The itch to diet and lose weight seems to be on every American’s mind these days, but not all of us have the room in our busy schedules to devote to rigorous exercise. And some may not have the funds to overhaul the contents of their refrigerators and cabinets. But there is one simple thing we all can do to lose weight—drink more water.
While drinking water has seemingly endless benefits for the body and mind, the weight-conscious workaholics among us may be glad to know that simply upping one’s daily water intake can help them shave off some extra pounds. All it takes are some miniscule changes to how and when you drink water during your day, and you may notice those numbers on the scale taking a dip.
What You Can Do
Some of these water-drinking practices involve “tricking” your appetite into abating, while others simply help your body processes to move more efficiently. While drinking water should never be done in place of eating a healthy diet, it can be used to regulate your metabolism, and drinking water at specific points of the day or around meals has been shown to have an effect on the amount of food one eats, which in turn affects weight.
One of these tricky tips is to drink a glass of water (16 ounces is recommended) before a meal. The water helps to fill your stomach, which will help you to eat smaller portions and still feel satisfied. Studies show that doing this can help replace about 75 calories at each meal, which adds up to quite a bit if it’s done at every meal. Outside of meals, if you find yourself with a recurring appetite, drinking a glass of water instead of reaching for a snack can also help replace some calories that are often spent on unhealthy foods.
Water Drinking and the Body
Another small but impactful aspect to be aware of with your water drinking is the temperature of your water. The colder your water is, the more energy your body has to spend to warm it up, which in turn expends calories and burns fat. If you drink a glass of cold water before every meal and in place of some snacks, as well as replacing sugary and unhealthy drinks with water, you will significantly increase your metabolism, which will result in your body shedding some weight.
Throughout your day, even if you don’t engage in any frequent exercise, your body still burns calories. This is known as resting energy expenditure, and has been found to be influenced by water drinking. Studies have shown that in adults, resting energy expenditure is increased by 24% to 30% after drinking water, and by 25% in overweight children. In overweight dieting women, a study also found that the amount of weight and fat loss they achieved increased when they drank more water. The science is clear on this topic—simply drinking more water, and nothing else, can help you lose weight.
Just substituting your daily snacks for a glass of cold water and drinking some water before meals will inevitably help you lose a bit of weight. And of course, the hydration will help regulate all the other important systems in your body.