For 34 years I’ve been in training and coaching relationships with women who want to lose weight. The majority of these women were over 40, and until the last 10 years when we really began to understand the science behind hormones, exercise, and weight loss, the conversation was pretty basic.
Now that we know there are at least a dozen hormones having their way with you and exercise IS different in midlife if you want results, the conversation IS STILL BASIC. I ask something brilliant, like:
How much water are you drinking daily?
If you focus on intervals and weight training, if you do yoga and meditate to relax, if you time your protein and carbs right and know which type work for you… you’ve done (almost) all your homework, you may not lose weight.
If you’re dehydrated.
Drink more water.
That is all.
Does water turn you into a fat-burning machine?
Not by itself. But it releases the brake that you have on weight and fat loss (reminder: you DO NOT WANT WEIGHT LOSS, you want FAT LOSS).
You’re driving down the road with one foot on the gas (say, you’re trying to hit your daily exercise goal – or even better, you’re being smart about doing intervals and getting recovery so you truly gain lean AND burn stored fat) and you have the other foot on the brake (you’re not drinking enough water), how well does that work for you in your car?
Likewise in your body.
Even if I probe with questions and you’re suffering from a lack of energy, dry skin, bloating and constipation on and off, there is often resistance to drinking water, as if it doesn’t matter.
Of course you have all kinds of “good reasons” for not drinking enough water.
- It’s cold outside and it’s harder to drink in winter
- You’ll have to go the bathroom more
- It might keep you up at night
- You don’t like the taste
- You didn’t know it mattered (those kidney stones weren’t enough of a wake up call)
- You get bored with water
Seriously? Does any of this resonate? Maybe not with you, am I preaching to the choir? Perhaps you’ve heard this from someone you love or who is also trying to lose weight? Or, ahem, whose had multiple kidney stones?
Put aside your interval training plan today. Put aside your weight training. Stop looking online for the WOD and best fat-burning plan. I don’t mean don’t do it…but sit and meditate for a minute about the gas pedal brake pedal analogy.
When we give the body conflicting messages, it will sit in the middle and spin like donuts in the high school parking lot on a snowy night (I just had a flash back, don’t tell my mom).
Start drinking water. It boosts your metabolism by boosting mitochondrial function (once thought to decrease with age – we know better: it decreases because we don’t exercise as much and we don’t drink enough water!) and by increasing lipolysis – the ability of your body to use fat for fuel. Why is mitochondrial function important? It helps you create and use more oxygen to your working muscles.
You’ll feel better doing everything. Exercise will be easier. Digestion will improve. Your energy will be better, and you will self select to eat less if you’re hydrated.
To reduce your resistance to drinking water:
- Add a squeeze of lemon or lime
- Add a few drops of Stevia
- Use a container marked with time of day on the side and stick to a regular swig
- Pay someone (a charity) if you don’t drink it down by evening
- Start with small increases – it will keep you out of the bathroom so much
- Start early and keep it often (not one big drink once or twice a day)
Because I know you’re going to ask….
Q. Does coffee count?
Q. What about tea?
Q. Can I drink sparkling water?
A. Pure filtered water is best. All liquids count to some degree. But you’re going to have a cup of coffee or tea differently than you do water. Stop looking for loopholes and deductions and just drink.
If you want the scoop on how hormones are influenced by drinking water, exercise, and rest tune in for the April Flipping 50 webinar with me Wednesday, April 12. It’s free (always) and you’ll leave with more information about 10 Hormone-Exercise connections that will get you dialed in on the exercise for better in this second half!