Does Drinking Water Really Help You Lose Weight?

Most of us have spent our entire lives with parents, friends, and doctors telling us to drink more water. The long-held belief is we need to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily, which equals about 2 liters or half a gallon. It’s easy to remember as it’s called the 8×8 rule. However, like everything, everyone is different, and this is just conventional wisdom.

Even so, drinking more water can offer much more than hydration. The human body is 60% water and relies on these fluids to perform numerous bodily functions. Essentially, the more hydrated you are, the better your body can perform various tasks—including fat burn. The following are several ways that drinking more water can help you lose weight.

  1. Drinking water can reduce appetite. Chugging a bottle of water before bedtime isn’t likely to yield weight loss results, but drinking a glass before every meal might. Water acts as a natural appetite suppressant. When the stomach is full—regardless of the contents—it sends signals to the brain to stop eating. Research has found that people who drink a glass of water before meals experience 44% greater weight loss than those who don’t. Individuals also consume 13% fewer calories during breakfast if they drink a glass of water beforehand. Additionally, many individuals confuse thirst with hunger. Drinking a glass of water may resolve the pangs, resulting in less snacking.
  2. Water promotes better calorie burn. Drinking a bottle of cold water can increase the body’s natural calorie burning abilities while at rest for up to an hour and a half. One study found that the average adult’s resting energy expenditure increased 24-30% for an hour after drinking water. The body expends energy (AKA burns calories) to increase the water’s temperature before digestion. A study of 173 overweight women found that participants lost an extra 2kg by drinking more than 34 ounces of water per day. The results are impressive, as participants didn’t otherwise change their lifestyle.
  3. Drinking more water reduces overall calorie intake. Consuming fewer calories contributes to long-term weight loss naturally. Unlike many other beverages, water is a zero-calorie drink. Research shows that opting for water over soda, tea, and other sugary beverages can reduce calorie intake by nine percent.
  4. Drinking water improves exercise-induced weight loss. The body needs water to break down electrolytes during exercise. These electrolytes provide the charges that stimulate muscle contractions, and imbalances can cause muscle cramps. Additionally, the body breaks down muscle proteins faster and builds muscle slower when dehydrated. As a result, workouts are less efficient and may stall weight loss.

Every person has varying water needs. For example, people who work out regularly, sweat more than usual, or are breastfeeding need more water as they dehydrate faster. Eating water-rich fruits and vegetables can also provide passive hydration. Other easy ways to incorporate more water into your day include:

  • Drinking a glass of water before each meal
  • Carrying a reusable water bottle with you
  • Keeping a glass of water on your nightstand
  • Drinking extra water during exercise or strenuous physical activities

Some people struggle to lose weight even if they make numerous lifestyle changes—including drinking more water. If your weight loss efforts aren’t proving successful despite your best efforts, bariatric surgery may be for you. Contact us to schedule a consultation today.

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