When we think about losing weight, we immediately think about what food we consume, and how much exercise we get. Ok, those are the key elements, but if we want everything to be perfect we must include the role that water plays in the weight loss journey.
Many studies show us that drinking more water can result in weight loss. After all, a high percentage of our body is composed of water so by drinking it we make a favor to our bodies so every part of it can function well. The more hydrated we are, the more efficiently our body will work.
Water can help us with weight loss in a variety of ways. Especially if your goal is a long-term, moderate weight loss, making sure that you drink enough water a day is a good way to start.
1. Burn more calories by drinking water
Drinking water increases the amount of burned calories. There was a study where overweighted women were drinking 34 oz extra (a liter) of water per day. This resulted in 4.4 lbs (2kg) of weight loss for a period of 1 year. Also, the main thing is that they didn’t make any lifestyle changes except the par with water.
Another study also indicates that drinking 17oz (0,5 liter) of water can make you burn 23 calories more.
These results are even more impressive when you drink cold water because of the energy your body uses to warm it up to body temperature.
How much water should I drink to lose weight?
There are many recommendations that we should drink 8 oz glasses (2 liters) of water per day. But, this number is actually totally random because we are all individuals with different lifestyles.
There are differences when it comes to younger/older people, people who exercise and sweat more through the day, the ones who get more water through foods and other beverages they drink every day…
One way to determine whether you are drinking enough water or not is to see the color of your urine. The darker it is, the more water you need. The perfect color is light yellow.
The overall goal is to stay hydrated and then to add an additional water when you are sweating heavily, spending time somewhere hotter, or exercising.
Below you can find a calculator that can help you count your water intake through several weeks to achieve your goal weight, based on your height, weight, and goal weight.
In general, no one should drink less than 2l of water per day, no matter the additional factors – they can just increase the need for water intake.
2. Drinking water before meals for reduced appetite
Water can help you by fulfilling the space in your stomach, which will result in reduced hunger. About two cups should fill your stomach enough for your brain to register that it is full. Also, a person may think that they are hungry, but they could actually be thirsty.
There is a study that shows us that drinking water before meals may reduce appetite when it comes to middle-aged and elder persons. When appetite is reduced you decrease the number of calories you take so which leads to weight loss.
3. Drinking water may help you if you are constantly hungry
If you are having troubles with headaches, or you are in a bad mood, or constantly hungry and having troubles with concentration, then you might be suffering from mild dehydration. You should definitely drink more water in potential prevention of this.
4. Water can help you to remove waste from your body
You should drink enough water because it is a way that body can remove toxins and waste through urine and feces. When the body is dehydrated it can’t do that. Also, water can resolve problems such as diarrhea and indigestion.
Adequate hydration promotes kidney function and prevents kidney stones.
When you are not hydrated the body may feel swollen and bloated and it may add a few pounds or inches to a waist.
5. Reduce “empty” calories by drinking water
The benefits of drinking water can be even greater if you are willing to try living healthier. For example, you could replace sugary drinks with water. By implementing this you could easily cut back on sugar and extra calories you consume throughout the day. Start by replacing just a few high-calorie drinks each day and expend it over time.
Tips that can help you to increase your water intake
- Start every day with a glass of water
- Always carry a small bottle of water with you
- Drink at least one glass of water with every meal
- Keep a glass of water neat the bad when going to sleep
- Start every day with a glass of water
- If you are using some supplements always drink them with a full glass of water
- Always carry a bottle of water when exercising
- Eat more food with high water contents (melons, strawberries, oranges, tomatoes, cucumbers, soups, stews, smoothies)
- Have your favorite water cup that you will refill once you finish drinking it
- When you are drinking something other than water (coffee, tea), add the same amount of water as well
- Link water intake to current habits
- If you are not a fan of plain water, then drink it with a few drops of lemon or lime, sliced cucumber, fresh mint, pieces of seasonal fruit…
Should you try water fasting to lose weight?
Water fasting is a type of fasting when you only drink water, everything other is restricted. This is not recommended without full medical supervision. There is some evidence that shows the results of potential health benefits and psychological effects.
But, this is not the healthiest way to lose weight. Also, you have to keep in mind that the results of weight loss, in this case, are mostly from liquid-based cleanses and it is not a good long-term solution. While there are some pros in doing it, there are a lot more cons.
Bloating and water retention
This is something that a lot of people have problems with. Water retention isn’t something that you can get rid of immediately, or with some supplements. This happens due to negative lifestyle choices that you need to change.
One of the reasons is flavor enhancers. When you buy groceries you can check on a declaration to see if there is a flavor enhancer and avoid that kind of product.
Also, a decrease in potassium (salads, green vegetables), and magnesium (healthy fats, nuts) can cause bloating due to water retention.
What can you do?
Besides changing your diet, you can also increase protein intake, increase vitamin b complex, use parsley when preparing your meals, or drink dandelion tea.
Drinking water during meals
Water can’t influence gastric emptying, it can’t speed up or speed down our digestion, so it is safe to drink water during meals. You shouldn’t overdrink it if you don’t feel like having water – that could eventually cause bloating, but if you are having a need of water during a meal you should definitely drink it.
Water is crucial to our health.
Drinking water is one of the least expensive, easiest, and most available tools that you have at your disposal to help you lose some weight.
However, if you want to lose a significant amount of weight you are going to have to do a lot more than just drink more water. It is important to embrace a more comprehensive and sustainable approach. Water is just one piece of the puzzle, but no less worthy of the other ones.