Drinking water alone won't make the pounds fly off, but it can support a sensible diet and exercise plan -- especially if you're trading in soft drinks and other diet-busting beverages for water. However, there is no clear advantage to drinking distilled water over any other type when it comes to losing weight. The distilling process removes minerals and other impurities, but does not contribute to the calorie count of water, which is zero.
Just like distilled spirits, distilled water is heated until it evaporates, leaving contaminants behind. The steam is collected and cooled until it returns to its liquid state. Distilling water removes solid contaminants such as salts, but not liquid contaminants that vaporize along with the water, such as alcohol. The process removes fluoride, which most communities add to tap water to help protect dental health. Fluoride is the main ingredient in most toothpastes, and this mineral helps reduce tooth decay. However, too much fluoride is toxic, and the Food and Drug Administration limits fluoride levels to 0.8 to 2.4 milligrams per liter of tap and bottled water.
Water and Weight
Distilled or not, it's a smart decision to load up on good old H20 when you're trying to slim down. Proper hydration is important for dieters because people often mistake thirst for hunger and eat when they really need fluid. Plus, switching to water from soda, juice or other sweetened beverages can save you hundreds of calories per day. Women should drink about 9 cups of water or other nonalcoholic fluids each day, according to The Institute of Medicine.
Weight loss is a simple concept when you look at the numbers. It takes a deficit of approximately 3,500 calories to lose a pound of fat, so eat 500 fewer calories than you burn each day to lose about 1 pound per week. Without medical testing, it's difficult to calculate exactly how many calories you burn, but the average woman uses between 2,000 and 2,200 calories per day with moderate activity.
Benefits of Water
Water truly is the stuff of life. Every single cell in your body contains water; you use it to maintain a steady internal temperature, flush toxins through urine and sweat, lubricate joints and protect your spinal cord. You also need water for regular bowel movements, and you may find yourself more regular with proper hydration. If you're accustomed to sweetened beverages right now, it could be difficult to transition to plain water -- try adding a spritz of lemon, orange or lime for a hint of flavor.
- University of Illinois Department of Physics: Q & A: Distilled Water
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Community Water Fluoridation: Questions and Answers
- MayoClinic.com: Water: How Much Should You Drink Every Day?
- FamilyDoctor:org: Nutrition: Determine Your Calorie Needs
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Water: Meeting Your Daily Fluid Needs
- Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images
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