How Water Assists with Weight Loss

For a long time, drinking water has been thought to help with weight loss. Many studies show that drinking more water may benefit weight loss and maintenance.

Drinking Water Can Make You Burn More Calories

Drinking water increases the amount of calories you burn, which is known as resting energy expenditure. A study published in the British medical journal in November 2016 showed that in adults, resting energy expenditure increases by 24–30% within 10 minutes of drinking water – this lasts at least 60 minutes. A study published in the Lancet medical Journal in May this year investigated overweight and obese children and found a 25% increase in resting energy expenditure after drinking cold water.

Drinking Water Before Meals Can Reduce Appetite

Studies published in the International Journal of Bariatrics in September 2016 have shown that drinking water before meals reduces appetite in middle-aged and older individuals. This decreases calorie intake, which leads to weight loss.

Drinking more water is linked to reduced calorie intake and a lower risk of weight gain since water is naturally calorie-free. This is mainly because you consume fewer calories and sugar – often found in other beverages.ou then drink water instead of other beverages, which are often high in calories and sugar.

Observational studies published in the British Journal of Nutrition have shown that people who drink mostly water have up to 9% (or 200 calories) lower calorie intake, on average.

How Much Water a Day

Many health authorities recommend drinking eight glasses of water (about 2 litres) per day. However, this number is completely random. As with so many things, water requirements depend entirely on the individual. For example, people who sweat a lot or exercise regularly may need more water than those who are not very active. Older people and breastfeeding mothers also need to monitor their water intake more closely. Keep in mind that you also get water from many foods and beverages, such as coffee, tea, meat, fish, milk, and especially fruits and vegetables.

As a good rule of thumb, you should always drink water when you’re thirsty and drink enough to quench your thirst. If you find you have a headache, are in a bad mood, are constantly hungry or have trouble concentrating, then you may suffer from mild dehydration. Drinking more water may help fix this.

Based on the studies, drinking 1-2 litres of water per day should be sufficient to help with weight loss.

How to Enjoy Drinking Water

  • Squeeze a dash of lemon or lime into your water. A cup of hot water with a dash of lemon in the morning is the perfect get up and go for your body.
  • Infuse your water with fruits like citrus, berries or melon. 
  • Make ice cubes out of sugar-free or low-sugar juice and add to sparkling or still water.
  • Tear up some fresh mint leaves and slice some cucumber and leave to steep in water before drinking. This will turn your water into a deflating, diuretic drink.
  • Mix half a glass of sparkling water and half the glass of still water; it’s not as gassy as sparkling water alone.
  • Spice it up by crushing some basil leaves and leave overnight.  Try a sprinkle of cinnamon in chilled water.
  • Add aroma with a few drops of Rosewater.
  • Make a pitcher of herbal tea, add a dash of lemon juice and chill overnight.

Water is the source of life and the foundation of a healthy body and mind. It can also reduce the numbers on your scale, so drink up!

Written by Paula Galvao, pharmacist and founder of Eden Life Wellness Clinic in Sandton. For more information about Eden Life Wellness programme, visit www.edenlifeclinic.com or phone 011 884 4973.

Author: Tanja Schmitz

Founder and Editor of Fitness Magazine. You’ll find her behind her computer or on her bike, dreaming up new ways to improve or create content for you.

Founder and Editor of Fitness Magazine. You'll find her behind her computer or on her bike, dreaming up new ways to improve or create content for you.