Proper diet and nutrition entails drinking adequate amounts of water to keep the body hydrated and remove toxins and impurities. We have been told we must drink eight glasses of water daily, however a recent study published in the American Journal of Physiology questioned the efficacy of drinking eight glasses of water. The researchers could find no evidence to support this practice. They went on to say that healthy adults living in temperate climates, who are not engaged in rigorous activities do not need to heed this advice. According to David Perlow, MD, an Atlanta urologist, if you follow your thirst you will not go wrong.

Drinking pure water has been touted as an aid in weight loss. It is believed that drinking a glass of pure water before meals helps the stomach feel full, thereby reducing food intake. However, a recent study by Rolls and colleagues at Penn State University found no evidence to support this. The only way, they say, that drinking water can help a person lose weight is if he/she were to substitute water for high-calorie beverages or foods. Rolls states that a more healthy alternative would be to fill up on foods with high water content such as fruits and vegetables and broth-based soups. And of course, drink lots of water. Sparkling or flat, it matters little.

In recent times the detox diet has gained in popularity among people anxious to overcome obesity. Teas, beverages and pills are being promoted to cleanse our livers, colons and kidneys. Promoters of these products claim that the body needs to be cleansed of impurities in order to lose weight. They advise that once the colon is cleansed, belly fat will disappear and excess weight will be lost.

However doctors and dietitians advise against this practice, saying that the body is capable of detoxifying itself. Drinking gallons of water, teas and other herbs and reducing the amount of solid food is not only extreme but harmful. In addition, some of these detox diets can lead to dehydration by causing the body to lose necessary fluids and electrolytes. A better way to detox the body would be to add more fiber to the diet.

Some tips for weight loss are:
1. Control your food intake by limiting portion sizes. You can do this by simply putting your fork down when your stomach is full.
2. Avoid snacking, or if you must snack, have healthy snacks, like an apple, a piece of carrot or nuts.
3. Eat a balanced diet. This means including foods from all the food groups- proteins, fats, carbohydrates, dairy products, fruits and vegetables.
4. Drink adequate amounts of water.
5. Exercise.

It is very easy to get caught up in all the hype that surrounds weight loss, but by observing the laws of proper nutrition and making healthy lifestyle choices, a person can lose weight and keep it off.