For weight loss, I drink 1 1/2 to 2 liters of water a day and lost six pounds in two weeks.

I recently started a weight loss program and have changed my eating habits within 3 weeks time. I drink 2 sometimes 1 1/2 liters of water a day, mostly chicken, and veggies. I lost 6 pounds the first two weeks when I checked in with my nutritionist. Is this too much weight? I am not depriving myself of eating, I just make better choices.

The maximum weight loss currently recommended is 2 pounds per week. Research has found that this helps preserve lean muscle tissue (muscles and internal organs) so that the weight loss is mostly body fat (adipose tissue). Also, if you lose too much weight too quickly, research has also found that you will be more likely to regain the weight you lost. The most successful weight loss programs after a 2-year period include daily exercise and losing weight slowly.

The amount of water you drink (2500 milliliters = ten 8-ounce glasses) depends on your needs, exercise sweating, humidity, and environmental temperature. Read my sports nutrition topic for more information on water needs during exercise. One way to tell if you are drinking enough water is to look at the color of your urine. During waking hours, urine should be light yellow and odorless unless you are taking a vitamin C supplement. Vitamin C will tint your urine bright yellow if you take much more than 2 times the RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance). This would be more than 120 milligrams of vitamin C per day.  Water helps your kidneys wash waste products out of the body and provide enough fluid for dietary fiber in your intestinal tract. One type of fiber (insoluble) absorbs water in the intestines and is effective at eliminating waste.