Importance of water in diet


The Importance of Water in Your Diet Plan

Want a great diet tip? Drink more water.

Drinking plenty of cold, clear water is essential for your health and, in fact, for your very survival. You can live much longer without food than you can without water. Water is an important part of all body functions and processes, including digestion and elimination. When you’re on a diet, water also acts as a weight-loss aid because it can help you eat less.

“Drinking water is important during weight loss because it provides hydration without unwanted calories. Drinking non-caloric fluids like water before or with a meal can help a dieter feel full sooner,” explains Donna Logan, RD, a registered dietitian at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston. “So in addition to not adding calories, drinking water may help replace or avoid unnecessary food calories found in snacks or extra servings at mealtime. Drinking water also helps flush wastes from the body, which is especially important during times of fat metabolism and weight loss.”

Water: Drinking Enough to Boost Your Diet

Recommendations from the Food and Nutrition Board are for women to get 91 ounces per day and men 125 ounces from all sources — water, other beverages, and foods with a high water content.

When it comes to water alone, explains Logan, “A general recommendation is to drink eight 8-ounce cups of water per day, for a total of 64 ounces. This is a generalization only, and actual fluid needs are affected by diet, physical activity, body composition, and climate.”

For instance, this number goes up if you exercise — a key to successful weight loss — and even more so in hot weather when it’s possible to lose about the equivalent of a quart of water in an hour, according to the American Council on Exercise. You’ll want to drink water before, during, and after every workout.

Don’t wait to feel thirsty to start sipping — that’s a sign that dehydration has already started to occur. You want to drink water throughout the day, on a regular basis.

Water: Four Tips for Getting Your Fill

Here are some easy tricks for getting enough water while dieting:

Use a water tracker. “A water tracker is merely a device which helps you keep track of how much water you drink. A water tracker can provide a graphic record of eight glasses of water which are checked off as they are consumed. For example, drinking a 20-ounce bottle of water would translate into two and a half cups on the tracker. Such trackers are available online or can be easily replicated,” explains Logan.

How Drinking More Water Can Help You Lose Weight

Step 1: Drink before you eat

Because water is an appetite suppressant, drinking it before meals can make you feel fuller, therefore reducing the amount of food you eat. Health resource website WebMD states that drinking water before meals results in an average reduction in intake of 75 calories per meal. Drinking water before just one meal per day would cause you to ingest 27,000 fewer calories per year. Do the math: You’d lose about eight pounds per year just from drinking water! Now imagine if you drank it before each meal. Our Gaiam Stainless Steel Water Bottle is a great way to make sure you are getting the right amount of water before a meal.

Step 2: Replace calorie-filled drinks with water

Ditch the sodas and juice and replace them with water to help you lose weight. If you think water tastes boring, add a slice of lemon. A glass of water with lemon is a recipe for successful weight loss because the pectin in lemons helps reduce food cravings. Think water doesn’t really help with weight loss? Give up those sugary drinks for just a few weeks and see the difference.

Step 3: Drink it ice cold

According to the editorial staff at WebMD, drinking ice cold water helps boost your metabolism because your body has to work harder to warm the water up, therefore burning more calories and helping you to lose weight. Plus, ice cold water is just so much more refreshing than water that’s room temperature. Our new 32 oz. Stainless Steel Wide Mouth Water Bottles merge style with functionality and can ultimately give you the tools you need to start losing weight and boosting your metabolism.

merge style with functionality and can ultimately give you the tools you need to start losing weight and boosting your metabolism.

Step 4: Hit the gym

Because drinking water helps prevent muscle cramps and keeps your joints lubricated, you can work out longer and harder. Just another way that proper hydration helps you lose weight. Whether you prefer Rodney Yee’s calm guidance or Jillian Michaels’ intense push, we have plenty of options to make your weight loss strategy fit your busy lifestyle.

Step 5: Make sure you drink enough water

If you really want the water you drink to help you lose weight, you should follow the “8×8” rule recommended by most nutritionists: Drink eight eight-ounce glasses of water per day for weight loss and to maintain an ideal weight. You might need to drink more water if you exercise a lot or sweat heavily, or less water if you drink other beverages like herbal tea (make sure they are decaffeinated).

