Drinking water to lose weight is an idea that has been tossed around for years, raising suspicion as to whether or not it is effective at all. Recent studies have shown that drinking water can, in fact, help you lose weight. As with most health claims, it is important to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle and balanced diet in combination with drinking plenty of water to see any results. Scientists have yet to find the exact reason why drinking water helps you lose weight. Keep reading to learn more.
Things to Know
While it is not enough on its own, sufficient water intake can complement a weight loss plan. There are several important things to keep in mind:
Drink water before meals
Drinking water before eating helps fill your stomach, making you less hungry and preventing overeating.
Have water instead of soda
Replacing sugary sodas and juice cocktails with water is a healthier option, providing hydration without the extra calories. Making this simple switch will cut down your daily calorie intake.
Keep a reusable bottle
Keeping a reusable water bottle around you will remind you to keep drinking water throughout the day, and it is environmentally friendly. If you're continually staying well hydrated, cravings are less likely to happen.
It's different for everyone
Hydration needs vary from person to person depending on age, weight, environment, and activity level. The Institute of Medicine recommends that men and women try to consume about 3.7 and 2.7 liters of water a day, respectively. Likewise, drinking enough water and staying properly hydrated is part of a healthy weight loss system and weight maintenance in general.
Foods can hydrate, too
80% of water intake comes from beverages, but the other 20% comes from food. Fruits like strawberries, cantaloupe, and grapefruit, and vegetables like broccoli, cucumber, and spinach are more than 90% water. These fruits and vegetables can be very beneficial in helping you lose weight.
Don't forget to sweat
While drinking water can keep bodily functions running smoothly, it is crucial to remember to exercise in order to lose weight. Getting at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise a day is recommended to stay healthy, reduce stress, and increase energy.
Water boosts metabolism
A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that drinking water can improve metabolic rate by 30% in men and women, increasing your body's ability to burn fat.
Drinking water alone will not make you lose weight; however, in combination with a healthy diet and active lifestyle, it can help, especially with losing weight during perimenopause. Sufficient water intake is also necessary for overall well-being and can help with not just weight gain, but also other menopause symptoms.
- Boschmann, M. et al. (2003). Water-Induced Thermogenesis. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 88(12). doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/jc.2003-030780
- Institute of Medicine. (2013). Dietary Reference Intakes: Water, Potassium, Sodium, Chloride, and Sulfate. Retrieved November 11, 2014, from http://www.iom.edu/Reports/2004/Dietary-Reference-Intakes-Water-Potassium-Sodium-Chloride-and-Sulfate.aspx