I've heard the rumour that you should drink water to lose weight. But can it really help you shed pounds? It sounds too good to be true.
I don't think that water directly affects weight loss, however, I think water consumption is directly correlated with weight loss.As in: Water does not have some magical property that burns fat (sorry!), but it definitely can help you with your weight-loss efforts (hooray!).
A small number of studies in adults and children have shown that drinking the recommended 2.1-2.6 litres of water per day can briefly increase the amount of energy your body burns by inducing thermogenesis. The research is showing that plain water consumption -- so, not salted water or diet soft drinks -- does cause a small but significant increase in energy expenditure, or the number of kilojoules that your body burns. It is small and it only increases for about an hour, but it’s been calculated that drinking the recommended amount of plain water can result in about 1.2 kilograms of weight loss over the year due to this effect -- assuming everything else, like diet and exercise, stays the same.
Also, staying hydrated could help you avoid overeating. Many people confuse thirst for hunger. So they'll tend to choose to eat something rather than drink water. If you find that you are craving a mid-morning snack and want to make sure your pangs are caused by hunger, not hydration, then I would suggest that you have a glass of water first. See if you're still hungry 30 minutes later, and if you are then help yourself to some food.
Also important to keep in mind: If you're continually staying well hydrated, that false cue won't happen. To make sure you're getting enough water in general, the key is your pee (seriously): You want it to be a pale yellow colour. Darker urine can be indicative of dehydration.
Of course, drinking water also means you're not drinking something else—such as sugary, calorific beverages.
That said, this doesn't mean that you should go around guzzling water nonstop to avoid dehydration. (Though it is rare, it’s actually possible to drink too much water, particularly if you're forcing yourself to drink regularly even when you're not thirsty.)
So what's the moral here? Water is a great accessory for weight loss. Drinking enough water and staying properly hydrated is part of a healthy weight-loss system and healthy weight in general. I'll raise a glass of H20 to that!
And if you struggle with drinking plain unflavoured water then try my infused-water.htmlInfused Water recipes.
Your guide to living whole and well. Emma Olliff is a Registered Nutritional Therapist, wellness expert, food lover, and advocate for healthy living!