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Does Water Help You Lose Weight? The Ultimate Weight Loss Guide

Updated: Aug 22, 2022


Does Water Help You Lose Weight? Weight Loss Guide



Have you wondered what one thing is that the more you consume, the more it contributes to weight loss?

It's H2O; water!

It is also that one liquid that supports the smooth process of other body functions. So, while drinking plenty of water for weight loss, you’re keeping other organs away from significant harm and exhaustion.

What more would you want in life?

Developments in nutrition and, subsequently, weight loss is constant. With newer food technologies and items making their way to the market, consumption patterns are changing. Hence the need for modern yet straightforward methods of losing weight.

Many studies have been conducted and have consequently proved the positive impact of water on weight loss while keeping the body hydrated and ensuring unproblematic digestion and muscle function.

While some might argue that a relationship between more water intake and weight loss exists, it does nonetheless, as per research, and we have narrowed down a few ways how and why this might happen. These are also some benefits of generally drinking water.

Continue reading this post to identify how water helps you lose weight.


Does Water Help You Lose Weight? Weight Loss Guide


​Drinking water for weight loss

Here are the top 11 evidence-based ways drinking water can help you lose weight.


1. Water Suppresses Appetite

An empty stomach signals you to eat something but have you considered drinking water instead of filling it with solid food that could lead to weight gain?

If you drink water, a glass or two, when you feel your stomach is empty, you would feel a reduction in your appetite because the liquid would have taken up some of the space.

Your brain would signal satiation, and your drive for hunger will have reduced. Additionally, there are also chances you feel the need to eat something when, in fact, you are thirsty.


A simple way to curb this problem is to drink at least one glass of water before eating. The liquid will take some space in your stomach and reduce the need to eat as much as you might have. Or, it might be only the thirst that you’re feeling.


Water will have satiated it, and you will successfully avoid unnecessary snacking.

Several pieces of research to support this phenomenon have been conducted. In a 2014 study, 50 overweight females were made to drink 500ml water before every three main meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner). This was excluding their regular daily consumption of water.

After eight weeks, a significant drop in the women's body weight, body fat, and body mass index was reported. They also stated that consuming water before meals suppressed their appetites.


2. Water Boosts metabolism and Burns Calories

Drinking cold water specifically has been found to burn calories in a process known as resting energy expenditure. A study conducted in 2014 had 12 participants drink 500ml of cold and room temperature water, and the results revealed a 2-3% more calorie loss in 90 minutes than how much usually happens.

This happens because the body utilizes energy while resting, speeding up metabolism. And, having drank cold water means the body has to work extra hard trying to heat it for digestion, a process called thermogenesis. Hence, the burning of calories and subsequent weight loss.

However, you must note that the results might not be substantial and probably negligible. Still, it does nonetheless contribute to your ultimate goal of weight loss.

In addition, staying hydrated is also essential, so do not skip drinking water because you couldn’t exactly feel a significant reduction in your weight.


Proper hydration is essential for optimal function, metabolism, and other bodily processes.

3. Reduction In Liquid Calorie Intake


Water satiates thirst like no other liquid. So, drinking a beverage that doesn’t add to your calorie count is a blessing and one that you must not ignore.

Alternatives such as juices, beverages, and sweetened tea or coffee significantly contribute to weight gain and obesity worldwide. Unless you cancel out the effects of those calories, such as exercising to burn them, they will add to your body fat.

Beverages are enticing, and you might as well crave them, but managing their intake and being wise will take you a long way.

For example, drinking a whole soda can is not healthy and overcompensates your craving. How about taking a sip to calm the nerves and drinking water afterward?

Diet beverages are a good point of discussion here; they claim to be calorie-free while fulfilling the craving for a soda. Many weight loss enthusiasts alternatively include diet drinks in their plans, which has shown positive results but not nearly as much as the value added by water.

Diet beverages have artificial sweeteners, carbonated water, and no nutrition. Years of research in the field have proven they aren't waistline-friendly choices.

You’re a better judge of what you must pick now!

4. Water Contributes to Waste Removal

Water is responsible for an extensive number of activities in your body. From regulating body temperature to lubrication of joints to carrying nutrients and oxygen to cells, it is a vital component for the smooth functioning of the human body. One of these is also waste removal via feces and urination.

For your kidneys to filter toxins and waste materials, water is essential. If the body is dehydrated, the organ will retain fluid and not let it pass. This could potentially lead to severe issues surrounding infections and constipation.

