Category Archives for Weight Loss Tips

Water Needs For Health And Diet Nutrition

water-manAbout 50-70 percent of the human body is composed of water. The exact amount of bodily water varies according to age and the proportion of muscle-to-fat (muscle contains more water than fat.) Although water contains no calories and may have no nutrients, it is essential for life. We can survive for weeks without food, but only a matter of days without water. Because we do not store excess water, we must ensure that our daily diet contains a sufficient supply to maintain adequate health. It’s extremely difficult to take in too much water. If we drink too much, our body simply adjusts by increasing the amount of liquid we urinate. However, if our water level inside our body falls too low, we experience several symptoms that warn us we may be dehydrating. The principal symptom is thirst, a reaction influenced by a group of nerve cells located in the hypothalamus, located at the base of the brain.

Effect Of Water On Weight Gain And Weight Loss

Because the human body contains so much water, rising or falling levels may cause an equal increase or decrease in our weight. For example, water retention (sometimes called edema or oedema) with accompanying weight gain, is a common symptom of PMS and Menopause. While a very low carbohydrate diet (eg. Atkins Diet) typically leads to a loss of water (because carbs bind with water) leading to a rapid initial loss of weight. Weight loss is also a common symptom of dehydration.

How Much Water Do You Really Need To Drink? Latest Official Guidelines on Water Intake

According to the Institute of Medicine’s Food and Nutrition Board in their recent sixth report (February 2004) concerning water intake and electrolyte nutrients:

1. The vast majority of healthy people adequately meet their daily hydration and fluid intake needs by letting thirst be their guide. As a general guide, the Food and Nutrition Board set general recommendations for women at approximately 2.7 liters (about 8 glasses) of total water – from all beverages and foods – each day, and men an average of approximately 3.7 liters (about 12 glasses) of total water.

Note: American women already average 9 cups of water a day from all beverages combined, and American men, 13 cups.

2. About 80 percent of people’s total water intake comes from drinking water and beverages – including caffeinated beverages – and the other 20 percent is derived from food.

3. Prolonged physical activity and/or heat exposure increases water loss and thus increases daily fluid needs.

4. The Institute of Medicine’s Food and Nutrition Board also stated that it is a myth that coffee and (moderate consumption of) alcoholic beverages are dehydrating. Caffeinated beverages contribute to daily total water intake, in the same way as non-caffeinated beverages.

drinkingwaterWhat These Water Intake Guidelines Mean

Firstly, fluid intake is very important, and extra fluids are necessary in hot sun or during and after prolonged exercise, to prevent dehydration.

Secondly, if you feel thirsty, chances are you need to drink something (err, not beer or a large Jack Daniels!). But if you don’t feel thirsty, chances are you don’t need to drink anything. On a daily basis people get sufficient water from normal drinking behavior, such as drinking beverages at meals and in other social situations, and by letting their thirst guide them.

Thirdly, water or other liquids, are not the only source of fluids. Foods, like fruits and vegetables, are also important sources. (See below for more details about water content of foods).

Health Benefits of Water

Although water contains no calories and may contain no micronutrients, it is an indispensable aid to digestion, nutrient absorption and waste-elimination. It also helps regulate circulation, body temperature and a host of other biochemical reactions. Water lubricates joints and maintains healthy skin. It’s worth remembering that we can exist without food for months, but without water for only a few days.


Fluid Intake From Water And Food

We don’t store water in the way we store energy in the form of body fat, so we need a new supply each day. Every day on average our body loses the equivalent of 6-12 cups of water, which must be replaced. The digestion and metabolism of food typically gives us about 15 percent of our water needs. Our body converts part of our food into hydrogen and combines this with oxygen in the air we breathe to form water. The remaining 85 percent comes from water in our diet. As a very rough guide, we need to eat/drink the equivalent of 8 x 10-ounce glasses of water. But we don’t necessarily need to take in this fluid in the form of drinking water. Eating water-containing food is fine, too.

Here are some common and not-so-common examples:

– Most fruits are largely composed of water.
– Liquids like milk and fruit juices contain plenty of water.
– Vegetables are rich in water.
– A hamburger is 50 percent water.
– Swiss cheese is 38 percent water. – Regular hard bagels are almost 30 percent water.

Note: A turkey sandwich made with Swiss cheese, lettuce, and tomato on whole-wheat bread contains almost a half-cup of water, while a tossed salad with vinaigrette dressing contains about a full cup.

What Type Of Water is Best to Drink?

What type of water should we drink? For optimum health, experts recommend clean, spring water, or filtered water, and some experts advise against drinking tap water, fluoridated or distilled water. For health reasons, some experts advise us all to check the safety of our tap water supply, in order to ensure it is free from heavy metals, bacteria and other contaminants.

Recommended Minerals & Vitamins

The body’s weight-related functions – like appetite, hunger, metabolic rate, metabolism of fats and sugars, blood-glucose levels, calorie-burning, and so on – operate more efficiently when we have an optimum intake of minerals. All of them play a part in maintaining optimum health and weight, and many co-operate with each other, so it’s not strictly accurate to single out certain minerals as being “best” for weight loss. That said, certain minerals and vitamins are worth a special mention. The most important vitamins and minerals for weight loss are: Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Choline (part of B-complex), Inositol (part of B-complex), Calcium, Magnese, Chromium, Zinc and Vitamin C.

vitamins and minerals


Recent clinical studies demonstrate a positive relationship between calcium intake and weight-loss. Controlled weight loss studies indicate that increasing calcium intake by the equivalent of two dairy servings per day can reduce the risk of overweight, perhaps by as much as 70 percent. Also, it’s worth remembering that lower-calorie fat-free milk contains the same amount of calcium as full-fat milk. The same goes for low fat yogurt and reduced fat cheese.


