The big question: Can drinking water alone help you lose weight? Does it sound too good to be true? What experts are saying?
Experts say that water doesn’t directly affect weight loss. But water consumption is directly correlated with shedding pounds. In other words, this zero-calorie drink doesn’t have fat-burning properties. Then again, it can assist your weight loss efforts.
Hydration and Overeating
One of the reasons some fitness experts recommend drinking water to lose weight is that water can help you stay hydrated. With that in mind, you can avoid overeating. Oftentimes, people get confused thirsty for hunger. As a result, they eat food, instead of just drinking water.
So, when you’re craving for something in the middle of the day, try drinking a glass of water first. It will test whether or not you’re craving is the result of hydration or hunger. Now, if you’re still hungry after 30 minutes, then you’re truly hungry and not just dehydrated.
It’s necessary that you stay well-hydrated as you won’t experience that false cue. That is, feeling hungry when you’re just thirsty. To know if you’re getting enough water in your system, you should look at the color of your urine. If you’re well-hydrated, your urine will appear to be pale-yellow and not orange.
But drinking water to lose weight doesn’t mean drinking sugar or caloric beverages.
Then again, it’s not advisable that you drink water nonstop to avoid dehydration. It’s possible to drink too much water. But it’ll only cause trouble to your kidneys.
How much water to drink?
Healthy women should drink about 11 cups of plain water. On the other hand, healthy men must drink around 15 cups. But your daily intake is based on your activity level, weight, and age. When you get the habit of drinking two cups of water before every meal, you’ll lose weight significantly. What’s great is that you can keep the weight off.
Greater Weight Loss
In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers found that participants who increased their water intake have lost a great amount of weight compared to those who didn’t. The study also revealed that drinking water before eating a meal could significantly contribute to better weight loss results.
How should you drink water to lose weight?
Experts recommend drinking water every two hours. You need to space out your water consumption so as to ensure that your body is well-hydrated. This will also help in getting rid of extra water weight.
For some of us, we only drink water when we’re thirsty. But this habit will only cause your body to lose the necessary fluids while retaining your water weight.
The rule of thumb here is to look at the color of your urine. If it’s dark-yellow, you need more fluids in your body. The healthy urine is light-colored.
Experts recommend drinking a glass of water every two hours. And don’t forget to drink water when waking up in the morning.
After urinating, it’s also ideal that you drink another glass of water if you can.
Flavoring Your Water
Water is tasteless. It’s one of the reasons a lot of you avoid drinking it. The good thing is that there are alternatives to adding flavor to your plain water. But health experts don’t recommend taking in fake sugars, even if they’re said to be a zero-calorie sweetener.
An effervescent electrolyte product can be a great idea. It’s a flavored water drink. But make sure that it contains minerals that can build bone density while improving the overall taste of the water. If you wish to cut down your soda intake, you should opt for mineral water with a natural flavor. It’s a great substitute.
If you don’t like drinking plain water or flavored water drink, opt for green tea. It’s rich in antioxidants that can boost your metabolism. During summer, prepare green tea with boiled water. Then, pour the hot tea over a glass filled with ice. Don’t add sweeteners to your iced tea, even if they’re natural sweeteners. The reason for this is that they will only interfere with your overall health. They can also hamper your weight loss goal.
There are iced tea recipes that can help you boost your metabolism. Dr. Oz offers plenty of them on his website.
How about sparkling water?
Popularly known as carbonated water, sparking water is also a great replacement for plain water. This is especially great for those who still crave for soda. With sparkling water, you can consume a carbonated drink without the high-sugar content. But make sure that you only consume a low-sodium drink. This is especially true if you’re trying to shed pounds.
But sparkling water isn’t ideal if you have IBS or irritable bowel syndrome. The reason for this is that the release of C02 can cause bloating or gas. That said, if you’re suffering from IBS, it’s better that you stick to just plain water.
Water in Fruits and Vegetables
You may also add fruits in your water to add more flavors to this drink. Adding lemons, oranges, watermelon, or limes to your water can give this drink a zesty flavor. It’s necessary that you allow the water and fruits to simmer for at least an hour or so before you consume it.
To further improve your water intake, you should opt to consume fruits with high-amount of water content. Watermelon is a good choice as it contains 92 percent water and only 6 percent sugar. Other fruits with this content will include strawberries, cantaloupe, and grapefruit.
Other reasons to drink more water
Losing weight isn’t only the reason you must increase your water intake. Apart from it, water will also prevent kidney disease. Those who consume most fluids have significantly reduced their risk of chronic kidney disease. Then, water will also put you in a good mood. Those who are well-hydrated experienced fewer headaches.
As always, you shouldn’t consume too much of water as it may cause your kidneys to work more. You’re doing your kidneys more harm than good if you drink too much water just to help you lose weight.