Dominique Lloyd-Walter (former England squash international) works as a personal trainer in and around Surrey
Dominique Lloyd-Walter (former England squash international) works as a personal trainer in and around Surrey

Newsletter number thirty

Hi everyone,Newsletter

Hope you have had a good week and managed to stay on track with your weekly health and fitness regime. This week, I saw an interesting article on water and weight loss in the news which I thought would be good to share with you. Have a great weekend!


Drinking water proven to help with weight loss

  • Drinking two cups of water before all three meals helped dieters lose weight and keep it off.
  • The findings only worked in people who were middle-aged and older, but water might help younger dieters, too.
  • Americans get far too many calories in the form of sugar-filled beverages.
 It's a popular dieting secret: Drink more water, and you'll shed more pounds. Finally, science is adding weight to the practice.

After about three months, a new study found, obese dieters who drank two cups of water before each meal lost 5 pounds more than a group of dieters who didn't increase their water intake. A year later, the water-drinkers had also kept more of the weight off.

The study included only middle-aged and older adults, but other studies suggest that drinking water might help dieters of all ages, said Brenda Davy, a nutrition researcher at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. After years of folklore, she added, this may be the first hard evidence that pounding water is viable weight-loss strategy.

"It's this popular idea that, oh yeah, drink more water - that's what you have to do when you want to lose weight," said Davy, who presented her new findings today at a meeting of the American Chemical Society in Boston. "It seems to be logical, but it had never really been investigated."

Davy and colleagues reported one of their first findings in 2008 in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. That study found that older adults who drank two cups of water half an hour before breakfast ate about 75 fewer calories -- or 13 percent less -- than a comparable group who hadn't drunk water before the meal. People in both groups were overweight or obese, and all were allowed to eat as much of the food as they wanted.

To see if that behaviour would lead to actual weight loss, the researchers started by putting more than 40 overweight and obese adults on a diet. The dieters, all between the ages of 55 and 75, were instructed to eat healthy meals that totalled no more than 1,200 to 1,500 calories a day.

Half of the dieters were randomly assigned to drink a 16-ounce (about 1 pint) bottle of water before all three meals. The others received water but were not given any instructions about when or how to drink it.

Twelve weeks later, the water drinkers had lost an average of 15.5 pounds, compared to an average 11-pound loss in the other group. That's a 44 percent boost in weight loss, just from drinking water.

Davy's experiments have failed to find the same effect in younger adults, possibly because the gastrointestinal tract empties more slowly as we age, so water might lead to a longer-lasting feeling of fullness in older people.

But water might still work as a diet aid for younger people - just in different ways. One year-long study, for example, found that younger dieters who reported drinking more than a litre of water a day lost a little more weight than dieters who drank less water.

The reason could be physical. According to some research, water consumption might spark the body to produce more heat, boosting metabolism and burning more calories. Or, drinking more water might simply make people less likely to drink a lot of high-calorie sugar-filled beverages, said Barry Popkin, director of the Interdisciplinary Obesity Program at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

In hundreds of studies, Popkin said, people eat just as much food no matter how many calories they drink. And Americans are now drinking an average of 235 calories a day - far more than ever before.

Davy's findings need to be repeated, Popkin added, before doctors can confidently tell dieters that downing water will boost their efforts. But it can't hurt to keep a water bottle nearby, especially if that helps you take in less soda, juice, energy drinks and other caloric beverages.

"Water is by far the healthiest beverage, and if you can't drink water, then drink unsweetened tea, coffee, diet beverages or for kids, low-fat milk," Popkin said. "The fewer calories we get from beverages, the healthier we're going to be."

So there we have it....if you're on a weight loss mission, implement this tactic today and you could find things get easier!!


Weight loss

Challenge yourself to do the above over the next week (if you are trying to reduce your calorie intake). Drink a pint of water before breakfast, lunch and dinner to see if it leads you to consume fewer calories. Keeping yourself well hydrated should also help in keeping you alert throughout the day and well prepared for any training session.


Nutrition tip

To ensure you get a good mix of nutrients without having to think about it, include foods from the four main food groups in every meal. One-third should be fruit or veg, one third starchy, fibre rich foods (such as wholegrain cereals, brown rice or wholewheat pasta), one sixth protein rich foods (lean meat, chicken, eggs or pulses) and the remaining sixth reduced fat dairy products. A good example of a lunchtime meal could be a chicken sandwich with a bowl of fruit salad and a pot of low-fat yoghurt. Meanwhile, keep fatty and sugary foods to a minimum.


Calorie awareness

If you're a lager drinker, a pint of lower strength lager (4%) contains 193 calories and contains 2.3 units. In comparison, a pint of higher strength lager (5%) contains 244 calories and contains 2.8 units.

Daily calorie allowance for a woman is 2000 calories

Daily calorie allowance for a man is 2500 calories


Quote of the week

"Determine never to be idle. No person will have occasion to complain of the want of time who never loses any. It is wonderful how much can be done if we are always doing."

Thomas Jefferson


Interesting fact

Shorter toes are thought to make you a better runner! Look at the bones of our ancient ancestors' feet and one thing is apparent....we've evolved to have shorter toes. A study in the Journal of Experimental Biology found that long toes don't absorb shock as well as short ones. 'The muscles in your feet work with those in your leg to move your toes,' says Nick Masc (podiatrist). 'Having long toes makes it harder for the weaker muscles to do this, which predisposes you to injury.'


Challenge of the week

The side plank challenge (right side) is being carried over to next week. Results revealed next Friday. Get practicing everyone!!


Client of the weekJackie

This week's star client goes to Jackie Hyde. Jackie always puts 100% effort into her sessions and this week saw her make a leap forward with her running and rowing pace. Well done Jackie - great effort!