Why it's important to stay hydrated for the Summer Body Challenge

It's important to stay hydrated.
It's important to stay hydrated.
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The Summer Body Challenge kicked off last week, when I gave you a meal plan, shopping list, and a home workout to complete three times per week.

It's the same again today, but first I want to explain why it is so important to stay hydrated.

You should aim to stay hydrated all the time, no matter what your goal is. But, especially when you're trying to lose weight and get lean.

* Hydration increases your ability to burn fat. If you're dehydrated your fat burning process will slow down!

* Water acts as a natural appetite suppressant and aids in metabolism.

* When you are not properly hydrated, you may feel a burning sensation in your stomach which can be easily be mistaken for hunger pains and lead you to unnecessary calorie consumption.

* A study conducted at the University of Washington found that drinking one 250ml glass of water eliminated midnight hunger pangs in 98 percent of the subjects, which decreased caloric intake from midnight snacks.

* Water may also cause an increase in energy, allowing you to push harder through workouts.

So, don't wait until you're thirsty to take a drink of water. Start drinking water as soon as you wake up on a morning - have a glass with your breakfast.

Then keeping sipping throughout the day. You need to have a minimum of 2 litres of water per day.

Really, you should aim for 3 litres. Especially on the days that you workout. That may seem like a lot, but trust me, it really will help you burn fat and look leaner.

When your body is hydrated you will also see other benefits including:

* Healthier skin

* Healthier teeth and bones

* Healthier joints

* Improved digestion

* Reduces fatigue

* Suppresses appetite

* Increased fat metabolism

My advice is to fill a 2-litre bottle on a morning and make sure it's gone by the end of the day. And, replace your normal cups of tea and coffee for 3 cups of green tea per day.

Here's your checklist for Week 2 of the Summer Body Challenge:

1. Download Week 2 meal plans and shopping list HERE.

2. Go get your shopping in and stock your cupboards/fridge with the healthy foods.

3. Get rid of any processed, sugary foods that may have found their way into your cupboards over the last week to remove any temptations.

4. Complete this week's workout at least three times before next weekend.

Your Trainer: Graham Low, owner of East Coast Fitness, is an award winning personal trainer based in Seaham.

The ex-professional footballer was nominated for the Small Business of the Year and Leisure Awards at the Sunderland Echo Portfolio Awards last year.

Graham won the Leisure Award at the North East Hotels Association Awards while working as gym manager at Seaham Hall in 2012.

For personal training, boot camps, small group training and online programmes email graham@eastcoast-fitness.com or click here.