Can you really lose weight by drinking water? No doubt about it! Drinking water is one of the simplest lifestyle changes to make if you are trying to slim down and maintain your weight loss.
No diet. No deprivation. No calorie counting.
It is hands down one of the easiest, safest ways to naturally lose weight and improve your overall health.
If your goal is to lose weight by drinking water, I share below proven strategies that detail exactly how, when, and what to drink that’ll increase the effectiveness of weight loss.
Why do you lose weight by drinking water
1. Water is an appetite suppressant
Our stomach sends signals to the brain to let it know whether it is hungry or full. When we drink more water, the water takes up more space in the stomach, thus increasing the feeling of fullness and reducing hunger.
As we age, we are also more likely to mistaken thirst for hunger. Drinking a glass of water before taking a bite of food can reduce unnecessary snacking.
Multiple studies were done where overweight subjects increased their daily intake of water for a period of 8 weeks.
2. Drinking water burns more calories.
Drinking more water can increase the number of calories you burn, which is also known as resting energy expenditure.
A study of healthy, normal-weight adults found that drinking 0.5 liters of water increased metabolic rate by 30%. The increased energy expenditure occurred within 10 min and reached a maximum after 30-40 min (3).
A 12-month study of overweight women increasing their water intake by 1 liter per day found that they lost an extra 4.4 lbs of weight (4) at the end of the study period.
The results of these studies are even more impressive when the water temperature is cold (5). When you drink cold water, your body burns even more calories to warm the water up to body temperature.
These studies support the use of drinking water as part of a weight-loss program.
3. Drinking more water reduces calorie intake.
Water is a zero-calorie drink.
When you drink water instead of sugar-laden beverages, you automatically reduce your overall calorie intake.
A study found that people who drink mostly water consumed about 200 fewer calories per day (6).
Why not adopt this simple lifestyle change and save your energy and time on things more fun than doing math on what you eat and drink all day?
4. Drinking water helps to remove waste from the body
When our body is dehydrated, it cannot properly remove waste as urine and feces.
This can result in hard or lumpy stools and constipation. Drinking more water helps to keep waste moving by softening or loosening hardened stools.
5. Drinking water lowers the risk of weight gain.
Increasing your water intake in place of sugar-sweetened beverages or fruit juices can lower your risk of long-term weight gain.
A study followed healthy, normal-weight adults found that on average, the participants gained about 1.45kg, or 3.2 pounds, over a 4-year period.
When these participants replaced 1 serving per day of sugar-sweetened beverage with 1 cup of water per day, this resulted in 0.49 kg (1.08 pound) less weight gain over each 4-year period. Participants that replaced fruit juices with water lowered their weight gain by 0.35 kg, or 0.77 pounds (7).
Educating and encouraging children to drink water is important to reduce childhood obesity.
A recent study was done at elementary schools in Germany where they installed water fountains and prepared classroom lessons to encourage children to drink water.
The children were evaluated after one school year, and the researchers found that the risk of overweight was reduced by a whopping 31% in the group that increased water consumption (8)!
How To Lose Weight By Drinking Water
1. Drink water first thing in the morning
What better way to kickstart this healthy habit than to start the day by drinking a cup of refreshing, wake-me-up water?
If you like to shower in the morning to wake yourself up, think of drinking water as giving your internal organs a “shower” wake up call as well.
Ayurveda is one of the world’s oldest holistic healing systems from India and suggests the practice of Ushapan, or drinking water first thing in the morning. It is said to help get rid of diseases in the body by flushing out all the toxins and cleansing your intestines.
2. Drink 30 minutes before your meals
When you drink water 30 minutes before all of your meals, not only are you correcting thirst signals that may have been mistaken for hunger signals, you are also filling up your stomach so you are less likely to overeat during mealtime.
In one of the study, participants also reported lower appetite that may have contributed to their weight loss.
3. Replace sugar-laden sodas with water
While adding more water helps to contribute to lower appetite and weight loss, replacing sugar-sweetened beverages and fruit juices with water resulted in greater weight loss.
Almost 200 fewer calories were consumed daily simply by substituting water with sugar-laden sodas and juices.
What if you crave those sparkling bubbles in sodas? One of my favorite secret weapons against those cravings is to create my own flavored homemade sparkling water.
I use a sparkling water maker to create the bubbles in my water, and flavor my creation with squeezed fruit juices, spices, and herbs.
The key is to skip the sugar-laden pre-made flavoring packets that come with the sparkling water maker.
Nothing beats a refreshing sparkling drink on a hot summer day!
4. Drink ice-cold water
Drinking cold water boosts your metabolism and burn more calories because your body expends more energy to heat up the water for digestion.
That and ice-cold water is simply much more refreshing and appealing than room temperature water, especially if you are exercising or out and about on a hot day!
A good way to keep your water ice-cold without being next to a refrigerator all the time is to store it in a bpa-free, insulated bottle like this one.
5. Eat your water
If drinking a ton of water gets old and boring fast, there are plenty of hydrating foods and ways of cooking them that allow you to eat your water!
There are many vegetables that surprising comprise of over 90 percent water:
Hydrating fruits that contain over 80 percent water are:
You can also add more soups, stews or porridges to your meals to hydrate your body and to get you feeling full quickly.
Having teas and soups as part of the typical Asian meal is one of the secrets to their effortless weight loss and maintenance!
6. Spice up your water!
Plain water can get old and boring fast! Why not turn them into detox water with fat-burning spices to boost your metabolism and weight loss?
Add spices like cinnamon and ginger for weight loss and flavor boosts. They can even help you to lose belly fat when you combine water with their fat-burning and debloating power.
7. Make sure you are drinking enough water
How do you know if you are drinking enough water? A general rule of thumb is to check the color of your urine.
You’ll know you’re well-hydrated if your urine is clear or light yellow in color. The darker your urine, the more water you’ll need to drink to keep your body optimally hydrated.
How much water should you drink in a day to lose weight? Should you overdrink water in order to lose weight? As a general rule, I don’t recommend overdoing anything. The goal here is to add a simple, sustainable lifestyle habit.
Most of us don’t drink enough water. So let’s first check to make sure that we are drinking enough water with the urine color test chart.
If you’ve confirmed that you are drinking enough water, but you are over your healthy weight, flavor your water with fruits, herbs, and spices to further boost your metabolism and fat burn!
Water is a source of life. Our body is made up of 70% water.
By simply tapping into the abundant clean drinking water that we are lucky to have, we are able to live a healthier life.
Why not try to lose weight by drinking water? Sometimes the very answer you are looking for is right in front of you all this time. You just need to stop, take a deep breath, and really see it for yourself.
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