In January, lots of people’s thoughts turn to weight loss. From juicing to intermittent fasting to appetite suppressant pills – there are so many options available, all promising dramatic weight loss. However, all too often people find that after a while, they’ve regained the weight loss, which can be frustrating and de-motivating.
Most people know that to maintain their weight loss, they need to follow a healthy diet and get plenty of exercise. However, drinking enough water is another important part of the puzzle. This article looks at the link between water and weight loss. So, ‘does drinking water help you lose weight?’
A natural, zero-calorie beverage
With no added calories or fat, drinking water is the drink of choice when it comes to losing weight. People who replace other high-calorie beverages (such as fizzy drinks) with water are shown to consume less calories.
What’s more, water is naturally sugar-free. Eating too much sugar has been associated with health problems such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.
To enhance the taste of your water, you can add natural flavourings to your water such as fresh fruit and herbs (i.e. mint) or no added sugar fruit squash. You can also use a water filter, which removes impurities in the water that might affect the quality and taste.
Maintain your energy levels
Dehydration can trigger dips in energy and feelings of tiredness. When you’re feeling tired and low on energy, you’re less likely to be physically active, which can hinder your weight loss efforts.
Ensuring that you stay hydrated can help support you in staying active and healthy. Most adults should aim to drink two to three litres of fluid per day.
Little and often
If you’re thirsty, it’s a sign that you’re already dehydrated. The body can only absorb a certain amount of water at one time (approximately a quarter of a litre every 15 minutes), so the rest of it will simply be excreted as urine. Therefore, the best way to maintain hydration is to sip on water (and other sugar-free beverages such as tea and coffee) throughout the day. Help maintain your hydration levels by carrying around a water filter bottle and sipping from it regularly.
Thirst and hunger signals are processed by the same area of the brain. This means that we can mistake thirst for hunger, which can lead to cravings for high fat, high sugar snacks.
Whenever you experience cravings, try drinking a glass of water and waiting 15 minutes. If the cravings go away, you were just thirsty! Sipping water regularly throughout the day can help prevent this from happening.
Helps you feel fuller
If overeating at meals is an issue for you, try drinking a glass of water before you eat to fill you up. It’s been shown to reduce the amount of food consumed at mealtimes, contributing to weight loss.
Eat your water
Whilst drinking water is important, the foods that you eat also contribute toward your hydration status.
Not only do fruits and vegetables provide us with fibre and other important nutrients, but they also contain high amounts of water. For example, strawberries, oranges, and peaches are made up of around 90% water, whilst lettuce, celery, and courgettes contain around 95% water.
Other hydrating foods include soups, stew and casseroles, and certain dairy products (i.e. yoghurt and cottage cheese).