Our bodies are about 70 percent water. All our body cells need water to carry out almost all the complex processes in our body. Water is essential for dissolving important minerals and vitamins in our body.
People have long believed that drinking water and weight loss are closely lined. A lot of people try to increase their water intake when following a program for weight loss. We will examine if water therapy for weight loss is really effective and why.
Scientific studies have also shown that staying properly hydrated is associated with weight loss, and especially maintaining weight. A 2013 study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found association between increasing water intake and weight loss. More studies published here and here also corroborate this positive association.
How does drinking water help you lose weight
Now we have answered the question that can drinking water help you lose weight in the affirmative, lets discuss the reasons why it works.
Here are top six reasons why drinking water to lose weight may be an effective strategy.
1. Water helps decrease water weight
Water also helps with keeping our body temperature, blood pressure and other body functions in normal range. If you are not providing your body enough water, the body will try to hold on to water it has and this will increase your water weight because body will assume that you are experiencing a water deficient situation.
Therefore, when you give your body necessary hydration, it will not store excess water and the result will be a decreased water weight.
2. Water helps excrete excess body fat
Excess fat in the body is excreted through water medium in urination, stools and sweat. By depriving body of enough water, your body will struggle to exit fats from your body. By drinking recommended daily intake of water, you will facilitate fat loss process.
3. Water helps your body burn calories
It has been shown that when you drink water, your body burns more calories at even rest stage, which is called resting energy expenditure. This increase in calorie expenditure can be upto 25 percent if you drink cold water. On a yearly basis, it may help you lose up to 2 kg weight by just this little modification.
Therefore, one of the easiest strategies to bur calories and lose weight, even at rest, is to drink enough water throughout the day.
4. Drinking water makes you feel less hungry
We all are familiar with the struggle of cravings and hunger we have when we are on a diet trying to lose weight. Turns out that water can help decrease your appetite which will help you lose even more weight.
If you drink water before meals, it has been shown that you will consume less food and your calorie intake may decrease by more than 10 percent for that meal. All these small water interventions may add up to a weight loss of up to 2 kg in a three months period.
5. Helps decrease liquid calories intake
One of the worst kinds of shallow calories is the liquid calories found in soft drinks and sweetened beverages.
By replacing these drinks with water, we can decrease our daily calorie intake which will help with long term weight loss. A 2015 study has shown that drinking more water after lunch led to 13 percent more weight loss.
6. Water helps burn fat
Water is essential for burning body fat in a process called lipolysis. This process is not very efficient when we do not drink enough water. Therefore, increased water intake has been shown to improve lipolysis and metabolism which means body burns more fat and proving the water and weight loss link.
Why drink more water when dieting
Almost all weight loss programs will encourage you to increase your daily hydration. It is not just that more water helps flush fat from the body but there are other supplementary reasons for this water and weight loss link:
- When you drink water, especially before meals, you will eat less at that meal because of the satiety effect of water
- Weight loss produces wastes from breakdown of fats and muscles and staying hydrated helps flush these wastes more efficiently through kidneys and stool. This is even more important in case of high protein diets which produce more waste.
- For most people, empty calories come from drinks. By focusing on more water intake, these calories can be eliminated from diet which will facilitate weight loss.
How much water you need every day
You might have heard that you need to drink 8 glasses of water every day. But this is not something written in stone anywhere. Water requirements of human body differ. If you are really exerting outdoor in the sun all day, your water needs are definitely more than 8 glasses. It also depends on what other liquids you are taking. Many other factors like age, humidity, temperature and body size etc also affect this intake recommendation.
National Academies of Sciences has the following recommended water intake:
- 3.7 liters of fluids for men (15 to 16 cups)
- 2.7 liters of fluids for women. (11 to 12 cups)
If we assume that about 20 percent of our fluid intake comes from liquids other than water (tea, coffee, juices etc), it roughly means that adults need about 1-2 liters of water which is between 4-8 glasses of water (depending on other fluids intake).
As a general rule of thumb, you must drink water whenever you are feeling thirsty and you should drink enough water.
How much water is too much
While drinking water to lose weight fast is encouraged, you should not steer away from moderation. There is a definite chance of over hydration if you drink more than one liter of water every hour. This will not only overload your kidneys but it may also disrupt the delicate electrolyte balance.
Tips to Drink More Water
Now that we have convinced you that water and weight loss go hand in hand, here are a few tips to increase water intake for maximum weight loss.
- Keep your water glass visible to you at all times. It will remind you to drink water when you will see this.
- Try to have water in easy access. Ideally it should be a dispenser because this will make it less of a hassle each time you drink water.
- Drink water before meals. This will not only become a regimen but also you will eat less at each meal. Double benefits.
- Carry a nice water bottle with you. When you are carrying water with you outside, there are more chances that you will drink it.
- Drink water and skip soda at restaurant meals. Not only you will save money but also it is better for your health.
- Drink a glass of water first thing in the morning. You will get hydrated straight away and also this will act as a pick-me-up.
- Add lemon juice to water to make it more tasteful and perk up the otherwise bland falor of water
- Drink cold water. It is more palatable when it is cold, though some people like it at room temperature.
Start with these tips today and you will lose weight fater and also feel better on the way.