In addition, this unease consequently affects other functions disturbing the overall bodily system. If the waste continues to build up, you could feel bloated and swollen, which adds to your waist, and no one likes that.

Water ensures all of this continues to happen in a flow without disruptions. Suppose your body is not holding up the waste material and is defecating effortlessly. In that case, you are not hoarding unnecessary extra pounds. You drink more water and exercise if you feel good, resulting in weight loss.

5. Water Helps With Burning Fat And Exercise

Water is an essential component of metabolism, especially fat and carbohydrates. Lipolysis is metabolizing fat, and hydrolysis is the first step. Here water molecules combine with fats to produce glycerol and fatty acids. An increased water intake will speed up fat burning as you eat meals.

While water is proven to contribute to weight loss, exercise for the purpose still tops the list. Any weight loss or diet plan will also have an elaborate exercise regimen that must be followed. Surprise, surprise, water is necessary for doing just that as well.

It helps joints move smoothly, lungs and heart function effortlessly and keeps muscles and connective tissues hydrated. You must drink water before, during, and after working out to prevent dehydration and ensure the above functions continue to happen rhythmically.


Water-induced thermogenesis is another factor that comes into play. It is the process of burning calories to generate heat. Research indicates that water can help you burn up to 96 more calories a day. Theoretically, it means that if you drink eight glasses of water a day, you could burn an extra 800 calories, which is significant when trying to lose weight.


​Drinking water also stimulates the digestive system, which is another way of saying that it aids the metabolism process. When your intestines work better, you absorb nutrients better, and food moves through your system at a healthy pace. All of this reflects on the number you see on the scale.

​​

6. Water Increases Motivation, Reduces Stress, And Helps Skin Glow


A reduced water intake can leave you tired and weary, may cause dizziness, reduce alertness, and may make you feel sleepy. In addition, it might make it difficult for you to get out of bed, let alone perform any function. Thus, you see how water is crucial for you to do as much as stand upright.

Research published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine found higher cortisol levels in dehydrated individuals. So, why wouldn't you consume water regularly if water contributes to reduced stress?

And on top of that, if you’re motivated and feel less stressed, your skin will prove it. You will feel fresh, and the skin will glow as a result.

Additionally, as discussed before, water helps eliminate waste material from the body, impacting skin health. When toxins and waste material is routinely removed from the body, your skin complexion remains fresh and healthy.

Water intake is also linked to reduced chances of skin diseases such as eczema and psoriasis. Essential nutrients are provided to your skin, keeping it replenished.


​7. Water improves sleep quality


Good sleep is critical for your health, and water intake improves sleep quality. Dehydration can cause insomnia and other sleep-related disorders.

If you drink a lot of water during the day, you will be less likely to feel thirsty at night. Thirst is often mistaken for hunger, and people consume snacks late at night. This increases the calorie intake and might even cause indigestion, disrupting sleep.


8. Water curbs cravings

Water is an essential nutrient, and the body cannot function without it. When you feel thirsty, your body is craving water, not food. However, often people mistake thirst for hunger and end up overeating.

​In addition, replacing diet beverages with water can help in weight loss. A study conducted on overweight adults indicated that those who drank diet beverages consumed more calories from food than those who did not drink diet beverages.

This is because diet drinks are often loaded with artificial sweeteners that can increase cravings. When you drink water instead, you reduce the chances of overeating.


You must have a container of water with you at all times and drink it whenever you feel the urge to eat something. More often than not, your hunger pangs will subside, and you will have saved yourself some calories.


9. Water manages blood pressure levels

Water can help regulate blood pressure levels. When you drink a lot of water, your blood volume increases, which causes the blood vessels to dilate. This, in turn, reduces blood pressure.

High blood pressure is a significant risk factor for heart diseases. So, if you want to keep your heart healthy, consume enough water daily.


10. Water is calorie-free


Water is the best calorie-free beverage you can consume to quench your thirst. It has zero calories and zero sugar. On the other hand, caloric beverages, soft drinks, diet soda, and fruit juice are loaded with sugar and calories.

To reap the maximum benefits of water, it is best to drink it plain. You can also add a lemon, lime, or orange slice to enhance the taste and infuse your water with mint or cucumber.


Drinking herbal tea is also a great way to stay hydrated and burn fat. Chamomile, ginger, lavender, and green tea are some of the best options.


