The importance of water for weight loss, let alone for your general health and well being is hard to overstate – and a recent study seems to prove it!
Scientists have confirmed that drinking water before a meal helps people to lose the pounds. We advise all our clients to drink plenty of water each day and those that do tend to lose the weight and those that don’t…well don’t, or at least not as quickly.
Many of our clients have never drunk a great deal of water as a rule – most people don’t. But scientists have demonstrated the importance of water for weight loss.
Dr Brenda Davy, an associate professor in human nutrition in the US who led the study, found that over the course of 12 weeks, dieters who drank water before meals, three times a day, lost about 5 pounds more than dieters who did not increase their water intake.
This is the first randomised controlled clinical trial to show that increasing the amount of water that you drink water is an effective aid to weight loss.
The study tracked the weight of 48 adults aged 55 to 75, who were separated into two groups. The first group drank two glasses of water before meals and the second group did not. All of the subjects ate a low-calorie diet during the study.
Over the course of 12 weeks, the water drinkers lost around 15.5 pounds, while the non-water drinkers lost around 11 pounds.
Drinking Water to Lose Weight
The researchers concluded that water may be effective simply because it fills up the stomach and has no calories, so that people feel full quicker and eat less during meals.
Replacing diet colas and other artificially sweetened drinks with water is also likely to help you to cut calories and lose more weight.
Other important reasons to drink more water are thirst and dehydration.
OK, it can be a pain to remember to drink a glass of water every hour or so, which is essentially what you need to do to stay hydrated.
When you’re thirsty, its too late, you’re already dehydrating. You really need to drink before you’re thirsty.
The average person needs around 2 litres a day. That’s about eight glasses of water. We normally advise our clients to fill a 2 litre bottle of water each day, or four 500 ml bottles, which are easier to carry around. Then to make sure they drink them.
That way you won’t forget. Make it a habit to drink the first two glasses, or 500 ml bottle within the first hour of getting up in the morning.
You’ve been asleep for however many hours and are dehydrated. Its amazing how much more alert you’ll feel if you do.
We also advise our clients to drink a full glass of water before or with their meal. Try it as it will help to fill you up and will remind you to drink something!
So why else is water so important?
The Benefits of Water for Weight Loss…
Other studies have shown that if you are just 2-3% dehydrated it leads to a 25% reduction in concentration. Stay hydrated and you’ll feel more alert, more in control and more likely to stick with your program.
Once you start feeling lethargic, you lose concentration and you’re more likely to cheat.
Stay hydrated and you’ll feel good and more positive about your weight loss.
People also have a common misconception about drinking water. They mistakenly think that drinking lots of water leads to water retention. Understandable, but the reverse is true.
If you begin to dehydrate your body hangs on to the water it has. Your tissues retain water and you’ll feel bloated and uncomfortable.
Drink plenty of water and your body has no need to retain water and releases it from your tissues.
People also worry about going to the toilet more often…but that’s a good thing! Its a sign that your body is flushing itself out, eliminating the harmful toxins that would otherwise build up in your system and leave you feeling tired and lethargic.
Detox is fashionable at the moment, but drink plenty of water and eat enough fresh fruit and vegetables and you’ll have no need to detox!
By the way, tea and coffee don’t count towards your daily water intake as they contain caffeine.
Caffeine causes causes your kidneys to increase your flow of urine. Tea and coffee therefore lead to more water being excreted by the body than they contain.
For every cup of tea and coffee you drink, drink a glass of water.
Same with alcohol, its a diuretic and will dehydrate you. Sip a glass of water with your glass of wine.
Water for weight loss – there’s more than a grain of truth in that as recent studies have shown that drinking 2 litres of water a day canincrease your metabolic rate by as much as 80-120 calories a day. Not a lot, but every little bit of help you can get is welcome!
Did you also know that people often mistake thirst for hunger – 75% of all hunger pangs are to do with thirst. Drink enough water and you’ll help to curb any hunger pangs you may experience during the day.
If you exercise you’ll need to increase your water intake to replace the water you perspire. As a rule, drink two glasses of water for every pound you lose whilst exercising (the pound you lose will be mostly water). The average person will lose around a pound in weight during a 30 minute workout.
Don’t forget that food contains some water. Fruit and veg are largely water so eating them will contribute to your daily water intake.
Other foods, such a soups, stews and casseroles will also contain a fair bit of water.
So, Water for Weight Loss…
Drink water for weight loss, eight glasses a day spread out through the day…every day!
You’ll feel more energetic, alert and in control. You’ll feel less hungry and will lose more weight. What more reason do you need to drink more water for weight loss?