Water has long been thought to aid in weight loss .
In fact, 30-59% of adults trying to lose weight increase their water intake .
Many studies show that drinking more water can promote weight loss .
This article explains how drinking water can help you lose weight .
Most of the studies discussed below have examined the effect of drinking 0.5 liters of water.
Drinking water increases the amount of calories you burn, known as resting energy expenditure .
In adults, resting energy expenditure has been shown to increase by 24-30% within 10 minutes of drinking water. It lasts at least 60 minutes .
Supporting this, a study of overweight and obese children found a 25% increase in resting energy expenditure after drinking cold water .
A study on overweight women looked at the effects of increasing water intake to more than one liter per day. They found that over a 12-month period, this resulted in an additional 2 kg weight loss .
Considering that these women did not make any lifestyle changes except to drink more water, these results are very impressive.
Additionally, these two studies indicate that drinking 0.5 liters of water results in an additional 23 calories burned. On an annual basis, that's about 17,000 calories, or over 2 kg of fat.
Several other studies have monitored overweight people who drank 1 to 1.5 liters of water daily for a few weeks. They found a significant reduction in weight, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference and body fat .
These results can be even more impressive when the water is cold. When you drink cold water, your body uses calories additional to warm the water to body temperature.
Some people claim that drinking water before a meal reduces appetite.
There seems to be some truth behind this, but almost exclusively in middle-aged and older adults .
Studies on older adults have shown that drinking water before each meal can increase weight loss by 2 kg over a 12-week period .
In one study, overweight and obese middle-aged participants who drank water before each meal lost 44% more weight, compared to a group who drank no more water than habit .
Another study also showed that drinking water before breakfast reduced the amount of calories consumed during the meal by 13% .
While this may be very beneficial for middle-aged and older people, studies on younger people have not shown the same impressive reduction in calorie intake.
Water being naturally calorie-free is generally linked to reduced calorie intake.
Observer studies have shown that people who drink mostly water daily consume up to 9% (or 200 calories) fewer calories on average .
Water can also help prevent long-term weight gain. In general, the average person gains about 1.45 kg every 4 years .
This can be reduced:
- Add 1 glass of water: Increasing your daily water intake by one glass can reduce this weight gain by 0.13 kg.
- Replacing other beverages with water: the act of replace one sweet drink by a glass of water can reduce 4-year-old weight gain by 0.5 kg.
It's especially important to encourage children to drink water, as it can prevent them from becoming overweight or obese .
A recent school-based study aimed to reduce obesity rates by encouraging children to drink water. They installed water fountains in 17 schools and scheduled classroom lessons on water consumption for 2nd and 3rd graders.
After one school year, the risk of obesity had been reduced by 31% in schools where water consumption was increased .
How much water should you drink?
Many health authorities recommend drinking eight glasses of water (between 1.5 and 2 liters) a day.
However, these numbers are completely random. As with so many things, water needs are entirely up to the individual .
For example, people who sweat a lot or exercise regularly may need more water than those who aren't very active.
Seniors and nursing mothers also need to monitor their water intake more closely .
Remember that you also get water from many foods and drinks, such as coffee , the tea , meat, fish , milk and in particular fruits and vegetables.
As a general rule, you should always drink water when you are thirsty and drink enough to quench your thirst.
If you find that you have a headache, are in a bad mood, constantly hungry, or have trouble concentrating, you may be suffering from mild dehydration. Drinking more water can help with this problem .
According to studies, drinking 1 to 2 liters of water a day should be enough to help with weight loss .
However, this is only a general guideline. Some people may need less, while others may need a lot more.
Also, it is not recommended to drink too much water either, as it can cause water toxicity. It has even caused death in extreme cases, such as in water drinking contests.
Water can be very helpful in losing weight .
It's 100% calorie-free, helps you burn more calories, and can even suppress your appetite if consumed before meals.
The benefits are even greater when you replace sugary drinks with water. It is a very simple way to reduce sugar and calories ingested.
However, keep in mind that you will have to do much more than drink water if you need to lose a significant amount of weight.
Water is only a very small piece of the puzzle.