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Losing Weight After 30: The single most important thing you can do for your body

Australian athlete guzzles water at a meet
Australian athlete guzzles water at a meet
Photo by Robert Prezioso/Getty Images

Losing Weight After 30: The single most important thing you can do for your body.

I have worked at many women’s gyms over the years. Some as basic as Curves, some boutique-level spas masquerading as fitness centers. At some point, a few women will ask me this question: What is the one most important thing I should do for my body?

They think I’m going to say crunches, or jog regularly, or yoga… but I don’t say those things because while all of those things are great for you, you can achieve health and fitness without any one of those. However there is one element that you cannot function without. Literally. If you do not get enough of this one thing, every process in your body is compromised, weight loss is nearly impossible, and you will be tired and sick all the time.


I know that’s a boring answer. I don’t care. It’s the correct one. It boggles my mind how many women would chug caffeine and sugar and then come in to Curves and do the circuit without a water bottle. They could not have done anything worse. And what’s so sad: IT’S SUCH A SIMPLE FIX!

Some people say they hate drinking water. I’ve had women literally tell me all they drink is coffee and diet soda. Honestly, I don’t know how you’re alive if this is what you’re doing.

If you don't know the medical reasons to drink water, here’s a few:

  • Water is at the center of all biological functions. You can only survive 3-4 days without it
  • Drinking water decreases your susceptibility to illness
  • Water is essential to kidney function (kidneys eliminate waste)
  • Dehydration can cause extreme fatigue, muscle pain, and stiff joints

If you don't know the weight loss reasons to drink water, here’s some (and also check this super helpful video):

  • Dehydration harms your workout performance. If you can’t work out as hard, you can’t burn as many calories.
  • Dehydration slows down the fat-burning process
  • Proper hydration can help reduce muscle and joint soreness when exercising, thus improving performance
  • Water+food helps you feel less hungry

No matter how you look at it, water is essential to every single function. PUT IT IN YOUR BODY! The longer you go under-hydrated, the worse you make things. It’s like driving a car without oil in it. It’s a horrible idea, and the longer you do it, the worse it is for every component of the engine.

We have all heard the number 64 ounces tossed around, or 8 glasses daily. Turns out that was a random amount. The amount of water you need varies by your size and activity level. You can use the expert method - drink when you are thirsty or mouth/lips are dry - or you can get a recommended intake by weighing yourself. Divide the number of pounds in half, and drink that many ounces at intervals throughout the day. For example, I weigh 130 pounds. Divided in half, that equals 65. So I should drink 65 ounces of water a day.

If you are going to work out and sweat heavily, here is the advice for adding to your daily water intake from WebMD:

  • One to two hours before your workout, drink 15 to 20 ounces of water
  • 15 minutes before you begin, drink between 8 and 10 ounces of water
  • During your workout, drink another 8 ounces every 15 minutes.

The point is: the most important thing you can do for your health is super easy. Quit avoiding and forgetting. You have access to a resource of which half the world is in desperate shortage: clean drinking water. Don’t be a douche. Drink it. Take advantage of the fact that the thing you need most for health and weight loss is readily available, and CHEAP!

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