Trent Nessler, PT, DPT, MPT, managing director of Baptist Sports Medicine in Nashville, says the amount of water you need depends on your size, weight, and activity level. He adds that you should try to drink between half an ounce and an ounce of water for each pound you weigh, every day.

How do you know if you’re getting enough water? A general rule is to check the toilet after you’ve gone to the bathroom. You’ll know you’re well-hydrated if your urine is clear or very light yellow in color. The darker your urine, the more water you need to drink, especially if weight loss is your goal. Try this Water Intake Calculator to see if you’re staying hydrated enough for your weight loss goals!

The Role of water in dieting

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Drinking water may be the most important piece to the weight loss puzzle. Before we learn the role water has in dieting, let us briefly go over the importance of water for our body in general. Water helps eliminate toxins through urination, carries nutrients to cells and prevents dehydration. The process of burning calories requires an adequate supply of water in order to function efficiently and water helps the body metabolize and burn fat. Water plays a major role in how every single cell, tissue and organ in our body operates and is important to almost every bodily function.

Water contains no calories, fat, or cholesterol and is low in sodium. It is nature’s appetite suppressant, and it helps the body to metabolize fat. Current research shows that low water intake yields an increase in fat deposits. Conversely, high water intake reduces the amount of fat deposits. Without enough water, the kidneys will not function properly. As a result, some of their workload is pushed off onto the liver, in turn preventing the liver from operating at peak levels.

How does all this tie into weight loss? Because metabolizing fat is a primary function of the liver, and because the liver can’t function at peak levels when taking on the added workload from the kidneys, less body fat is metabolized and more is stored. If the liver does not have sufficient water it cannot reach total productivity and will not metabolize fat efficiently, leading fat to store in the body. This leads to either weight gain or reaching a plateau of weight loss. To increase your ability to metabolize fat and lose weight, you should drink plenty of clean water to improve your kidney and liver functions.

Not drinking enough can make you gain weight!
When your body is not getting enough water it holds on to what it has, resulting in water retention. As a simple survival mechanism your body has a tendency to hold onto and store what it doesn’t think it will get in the future. Once your body recognizes that it is getting a steady supply of water it will release the water weight it has been holding. Water weight is stored in your waist, face, and ankles and is released when there is no longer a reason for your body to store it.

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There are many benefits of drinking water, from helping to accelerate weight loss to healthier and younger looking skin.

Unfortunately, most people are not drinking enough every day. Until recently, water was the 2nd most popular beverage in the US, behind sugary soft drinks. (1)

Water is one of the most important elements in the human body. It makes up about 60% of our bodies, more or less. Every single cell in your body needs water to function properly.

At Lose Weight by Eating, we LOVE water and all it’s health benefits. It’s why we have so many fruit infused water and detox water recipes, simply because it’s so good for you and everyone can afford it.

Can drinking water help you lose weight? Spoiler alert, YES IT CAN! Keep reading below to find out how drinking water for weight loss can help support your dieting efforts, cleanse your body, and much more.

Here are some of my favorite reasons why you should be drinking plenty of this stuff.

Why Is Water Important?

The importance of water just can’t be stressed enough. A person can go for weeks without food, but only a few days without water. It plays a vital role in nearly every vital bodily function we have.

If your body doesn’t get enough water, it becomes dehydrated.

When you’re dehydrated, you can’t function at your best and may be sluggish or have trouble concentrating, imagine what that’s doing to your organs, your skin, your brain!

When you’re dehydrated, your body also can’t flush out toxins or regulate itself as easily. By not flushing out these toxins you will be more susceptible to sickness, disease, weight gain and premature aging.

Top 10 Health Benefits of Water

Below I’ve listed the top 10 health benefits of water. If these drinking water benefits don’t convince you to drink more water, try some of my yummy fruit infused water and let your taste buds convince you.

#1. Drinking More Water Can Help You Lose Weight

Did you know that you can lose weight drinking water? Drinking water to lose weight is one of the easiest things you can do to support your weight loss efforts. Studies have shown that drinking water raises your metabolism, and improves your fat burning rate. (2, 3)

And if that wasn’t awesome enough, drinking water before a meal can also help you feel more satisfied and eat less (4). Drinking water helps with water weight loss, reducing bloating.

So if your goal is to lose weight, drinking water for weight loss is a smart move.

