Can drinking more water every day really help with weight loss? The answer is not a simple yes or no, but rather drinking water can be an effective component of a weight loss program. Getting enough water can help your body run more efficiently, clean out toxins and keep you feeling full. It can also help you shed water weight retained from eating too much sodium.
Check out our tips for staying hydrated and encouraging weight loss.
Drinking water before a meal can make you feel fuller and satiate thirst, which is often mistaken for hunger. A clinical trial at Virginia Tech found that two cups of water before a meal can curb appetite and decrease calorie intake during the meal. Participants in the study who increased their water consumption lost five pounds more than the control group over a 12-week period.
Replacing sodas and juices with water will encourage weight loss. If you are bored with the taste of water, add sliced lemon, lime or other fruits to make it more appealing. You can find more recipes here.
If you really want the water you’re drinking to help you lose weight, you have to make sure you’re drinking enough. While the eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day is not a set-in-stone method, it is a good guide. If you work out or sweat heavily, you will need to consume more than just the recommended eight glasses a day. Carry a reusable bottle of filtered water whenever you are running errands. A good test for whether or not you are drinking enough water is to monitor the color of your urine. If it is a pale yellow color, you are drinking enough fluid.
Your metabolism is responsible for breaking calories into energy. When the metabolism slows down, your body tries to hold onto energy instead of burning it off. Dehydration has been found to slow down the metabolism. Since the body is composed of around 60% water, it makes sense that a slight drop in fluid can slow down metabolic activity. By getting enough water, you can keep your metabolism running efficiently which can help you shed pounds. Keep in mind people often confuse thirst for hunger, so before you grab for that bag of chips have a glass of water and see if you are still hungry.
Simply drinking more water won’t make you lose weight, but it is an effective component of a well-rounded weight loss program. You will also need to exercise to burn calories and stored fat. A diet rich in lean protein, vegetables and healthy fat will keep you feeling full and satisfied. And of course, practicing moderation and allowing the occasional indulgence will make it easier to stick to your diet plan. By enjoying the process, you’ll be more likely to make your healthy changes a long-term lifestyle and not just a diet.