real hunger. We just keep eating.

It's an interesting experience to go through a day, and only eat when we're really hungry. If we really did that, most of us would eat a great deal less than we do now. But eating is not just for nourishment: it's a time to talk, to get together with those we love, and to relax.

Given the chance, the body will tell us when we need something. That's hunger pangs. And the body will also tell us when we need water. That's thirst.

The problem is that we are not good at noticing thirst. And most people's thirst signals become weaker as they get older. And when our body is thirsty, we tend to read that as hunger. And rather than getting a glass of water, we eat a donut. And the weight starts creeping up.

Your regular, 20 glass a day routine is the way to start losing weight. Weight loss with water is not some kind of miracle, 10-pounds-a-week kind of cure. But you will lose weight on this regimen. And you will feel and look better to boot.

The other part of the problem is that dieting makes us feel deprived. And we resent that. And probably should. So stop dieting. Now. Make a vow to yourself: I will never diet again. I will eat as much as I want.

Of course, this is a little trick on your mind. But it works. And this is the way to start losing that weight.

Keep drinking water regularly. And when your body starts telling you (or you think it's telling you), "I want a snack," then trick. Drink a large glass of water. If you want it to be a special treat, make it iced, or drink it with a slice of lemon. (The lemon has no calories, in case you are wondering). But as you're drinking, just remind yourself that you can have as much as you want ... you're just postponing it a bit. When that glass is done, drink another. Then wait. Just 15 minutes.

What water does is first to give your body the water it needs, in case you're getting a false hunger signal. But it also fills the stomach, and really does make you less hungry.

15 minutes before eating a meal, do the same thing. 2 glasses of water. Every time you're tempted to have a snack, do this. You will be astonished that something this good for you can also help you lose those pounds you want to get rid of. But it works. And your body -- not just your waistline -- will thank you for it.

Another trick is to use "water rich" foods to help lose weight. By water rich, I mean foods that have a high percentage of water naturally. Such foods will almost always be lower in calories than other foods, and will help you fight the battle of the waistline.

What are some of the foods that fit into the water rich arena? Well, soups are the first one that we should think of, because they are a potent weapon in your weight loss arsenal.

It's important to remember that soups are not always low in calories. Some -- such as butter and cream laden bisques and other such -- can actually be quite high in calories. Beware, as well, of "cream of whatever" soups. Not that there's something inherently wrong with them, but they are probably not what you are looking for to lose weight.

The easiest rule to remember will also prove the most helpful. For our purposes here, the soups to look for are the ones you can look through. By that, I mean clear soups such as broth or broth based soups.

Here's an example. Let's say friends at work have talked you into going out to a Chinese buffet for lunch. (The reason I give this example is that it's a vice I fall into once or twice a month!) At a buffet, there's nothing but your conscience to stop you from eating whatever you want, and all set out in front of you are all kinds of calorie filled goodies. So, what's to stop you from putting on 2 pounds in 30 minutes?

Soup. Again, remember, you're not dieting. You're never going to diet again. You can -- in theory -- eat whatever you want. But before you get a plate of anything, get a bowl of clear soup. Maybe the buffet has chicken broth or wonton soup or some other clear soup. Get a big bowl-full, and enjoy it.

I'm also assuming that you have had your pre-meal water. For a special treat, you might want to trade your water for Chinese tea. But drink a couple of cups of tea, eat your soup, and now you can face the buffet with a clear conscience ... and with an edge taken off your appetite.

Or let's say you're at home, and the dinner you're planning is good -- but high calorie. How are you going to ensure that you don't eat too much and regret it later? Again, plan a soup before the main course. Broth is always a good -- and elegant -- way to start a meal. But your clear soup idea can be dressed up quite well and made elegant, or you can dressed it down, and enjoy something hearty that's also nutrient filled. Here's a good one to try for a hearty and healthy winter day.

Hearty Winter Vegetable Soup (But OK for summer, too...)

1. Before starting, chop an onion into small pieces. Dice a piece of garlic up as well.

2. Heat a big soup pot over medium heat. When the surface is heated, pour in a tablespoon of olive oil.

3. Spread the oil over the surface. Add a few red pepper flakes, and half a teaspoon each of oregano and basil.

4. Add the onion. Turn the heat down to low, and cook until the onion is soft.

5. In the meantime, chop a carrot and 2 stalks of celery. When the onion is soft, add the carrot and celery to the onions, and cook until their color turns bright.

6. While that's cooking, open a can of tomatoes, and chop them up in the can. (Just put a knife in the can, and slice them up. Trust me, it works).

7. Add the tomatoes, and simmer a few minutes.

8. Now, add some water. However much is up to you ... depends on how thin or thick you like your soup. If you like, throw in a chicken broth cube to add some flavor.

9. Cook covered for 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to your taste. If you like, throw in some leftover rice to enrich the soup.

Jim Huffman, RN specializes in natural and alternative healing therapies. His first book is 'Dare to Be Free: How to Get Control of Your Time, Your Life, and Your Nursing Career,' and is aimed at helping other nurses find satisfying, dynamic careers. His website is http://www.NetworkForNurses.com and his health blog is at http://www.shababa.blogspot.com

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