Replacing caloric beverages with water is an excellent way to reduce calorie intake and promote weight loss.


11. Water aids in digestion

Water aids in the digestion of food and the absorption of nutrients. It also helps the body remove waste material through the intestine and colon, preventing constipation.

Dehydration can cause hard stools, making it difficult to pass stool. This might lead to digestive disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).


A healthy digestive system helps the body absorb nutrients and eliminate toxins efficiently. This, in turn, aids weight loss.


Does Water Help You Lose Weight? Weight Loss Guide


How Much Water Should You Consume?

‘Drink eight glasses of water daily is what you must have heard at least once in your life. While it is the ideal amount on average, the intake largely depends on a handful of other factors. This includes age, gender, physical activity, the tendency to sweat, health, etc.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) suggest that women drink about 11 cups and men intake 15.5 cups of water daily. This doesn’t necessarily come from drinking water alone but is a mixture of beverages and water-rich foods (a ratio of 80:20 for the average adult).

The easiest way to know if you meet your water intake requirements is to peek in the pot. The color of your urine is a good determinant; if it is dark yellow, your water intake is less, and you should aim for light yellow.

Does Water Help You Lose Weight? Weight Loss Guide


When Should You Ideally Drink Water?


The simple answer to this is all the time. However, you might want to prioritize doing that before meals. As discussed above, this reduces appetite and will keep you from overeating.

Similarly, you will need to increase water intake in different environmental conditions. If you’ve been exposed to hot weather or are returning from a run, your body needs extra hydration because a lot of it would have been lost in sweat.

These are pretty specific situations requiring you to drink more water. Still, you should remember that every time is an excellent time to gulp a glass or two full of water, and it does not harm anyway, so why not use it to its full potential?


How To Increase Water Intake?


The easiest way of going about it is by carrying a water bottle with you all the time and drinking water at small intervals. You do not have to gulp down heavy amounts each time; a sip or two will be delicate after a little while.

Incorporating water breaks or setting a schedule to do so could be one way of going about it for you and example, setting the limit to two glasses before each meal and two glasses after you wake up in the morning.

Smart water bottles are widely available in the market today. They give you reminders, calculate your water intake, and keep track of overall consumption.

Another way could be adding water-rich foods to your diet. This includes fruits and vegetables, which are not only full of water but will also contribute to your body's other dietary and nutritional requirements. Watermelons and spinach are excellent examples and are almost 100% water. It is a win-win situation!

Lastly, if you find it hard to drink plain water, how about infusing it with some flavor? Of course, we recommend using natural ingredients for it. You could add lime, mint, cucumbers, or even bits of seasonal fruits to your water for a change. All-natural water smoothies would be great for this.

Those mentioned above are also alternatives to water when seeking to lose weight. Although it is harder to calculate water intake from food items, other nutritional content is also considered. This includes carbs and proteins in the food item that will impact your overall diet.

Water fasting is also one way to do so when an individual consumes only water and nothing else. However, this is highly discouraged because the human body requires a complex mix of nutrients provided by different sources, which water alone cannot fulfill.

You might lose weight with water fasting, but the cons are extensive. Water contributes to several body functions but must not be the only resort.

Does Water Help You Lose Weight? Weight Loss Guide


Can I lose weight by drinking water?


While it is true that water plays a vital role in weight loss, simply drinking water is unlikely to lead to significant weight loss on its own. Drinking water helps reduce appetite and promote fullness, which is essential for weight loss. Drinking water can also help to flush out toxins and keep your digestive system moving smoothly.


However, water does not have any direct effect on fat burning. To lose weight, it is necessary to create a calorie deficit through diet or exercise. While drinking plenty of water can help you to feel full and eat less, it is not likely to lead to significant weight loss unless it is part of a comprehensive weight loss plan.


Water consumption is only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to weight loss and weight management. Eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of exercise is also necessary to burn fat. If you want to lose weight, start by ensuring that you are drinking enough water each day. Then, focus on making healthy food choices and getting regular exercise.


Does Water Help You Lose Weight? Weight Loss Guide


How much weight can you lose by drinking water for three days?



Water fasting is a type of fasting in which you consume only water and no other food or drink for a while. There is no set time for water fasting, but people usually fast for 24–72 hours.


