08/02/2010 02:37 pm ET Updated Nov 17, 2011


Seventy Percent! That's the number to remember this week. If something makes up 70% of your body, you'd think it was pretty important. Yup. This week's Skinny is all about water. Personally I'm not a natural water lover, though I envy those who are. I much prefer Diet Coke much to my mother's chagrin. My mom is constantly sending me emails on the benefits of water and the short-comings of the other dark, vile poison that I often choose. And while there are many days I fall short of my targeted water consumption it DOES help to have those reasons in the forefront of my mind as I try to make better beverage choices.

1. You can live for a month without food (really!) but only about a week without water. It's vital to our survival.
2. It's helps with weight loss (really!) as it increases your metabolism and regulates your appetite. Did you know that we often mistake thirst for hunger? Personally I mistake A LOT of things for hunger, but thirst is an easy fix.
3. It has other health benefits, like reducing the risk of certain types of cancers such as colon, bladder and breast cancers and giving you better circulation as it transports nutrients to the body and flushes out wastes and bacteria that can cause disease.
4. It's a wonderful beauty treatment, not just ON your skin, but IN it! The right amount of hydration in your skin cells cause them to plump up nicely when they may otherwise sag due to aging or weight loss. Whoo Hoo!

There are other great reasons, but I figure survival, weight loss, health and beauty are a pretty good start. One thing to point out, though, is that 48 oz is not always the ideal target. A rule of thumb is that for every 25 pounds overweight you are, add another 8 oz glass. When I weighed 350 lbs I should have been drinking more than 112 oz of water a day! Yikes! There's a cool water calculator under the KTools on my website* which will give you a good idea what the right amount is for YOU.

A few things to remember:
• We don't have to drink it all at once.
• We can add non-diuretic flavorings to the water (be careful of added calories).
• Seltzer counts.
• Ice counts - ice shavers are GREAT with a little sugar-free syrup on your home-made snow cones.
• It doesn't matter when you drink your water during the day, but it's a really good idea to stop drinking 3 hours before bedtime. You know why.

If you have a lack-of-water-drinking-problem like I do, look at it this way. There are a lot of things we SHOULD do to keep our bodies healthy that are pretty difficult such as increasing our activity, decreasing our portion sizes and NOT eating food items that we really want. In the scheme of life drinking more water is pretty easy and the benefits are huge.

OK mom, you told me so!