I recommend drinking a 16 ounce (500 ml) glass of water before you eat as an easy habit that will pay off long term.

If you find yourself snacking more often try, drinking a large glass of water in lieu of snacking. You can lose weight drinking water because it will fill you up and ward off those snack cravings.

#2. Water Helps Your Muscles Perform At Their Best

If you don’t drink enough water during physical activity, your performance can suffer. As little as a 2% loss of fluids can have a noticeable affect on your athletic abilities. (5)

So when you’re exercising and sweating, make sure to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and make it easier for your body to perform at its best.

Sports drinks are packed with sodium, preservatives, fake sugars and artificial colors, all of which negatively affect weight loss.

So keep it simple and opt for water, best of all most gyms have water fountains, free is better than $1.99 per sports drink!

#3. Water Can Help Boost Your Brain Functions and Mood

Your brain is mostly made of water and is highly sensitive to dehydration. Studies have shown that even mild dehydration (1-3%) can have an adverse effect on memory and feelings of anxiety. (6)

In another study, loss of fluids after exercising negatively affected the mood and concentration of the study participants, and increased the amount of headaches subjects experienced.

Yes you read that correctly, dehydration can cause headaches and migraines (more below)! (7)

A 1-3% loss of fluids in your body can happen with just normal everyday activities. So to keep your brain functioning at its best, make sure you drink plenty of water all day.

#4. Water Can Help Prevent and Treat Headaches

Studies have shown that drinking water can help prevent and treat headaches, especially the migraine type. (8)

So the next time you have a headache, try drinking a tall glass of cool water, it just might do the trick without having to take any medication.

And be sure to drink up all day long to ward off those nasty headaches and migraines.

#5. Drinking More Water May Help Prevent Constipation

Many people suffer from constipation. It’s caused by many things, including medications, stress, poor diet, and not drinking enough water.

Drinking more water (especially carbonated water) is often prescribed as part of a treatment plan for constipation and has been shown in studies to be effective. (9)

So drink up and keep things moving…

#6. Drinking Water Helps Flush Toxins From Your Kidneys

Higher fluid intake increases the amount of urine that passes through your kidneys, helping to flush toxins from them and supporting normal kidney functions.

It also helps prevent the buildup of minerals which could turn into kidney stones. (10, 11)

So if you’ve been treating your kidneys badly and have consumed too many bad things (like alcohol and salt), do them a favor and drink lots of water to give them a good detox flush.

#7. Water Can Help Make Your Skin Look Good

Your skin contains a lot of water. It also acts like a barrier preventing fluid loss throughout your whole body.

When you’re dehydrated, your skin will look more dry and wrinkled. But once you take in the proper amount fluids, it will look its normal, beautiful self again. Skin moisturizers also help create a physical barrier as well to lock in moisture, but remember to treat from within as well with lots of water.

#8. Water Helps Prevent Hangovers

Alcohol is a diuretic, which means it promotes the production of urine and causes excess fluid loss in your body. Hangovers are partly caused by the diuretic effect of alcohol, and the dehydration it causes.

To help alleviate the chances of a hangover when you’re drinking alcohol, try drinking a glass of water between each drink. Also, have at least one large glass of water before you go to bed.

If you do wake up with a hangover try drinking one of my restorative fruit infused drinks, if you have a bloated feeling hangover Cucumber Lemon Water will help you feel less bloated and get your headache and fuzziness in check.

If you have a nauseous hangover Mango Ginger Water will help easy your tummy while clearing any headaches and dizziness caused by dehydration.

#9. Water Helps Regulate Internal Body Temperature

Your skin is the largest organ in your body, and is responsible for helping to control the temperature of your body through sweating. Since your body creates a lot of heat through metabolic processes, it’s important that it’s able to regulate temperatures properly.

When you’re dehydrated, your skin isn’t able to produce as much sweat and you can become overheated. This can lead to symptoms as mild as red flushing or as serious as heat stroke.

So when you’re hot, make sure to drink lots of water to ensure your body can cool itself properly.

#10. Drinking Water Fights Bad Breath

Bad breath (halitosis) is caused by bacteria lodged in the grooves of your tongue, teeth, and gums. This buildup of bacteria causes bad smelling things called volatile sulfur compounds.

