One Small Change: The Smartest Sip for Weight Loss

What if I told you that there was a "pill" that, when you consumed it, helped you get a better workout, which of course leads to more strength and better calorie burning? The same pill would also help you focus at work or home so you could get the important things in your life done better and faster. Oh, and by the way, it's been shown to lead to an increased metabolism, lower calorie intake at meals and better weight loss. How much would you pay for that pill? $10 a bottle, $20, $40? How about free?

That pill is water. And about 55% to 70% of your body is made up of the stuff. But as little as 2% dehydration can lead to impaired physical and cognitive function. And for others, it comes with increased cardiovascular strain, headache, irritability and even poor appetite control. While there is a risk of overhydration--no need to go pounding down gallons--many people walk around all day slightly dehydrated, so there's a lot to be gained from having a little more of nature's thirst quencher.

Most meal and calorie control research has subjects consuming an extra 16 oz. of water three times a day (before meals). But if bland, tepid water is not your idea of a tasty drink, here are a few tips to get more fluid into your daily routine.

Make it Cold: Research has shown that people will drink more water, and may even enjoy it, when it's cold. So add ice cubes to your water. Put your bottle of water in the fridge the night before you have it. Or if it's really hot out, put it in the freezer, and enjoy ice-cold water as it melts.

Make it Flavored: Add some lemon or lime to your ice-cold water; you can squeeze it fresh yourself or use those little squeeze-bottles. Or you can soak some other fruits, veggies or spices in water overnight for a unique taste. Try chopped berries, cucumber slices, wedges of citrus fruit or sage. Or go with other no- or low-calorie flavored beverages that perk up the taste buds like unsweetened iced tea, seltzer or a small splash of juice.

Get it From Veggies and Fruit: You can get water from the foods you eat, particularly fresh produce, which is typically made up of 90% water or more. That's why, when you dehydrate fruits and veggies, they become tiny! That’s also why fruit and veggies tend to fill you up faster at meals with fewer calories.

TELL US: How are you going to increase your water or fluid intake?

Through his book and blog, Death of the Diet , Jason Machowsky, MS, RD, CSCS, empowers people to live the life they want by integrating healthy eating and physical activity habits into their daily routines. You can follow him on Twitter @JMachowskyRDFit .

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