You’ve probably heard that working out combined with a healthy diet results in weight loss. Some would even go so far as to say that there is no other way to burn those extra kilos. But that’s not exactly correct. Many studies claim that drinking water also plays an important role in the weight loss process. Also, staying hydrated helps with digestion, muscle function, and body weight maintenance in the long run. Let’s see how exactly greater water intake helps you lose weight.
The dehydration issue
The first and most obvious reason why we all need to drink up is dehydration. To be more precise, dehydration should be avoided at all costs. A human being can live for weeks without food, but we can only survive a few days without water.
It’s vital for nearly every bodily function we have, and when you don’t supply your body with enough, it becomes dehydrated. This can impact the brain, organs, and skin, and it also makes you more susceptible to weight gain. Toxins are not flushed out and you crave food more.
Simply put, drinking water increases the number of calories your burn. This is also known as resting energy expenditure. According to numerous studies, resting energy expenditure (in adults) increases between 24 to 30% within ten minutes of drinking water, and this effect can last at least an hour. One study conducted on overweight children has recorded a 25% increase in resting energy expenditure following cold water intake, but the most impressive result comes from a study that examined how increased water intake impacted a group of overweight women.
Researchers increased the women’s water intake to over 1 liter per day and they found that after 12 months the women lost an extra 2 kg (4.4 lbs) of weight. These women did not make any other lifestyle changes, they just drank more water. You can do a similar thing by carrying a big 2-litre water bottle with you. It makes it easier to remember that you’re supposed to increase your intake, and you’ll know exactly how much you drank that day.
Water in relation to appetite
Here is a little trick that not many people know – It’s perfectly natural for our stomachs to sense when we’re full. When that happens, the stomach sends signals to our brain to prevent us from eating more, so we can basically trick it by drinking water before our meals. Water will take up space in the stomach and that leads to a feeling of fullness which reduces hunger.
On the other hand, people often mistake thirst for hunger, and it’s a big problem since it can result in weight gain. In order to resolve that issue, drink a glass of water before actually reaching for something to eat, and that way you could curb unnecessary snacking by realizing you’re not really hungry.
Water plays an important role in toxin removal. When the body lacks water, it cannot remove waste as urine or feces correctly, and kidneys need water to filter toxins and waste while they retain essential nutrients and electrolytes. Fail to take in enough water and the kidneys will retain fluid. To make things even worse, when the body doesn’t have enough water, we experience issues with hardened stool.
This can result in constipation, bloating, and weariness, and all this impacts our body weight.
Drinking a few additional cups of water per day is no big a deal. Make a habit out of it and you’ll be fine. Water is good for us in so many ways, so make sure that your body always has enough of it.