Chromium is required for the metabolism of sugar. Without sufficient chromium, insulin is less effective in regulating blood-glucose levels. In this way, chromium helps to control cravings and reduce hunger. Good food sources of chromium include: egg yolks, molasses, beef, hard cheese, liver, fruit juices, whole grain bread.


Manganese helps regulate fat metabolism and blood-glucose. It is needed for a healthy thyroid function which itself is essential to maintain a healthy weight. Good food sources of manganese include: tea, wheatgerm, spinach, split peas, nuts, oatgerm, oatmeal, pineapple, green leafy vegetables.


Zinc helps to regulate appetite. Zinc is also needed for the correct functioning of hormones, like insulin. Zinc deficiency is common among smokers, heavy drinkers, some vegetarians, people with chronic illness and those on non-nutritious or very low calorie diets. Good sources of Zinc include: shellfish, herring, wheatgerm, lean beef or lamb, eggs, lentils, Brazil nuts, almonds, chicken.

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

Vitamin B2 is needed for normal thyroid function and metabolism. Good food sources of vitamin B2 include: Milk, liver and kidney, almonds, hard cheese, eggs, wheatgerm, leafy green vegetables, Marmite.

Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

Like B2, vitamin B3 is essential for normal thyroid hormone production. Vitamin B3 is also part of the glucose tolerance factor (GTF) which is released every time blood sugar rises. Good food sources of Vitamin B3 include: Wheat bran, liver, tuna, turkey, chicken, meat, eggs, mackerel, salmon, oats, barley, wheatflakes, cheese, dried fruit, brown rice.

Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)

Any deficiency of Vitamin B5 interferes with our capacity to utilise fat. Vitamin B5 also plays an important role in energy production and assists adrenal function. Good food sources of Vitamin B5 include: liver and kidney, meat, poultry, nuts, wheatflakes, wheat bran, wheatgerm, eggs, molasses, oats, barley, beans, wholegrain bread, green vegetables.

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)

Vitamin B6 regulates the production of thyroid hormone and metabolism. Good food sources of Vitamin B6, brewer’s yeast, wheat bran, wheatgerm, oats, sardines, mackerel, poultry, beef, avocado, bananas, brown rice, cabbage, dried fruit, molasses, eggs.


A member of the Vitamin B complex, choline is not a real vitamin as it is made in the liver. Choline is needed for efficient fat metabolism. Choline deficiency leads to fats becoming trapped in the liver. Good sources of choline include: lecithin, beef liver, beef heart, egg yolks, wheatgerm, cauliflower, cucumber, peanuts.


Like choline, inositol is a member of the vitamin B complex and is also manufactured inside the body. Inositol combines with choline to assist in fat metabolism. Good sources of inositol include: lecithin, beef heart, beef liver, wheatgerm, soy, eggs, citrus fruits, wholegrains, nuts.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C provides a range of health benefits including proper conversion of glucose to energy in the cells. Good food sources of vitamin C include: blackcurrants, broccoli, green peppers, kiwi fruits, Brussels Sprouts, lemons, oranges, strawberries, cabbage.

This Picture shows biological function of vitamins


How much Calories we need per day?

The total calories (kcal) consumed each day by men varies from 1500-4000 for most males: the total for females varies from 900-2500. In extreme cases, calorie intake can vary wildly, from 0 for someone on a water fast, to over 8000 kcal for a logger who burns them all while working, without gaining an ounce, and as high as 12,000 kcal per day for weight-lifters and bodybuilders.

What Determines Energy Needs?

Our calorie needs are typically determined by a number of factors, including:

– Our present weight
– Our height
– Our age
– Our gender
– Our exercise routine
– Our health
– Our body-fat-percentage
– Our environment
– How fast we want to lose weight

To obtain an accurate assessment of our calorie needs, all these factors need to be considered.

Rough Estimate of Calorie Needs to Lose Weigh.

Here is a very rough guide of how many calories you need per day, if you want to lose weight. It’s a ballpark estimate only.

Teenagers need about 1500-1800 calories per day

Women (Non-Active)
Sedentary women typically need about 1100-1300 calories per day

Women (Active)
Active women typically need about 1400-1600 calories per day

Men (Non-Active)
Sedentary men typically need about 1600-1800 calories per day

Men (Active)
Active men typically need about 1800-2000 calories per day

Quick Estimate of Calorie Needs

Here is a very rough and ready guide to calculating your calorie needs. Just be careful to maintain your daily calorie intake above 1000 calories, minimum.


To Maintain Weight – Multiply your weight (in pounds) by 12
This is a rough estimate of daily calories needed to maintain weight.

To Lose Weight – Deduct 500 calories from this figure
This gives you a rough estimate of the daily calories needed for you to lose about 1 pound per week.


To Maintain Weight – Multiply your weight (in pounds) by 14
This is a rough estimate of daily calories needed to maintain weight.

To Lose Weight – Deduct 500 calories from this figure
This gives you a rough estimate of the daily calories you need to lose about 1 pound per week.