Water

How Drinking More Water Can Help You Lose Weight

For a long time, drinking water has been thought to help with weight loss.

Many studies show that drinking more water may benefit weight loss and maintenance.

This article explains how drinking water can help you lose weight.

Drinking Water Can Make You Burn More Calories

Drinking water increases the amount of calories you burn, which is known as resting energy expenditure.

In adults, resting energy expenditure has been shown to increase by 24–30% within 10 minutes of drinking water. This lasts at least 60 minutes.

A study of overweight women examined the effects of increasing water intake to over 1 litre per day. They found that over a 12-month period, this resulted in an extra 2 kg (4.4 lbs) of weight loss. That’s pretty impressive!

Several other studies have monitored overweight people who drank 1-1.5 litres of water daily for a few weeks. They found a significant reduction in weight, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference and body fat.

These results may be even more impressive when the water is cold. When you drink cold water, your body uses extra calories to warm the water up to body temperature.

Drinking Water Before Meals Can Reduce Appetite

Some people claim that drinking water before a meal reduces appetite.

There is some truth behind this.

Studies of older adults have shown that drinking water before each meal may increase weight loss by 2 kg (4.4 lbs) over a 12-week period.

In one study, middle-aged overweight and obese participants who drank water before each meal lost 44% more weight, compared to a group that did not drink more water.

Another study also showed that drinking water before breakfast reduced the amount of calories consumed during the meal by 13%.

Drinking More Water is Linked to Reduced Calorie Intake and a Lower Risk of Weight Gain

Since water is naturally calorie-free, it is generally linked with reduced calorie intake.

Observational studies have shown that people who drink mostly water have up to a 9% (or 200 calories) lower calorie intake, on average

Drinking water may also help prevent long-term weight gain. In general, the average person gains about 1.45 kg (3.2 lbs) every 4 years.

This amount may be reduced by:

  • Adding 1 cup of water: Increasing your daily water consumption by 1 glass may reduce this weight gain by 0.13 kg (0.23 lbs).
  • Replacing other drinks with water: Substituting a serving of a sugar-sweetened drinks with 1 cup of water may reduce the 4-year weight gain by 0.5 kg (1.1 lbs).

It is especially important to encourage children to drink water, as it can help prevent them from becoming overweight or obese.

How Much Water Should You Drink?

Many health authorities recommend drinking eight glasses of water (about 2 litres) per day.

However, this number is completely random. As with so many things, water requirements depend entirely on the individual.

For example, people who sweat a lot or exercise regularly may need more water than those who are not very active.

Older people and breast-feeding mum’s also need to monitor their water intake more closely

Keep in mind that you also get water from many foods and drinks, such as coffee, tea, meat, fish, milk, and especially fruits and vegetables.

As a good rule of thumb, you should always drink water when you’re thirsty.

If you find you have a headache, are in a bad mood, are constantly hungry or have trouble concentrating, then you may suffer from mild dehydration. Drinking more water may help fix this.

Based on the studies, drinking 1-2 litres of water per day should be sufficient to help with weight loss.

Here’s how much water you should drink, in different measurements:

  • Litres: 1–2.

  • Ounces: 34–67.

  • Glasses (8-oz): 4–8.

However, this is just a general guideline. Some people may need less, while others may need a lot more.

Also, it is not recommended to drink too much water either, as it may cause water toxicity. This has even caused death in extreme cases.

Key Points

  1. 1–2 litres of water per day is enough to assist with weight loss, especially when consumed before meals.
  2. Water can be really helpful for weight loss.
  3. It is 100% calorie-free, helps you burn more calories and may even suppress your appetite if consumed before meals.
  4. The benefits are even greater when you replace sugary drinks with water. It is a very easy way to cut back on sugar and calories.
  5. Keep in mind that you’re going to have to do a lot more than just drink water if you need to lose a significant amount of weight.
  6. Water is just one, very small piece of the puzzle.

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