How Drinking Water Help You Lose Weight And Tips To Drink More

When it comes to losing weight, most people always think about exercise and diet only. There is no doubt that these can help you lose weight, but you also need to focus on increasing your water intake. Water makes up approximately 60% of our bodies.

Drinking water keeps your bodily systems functioning and also helps you achieve a healthy weight. However, it's not that simple to lose weight just by drinking water.

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Does drinking water help you lose weight?

The answer is yes, drinking water can help you to shed a few extra pounds as part of an overall healthy lifestyle.

Water does more for your body than just quench your thirst. Studies show¹ that when you are properly hydrated, your body is more efficient at burning fat, but don’t expect to lose weight just by drinking a few extra glasses. 

How much water should you drink a day to lose weight?

There is no universal standard for how much water you should drink to lose weight. Some people need more water while others require less water. The amount of water you need depends on the following factors:

  • Age

  • Body size

  • Activity level

  • Health status

  • Atmospheric temperature

  • Sun exposure

  • Humidity

If you live in a warm or tropical climate, you will likely need to drink more water to replace fluids lost from sweat.

Pregnant women and older people should consult their doctor about how much water they need to drink on a daily basis.

The National Academy of Medicine (NAM)² recommends the following daily water intake, which includes water from both fluids and food:

  • 3,700ml per day for men – the equivalent of 15.5 cups.

  • 2,700ml per day for women – the equivalent of 11.5 cups

How can you increase the amount of water you drink per day?

Research³ shows that US adults do not drink enough water to meet recommended NAM guidelines. Dehydration can cause muscle weakness, headaches, and lethargy, among other health concerns, so it’s important to drink enough water each day.

Here are some ways to increase the amount of water you drink to stay healthy and help you to lose weight:

Keep a glass of water by your bedside

It’s normal to get thirsty when you go to bed, so make sure to keep a glass of water by your bedside that you can sip on if you wake up at night.

Drink extra water before and after exercise

The body loses a lot of water through exercise and physical activity. Drinking water during exercise helps to prevent dehydration⁴.

After you have finished a workout, remember to drink a bottle or two of water to replace the fluids you lost.

Set reminders

Sometimes we can forget to drink enough water, especially if it isn’t a habit yet. Setting reminders, such as on an app or with an alarm, can help you to drink more water.

For instance, you can set a reminder every 30 minutes throughout the day to help increase your water intake.

Carry a reusable water bottle

It’s easy to drink more water when you carry a bottle with you throughout the day. Buy a reusable water bottle that you can fill up and drink from at any time, whether you’re at work, home, or school.

It’s also important to stay hydrated when you are out and about running errands or doing outdoor activities, especially in summer.

Hydrate in warmer weather

When the weather is hot and sunny, you need to stay hydrated by drinking more water because your body loses a lot of water through sweat.

Consume more soups, smoothies, and liquid-rich meals

Soups, smoothies, and meals that are liquid-rich, such as broths and stews, are an excellent way to increase your water intake. You can prepare these meals ahead of time so you have them on hand when you need them.

Set a daily goal

It is easier to drink more water when you set a daily intake goal. In doing so, you'll be motivated to drink more water and to make it a sustainable habit.

For instance, you could set a goal of drinking 960ml of water daily. To increase your ability to meet your goals, make sure they are SMART goals. Your goals should be:

  • Specific

  • Measurable

  • Attainable

  • Realistic

  • Time-bound

Eat fruits and vegetables with a high water content

One way in which you can increase your water intake is to consume more foods that have a higher water content, such as fruits and vegetables.

Here is a list of some hydrating fruits in vegetables and the amount of water they contain:

  • Watermelon – 91%

  • Lettuce – 96%

  • Cucumber – 96%

  • Cabbage – 92% 

  • Zucchini – 95%

  • Celery – 95% 

  • Cantaloupe – 90%

Not only do these fruits and vegetables boost your water intake, but they also contain numerous vitamins and minerals that promote good health.

How drinking water helps you to lose weight

There are many ways in which drinking more water can support weight loss.

Burns calories

When you are overweight, it becomes harder to burn calories. Drinking more water increases your resting energy expenditure, causing you to burn more calories.

Your resting energy expenditure increases just 10 minutes after drinking water, especially if you drink cold water.

Drinking cold water causes your body to expend more energy to heat the water you have consumed to body temperature.

Suppresses appetite

Drinking water makes the stomach expand, which in turn makes you feel fuller because it takes up more space in your stomach. This causes your stomach to send signals to your brain to stop eating. 

Having a glass or two of water when you feel hungry can help to curb unnecessary snacking. A study showed⁵ that patients who drank 500ml of water 30 minutes before eating had reduced body fat.

Reduces liquid calorie intake

Liquid calories count too, so by eliminating or reducing your consumption of high-calorie beverages like juice, soda, alcohol, and sweetened tea, you can avoid excess calories.

Replace these beverages with water, which will not only go a long way to helping you achieve your weight loss goals, but you will be healthier too. Research shows that replacing just two high-calorie beverages with water resulted in weight loss of between 2 to 2.5% in obese females⁶.

Sometimes your brain confuses thirst with hunger, causing you to eat. When you drink enough water throughout the day, you are less likely to experience these mixed signals which can help you to eat fewer calories.

Removes waste from the body

When you are dehydrated, it is difficult for your body to remove waste through feces and urine. Water enables your kidneys to filter waste while still retaining essential nutrients, but they retain fluid when you are dehydrated.

When waste builds up inside your body, it can add a few visible inches to your waistline. Remaining hydrated is a good way to avoid waste accumulation and shed extra pounds.

The lowdown

Water plays a vital role in losing weight by supporting your body’s ability to burn calories, suppress your appetite, and remove waste. 

To maximize your weight loss efforts and achieve your goals, it is important that you drink plenty of water.

There are a number of ways to increase your water intake, from carrying a reusable water bottle everywhere you go to eating foods with high water content, to setting reminders to help you achieve your water intake goals.

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