VERY few people drink enough water. And fat people should drink an amount equal to their physiological requirements. Eight glasses a day are none too much in the non-pituitary obesity types.
Of course the intake of water means a temporary increase in weight. But water, by activating the kidneys and flushing the colon, carries away large amounts of waste products.
Water is the most variable constituent in the human body. It makes up about three-fourths of your total weight. Water is constantly passing out of the body in the form of sweat. You have heard of the Marathon runner who loses eight pounds in three hours and of the football player who lost fourteen pounds in a single game. In the latter case Benedict and Joslin have calculated that only a quarter of a pound could have been solids; the rest was water.
In the gain of weight in obesity there is very little increase in body protein, the weight increase being largely fat. This fat tissue contains but little water. It has a tendency, in fact, to replace water. Many fat people on a strict diet will lose pounds of fat but there may be no weight decrease due to the resulting storage of water. A sweat bath will reduce the weight in these cases but only temporarily.
Water at Meals
Drink a glass of water as you sit down to the table and don’t drink any more water during the meal. The preliminary glass starts the stomach glands secreting. But water drunk during the meal may be abused by being taken for the purpose of washing down large quantities of food, often imperfectly masticated. If you feel the need of more water while eating, take it only a sip at a time.
People taking a reducing cure at European re-sorts often give to the mineral waters the complete credit for reducing them. In many cases this is correct but the reduction cure has resolved itself into a depletion cure.
Purgative mineral waters naturally reduce, because they deplete the system of water and hasten the passage of food through the alimentary tract before digestion and absorption has taken place.
Mineral waters may upset the normal mineral-salt balances of the body and do much harm. On the other hand they may combat acidosis or make up for certain salt deficiencies. This indicates the need of clinical supervision when weight is being reduced.
I often prescribe a periodic course of distilled water in certain obese individuals with deficient kidney function.
Iced water is bad. If taken in large quantities it inhibits stomach secretion and retards digestion. Extreme cold may cause gastric catarrh. Drinking water should have a temperature of from fifty to fifty-five degrees. But comfortably hot water is excellent when you have a cold, and in chronic constipation from two to four glasses of hot water should be taken immediately before breakfast.-
Water in Foods
In addition to your several glasses a day, you also get water in your foods particularly in the fresh vegetables and fruits which the obese person should eat. The difference between a solid and a liquid food is more apparent than real. A potato, a tomato or a peach is called solid food but each contains more water weight for weight than does milk.
Rabbits and guinea pigs can live for years with-out drinking water, because they get the water they require from the green stuff they eat.