You may lose 0.5–2 pounds (0.2–0.9 kg) per day during a water fast. However, most of the weight you lose will be from water, carbs, and muscle glycogen. It is important to note that the weight loss achieved through water fasting is not always sustainable in the long term.


Water fasting will not help you lose fat. If you want to lose fat, create a calorie deficit by eating fewer calories than you burn daily. You can also try intermittent fasting, which involves alternating between periods of fasting and eating.


Water fasting is a safe way to cleanse your body and detoxify your organs. However, it’s not a sustainable or healthy way to lose weight in the long term. To lose weight, create a calorie deficit by reducing your calorie intake or increasing your physical activity.​​​



Can drinking too much water make you gain weight?


Drinking too much water will not make you gain weight, and it may help reduce your overall calorie intake and promote weight loss.


A study in adults found that increasing water intake by 1.5 liters (59 oz) per day significantly decreased calorie intake and body weight over 12 weeks.


Another study showed that increasing water intake by 1 liter (34 oz) per day for eight weeks resulted in significant weight loss, particularly in overweight women. Additionally, replacing sugary drinks with water may help you lose weight.


For example, one small study showed that substituting water for sugary beverages for just three months resulted in significant weight loss in people with obesity.


Moreover, replacing other calorie-containing drinks with water may help you lose weight.


A study on over 2,000 adults found that those who drank water before meals lost more weight than those who did not.


Try drinking a glass of water with each meal and snack to increase your water intake. You can also carry a water bottle with you throughout the day to make it easy to drink more water.​​​



How much weight can you lose by drinking eight glasses of water daily?


You will likely lose weight if you drink eight glasses of water per day.


Water is necessary for your body to function properly and helps promote weight loss by increasing fullness and reducing calorie intake. In addition, drinking water may help improve the calories you burn.


A study in obese adults showed that increasing water intake by 1 liter (34 oz) per day significantly decreased calorie intake and body weight over 12 weeks. Another study showed that replacing sugary drinks with water may help you lose weight.


Try drinking a glass of water with each meal and snack to increase your water intake. You can also carry a water bottle with you throughout the day to make it easy to drink more water.​​​



The Bottom Line!


Water is necessary for your body to function properly and helps promote weight loss by increasing fullness and reducing calorie intake. In addition, drinking water may help improve the calories you burn. Try drinking a glass of water with each meal and snack to increase your water intake. You can also carry a water bottle with you throughout the day to make it easy to drink more water.​​​


While water fasting can help you lose weight in the short term, it’s not a sustainable or healthy way to lose weight in the long term. To lose weight, create a calorie deficit by reducing your calorie intake or increasing your physical activity.​​​


FAQs


Will I lose muscle if I drink lots of water?


No, you will not lose muscle by drinking lots of water. Drinking water is necessary for your body to function properly and helps promote weight loss by increasing fullness and reducing calorie intake.


Drinking water may help you build muscle. A study of 20 adult men showed that drinking 500 ml (17 oz) of water before working out increased their muscular endurance.


Another study showed that drinking water before meals might help you build muscle mass when combined with resistance training.


Try drinking a glass of water with each meal and snack to increase your water intake. You can also carry a water bottle or reusable one throughout the day to make it easy to drink more water.​​​


Does water make you poop?


Yes, drinking water may help relieve constipation and make you poop. This is because water helps soften your stool and increases bowel movements.


A study on 1,624 children showed that drinking water might help relieve constipation. Another study showed that increasing water intake might help improve bowel movements in adults with constipation.


Try drinking a glass of water with each meal and snack to increase your water intake. You can also carry a water bottle with you throughout the day to make it easy to drink more water.​​​


What are the benefits of drinking water?


There are many benefits of drinking water. Drinking water is necessary for your body to function properly and helps promote weight loss by increasing fullness and reducing calorie intake.


In addition, drinking water may help improve your skin complexion, increase joint lubrication, and enhance athletic performance.


Try drinking a glass of water with each meal and snack to increase your water intake. You can also carry a water bottle with you throughout the day to make it easy to drink more water.​​​


How much water should I drink to lose weight?


There is no magic number of how much water you need to drink to lose weight. However, drinking water may help promote weight loss by increasing fullness and reducing calorie intake.


A study on obese adults showed that increasing water intake by 1 liter (34 oz) per day significantly decreased calorie intake and body weight over 12 weeks. Another study showed that replacing sugary drinks with water may help you lose weight.


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