We can divide our scale weight broadly into two components…Fat Mass (FM) and Fat Free Mass (FFM). FFM is made up of water, muscle, bone and connective tissues like ligaments and tendons and we should always aim to preserve our FFM as it is quite literally the “good stuff” So really, we’re not correct when we talk about losing weight – we should be saying losing fat instead.
During exercise, or any other activity that causes a rise in body temperature (?!!) sweat lost can equal or even exceed one litre (just under 2 pints) in an hour. One litre of water weighs 1 kilogram (2.2 lbs) so quite possible to lose a substantial amount of weight during one hours exercise – especially in a warm climate. We sweat to reduce our body’s core temperature and prevent hyperthermia – the excessive build up of heat which may, if left unchecked, result in serious health problems. Water comes to the surface of our skin, evaporates, and takes with it some of the excess heat and as a result, we cool down.
In addition to having nothing to do with healthy weight loss, dehydration (the state of being deficient in water) also actually slows the burning of fat. The body perceives this reduction in water intake/increase in water expenditure as a possible drought, and drought is the natural pre-curser of famine. As a result, the age old “starvation response” kicks in and the body does all it can to preserve fat stores to keep us alive and well in periods of restricted food supplies! This is obviously not conducive to our goal of fat loss. We should do everything we can to avoid getting into a dehydrated state and this means we need to adopt a sensible approach to our water consumption…
1)Drink at least 2 litres of water a day
So, in our quest to get slimmer for the coming summer - ditch the sweat suits and extra layers of clothing, don’t worry about trying to “sweat the weight off”, drink plenty of water, eat a little less while exercising a little more.