Does drinking water help you to lose weight? Yes, it does. Scientific evidence suggests that not only does it help you lose weight, but it also helps you stay satiated for longer, reduces your energy intake, and boosts your metabolism. Staying hydrated is a very important ingredient in the recipe for healthy weight loss. Yet, this does not mean that you should look to drink gallons of water per day in a frantic effort to reduce your waistline. Doing this, can lead to more serious health problems which will detrimentally impact your health. Here are some useful tips which should quench your thirst for knowledge regarding water and weight loss.
A Glass of Water Before Your Meal
The notion that drinking water before you eat is widely believed to help aid in weight loss due to the fact it suppresses your appetite and induces the sensation of feeling satiated. A number of studies have confirmed this, showing that pre-meal water consumption does reduce energy intake, particularly in adults (PubMed). This can also be supported in a separate study (BBC) where a number of adults aged 55 to 75 agreed to take part in an experiment over the course of 2 weeks. The participants were split into 2 groups. The first group followed a low calorie diet but did not drink any extra water before meals. The second group followed the same diet but had to drink 2 glasses of water before their meals. Over the course of 12 weeks, the first group lost on average 11lbs, whereas, the second group lost 15.5lbs.
It does appear that enjoying a crisp, refreshing glass of water before your meal will significantly aid in one’s diet. Ultimately, consuming a glass of water before your meal is beneficial for weight loss, however, it is also important to consider that a healthy low calorie meal and substituting unhealthy beverages is just as important in this process.
Watch What You Drink
There is a general misconception that consuming drinks labelled ‘zero sugar’ or ‘diet soda’ will help with weight loss. This popular belief has been exasperated by the media, and as more research is conducted, news is revealing that substituting all fizzy drinks for pure simple water is, in fact, the real answer. A study in 2015 found that the consumption of ‘zero sugar’ fizzy drinks loaded with artificial sweeteners actually escalated abdominal obesity (PubMed) increasing the waist circumference of adults in the long-term. Using ‘zero sugar’ drink’s as a tool for weight management is therefore quite counterproductive and could be equally as damaging as drinks containing sugar. Drinks with sugar naturally are loaded with calories which increase your daily energy consumption exponentially; such a large quantity of refined sugars in someone’s drink also increases your appetite and insulin produced in the body. This is not exclusive to just fizzy drinks, being mindful of the sugars hidden in alcohol, juices and other beverages are also just as important. Studies have consistently proven that switching to water promotes short-term and long-term weight loss (Oxford Academic).
The evidence is conclusive that by simply drinking clean water you will see improvement in your weight loss goals and overall health. Drinking beverages containing sugar and artificial sweeteners will increase your waist size and could precisely be the reason for the stagnation in your reaching your weight loss goals; by substituting these beverages for H2O you will ultimately reap the benefits of water.
Drinking Water Boosts Your Metabolism
Ingesting more water can actually help you burn body fat even when you are sitting down. Studies have revealed that if you drink just 500ml of water it can actually spike your resting metabolic rate by 24% (PubMed). Evidence consistently proposes across various studies that drinking water is significantly associated with weight loss with one particular study seeing weight loss up to an extra 2kg completely independent of exercise. This will most likely be music to some of our reader’s ears, the fact that you can actually lose weight without even signing a gym membership! That being said, this study was over the course of 1 year, therefore, it is important to recognise exercise will compliment your weight loss plan. Not only does it boost your metabolism but drinking water is essential for the absorption of nutrients and minerals in your diet, as well as, carrying oxygen to vital organs and muscle groups (Mayo Clinic).
By just having a glass of water you will obtain a distinctive advantage in your weight loss due it boosting your metabolism. Drinking water also lubricates the joints and helps absorb nutrients and minerals from your diet. This makes it even more important for those that are going to the gym and exercising, which can help you achieve your weight loss goals.
Water and the Gym
Going to the gym will naturally help you lose bodyweight much quicker and water compliments this goal a lot. Water lubricates the joints, helps regulate the body’s temperature and is necessary for hydration, especially when exercising. Conclusive evidence has been accumulated in this field of study advising adequate hydration of the body during physical exercise for optimal performance and health. Dehydration across various studies (Science Direct) has strongly indicated an adverse effect in physical performance for those that are not staying hydrated. This is a very important factor to consider for people that are engaging in popular training styles such as high intensity interval training (HIIT), which rapidly deplete glycogen stores in the muscle, thus, making it imperative for the body to have enough water to feed nutrients and minerals to the body.
It is important that you are hydrated when undertaking physical exercise. Ensuring you drink plenty of water and not become distracted by various branded beverages can boost your weight loss tremendously.
Making Sure You Drink the Right Amount
If you are reading this and believe that chugging gallons of water is the way forward, then you probably want to put that jug of water down for a second. How much water you need to drink is thought to completely depend on a number of factors, such as your weight, height and activity level (WebMD). For example, if you are exercising regularly, then you must drink more water due to water loss through perspiration, on the other hand, if you are drinking other beverages such as a glass of wine or beer, then you will need more water to counteract the dehydration caused by alcohol. Our bodies can also only sustain so much water before it starts to negatively impact our overall health. Over hydrating, the body can be a very serious matter leading to kidney problems and possible water intoxication. In the UK, the NHS recommends that you should consume about 6-8 glasses (1.2 litres) of fluid per day (NHS) to stay hydrated, whereas, American research recommends 8oz glasses of water per day (1.9 litres), otherwise known as the 8×8 rule. The disparity in these figures is thought to be due to the difference in climate conditions between the US and the UK. A good way to ensure you are drinking enough is to simply use these guidelines and to check what colour your urine is. The NHS provides a guide (NHS) that is easy to understand, detailing what colour your urine should be, including additional signs and symptoms of hydration and dehydration.
It is imperative to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and to help you achieve your weight loss goals. It is important that you drink the right amount of water and not too much, this is because water intake is completely dependent on your activity level, height, weight and foods you consume.
The emerging buzz around water and weight loss has sparked curiosity and an unquenchable thirst for the truth around how we can utilise water to lose weight. Scientific evidence does, in fact, strongly suggests that consuming the recommended amount of water per day will help you lose weight. We have provided some simple tips you can employ today based on the research covered so you can harness the potential benefits of water and achieve healthy weight loss.
10 Tips for Drinking More Water Per Day
- Wake up and have a glass of cold water in the morning to boost your metabolism
- Don’t like plain water? Flavour your water with fruits such as lemon and berries
- Have a glass of water before your meal
- Have a glass of water with your meal instead of other beverages
- Track how much and what you drink
- Take a bottle of water to the gym
- Use your water cooler instead of drinking fizzy drinks
- Prepare the right amount of water you will drink in the fridge
- Set reminders so you will not forget
- Drink herbal tea so you do not always have to drink cold beverages
Do you have any other useful tips? Join in the conversation on our Twitter page and share with us your ideas and thoughts.