When your mouth is dry (like when you first wake up in the morning), you lack the saliva to rinse these compounds out of your mouth.

Drinking water helps flush these bacterias and keeps your mouth from having a build up the bad smelling compounds.

So drink lots of water and keep your breath fresh!


There are so many drinking water benefits that it’s impossible to list in just one post. Drinking water to lose weight may be the most important reason for many, but there are so many others benefits of drinking water as well.

I’ve written a whole article on How Much Water Should I Drink a Day, including a section on how to drink more water.

Also, check out our favorite fruit infused water bottles so you can bring your water with you no matter where you exercise.

I recommend reading up on all the benefits of drinking water, including using fruit infused water.

Needless to say, if you want to be healthier and lose more weight, drinking water is one of the easiest things you can do. Water and weight loss go hand in hand.

If you don’t already drink a lot of water, start slow… aim for half a gallon a day (64 ounces) and add 10-20 additional ounces every couple of days, before you know it you will be up to a full gallon, You’ll feel better than ever, you will look amazing and your metabolism will be roaring so weight loss and weight management won’t be such a chore.

Drink up, XO Audrey

Fact or Fiction: Drink Water to Lose Weight?

When I was a kid, maybe 10 years old, I remember my best friend’s mom drinking a lot of water. She carried a plastic cup around the house with her and was constantly guzzling water through a straw. I didn’t understand why she was so thirsty all the time. My mom explained that this woman was on a special diet to help her lose weight. She had to drink 5 litres of water every day, and if she did then she would get skinny.

Sounded simple to me. But would that actually work? Does drinking water really help people lose weight?

You Can Drink Water to Lose Weight: Fact or Fiction?

The human body is made up of 60-70% water. That’s more than half of you! The fluids in your body aid in essential bodily processes such as digestion, absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients, and maintenance of body temperature. But, recent research shows that up to 75% of us are chronically dehydrated! People simply don’t consume enough water to be healthy, let alone to effectively lose weight.

How is your body 60-70% water? Here’s how.

While we all generally know that water is an essential component to proper body function, what is sometimes less clear is is how it might support weight loss. Below, we look at some of the ways water plays a role in managing weight, and answer the question: Can you really drink water to lose weight?

The Role of Water in Managing Your Weight

So, you may be wondering exactly what role might water play in managing your weight? As always, it helps to look to scientific research for answers. A recent study has found that over a span of 3 months, obese dieters who drank two cups of water before each meal lost, on average, five pounds more than dieters who did not. The water-drinkers also kept more of the weight off a year later. According to Barry Popkin, Director of the Interdisciplinary Obesity Program at the University of North Carolina:

Water consumption might spark the body to produce more heat, boosting metabolism and burning more calories. Or, drinking more water might simply make people less likely to drink a lot of high-calorie sugar-filled beverages

It is not yet known whether water works by filling you up, boosting your metabolism, or simply by taking the place of sugar-laden drinks such as soda and juice. Regardless of the reason, simply drinking water may be the key to helping you manage cravings, reduce hunger, and ultimately losing unwanted weight.

HFCS: The Problem with Other Beverages

Perhaps one of the best pieces of advice when you’re trying to lose weight is to replace drinking pop, fruit juice, sports drinks, and other sugar-laden beverages with water. These products, along with processed and pre-packaged foods, contain HFCS (high-fructose corn syrup) or, as you may know it, fructose/glucose.

Fructose has a pervasive negative influence on your health. When too much fructose enters the liver, the liver can’t process it all fast enough for the body to use as sugar. Instead, it starts making fats from the fructose and sending them off into the bloodstream as triglycerides. This is bad because it increases the risk of heart disease, suppresses hormones that signal “fullness”, perpetuating hunger and cravings, and increases risk of type 2 diabetes.

When too much fructose enters the liver, the liver can’t process it all fast enough for the body to use as sugar. Instead, it starts making fats from the fructose and sending them off into the bloodstream

Along with other health risks, regular consumption of fructose is sure to make you fat. According to Professor Bart Hoebel of Princeton University, the results of a recent study show that rats drinking fructose at levels well below those in soda “ obese – every single one, across the board.” He adds that even when rats were fed a high-fat diet, they did not all gain the same amount extra weight.

Fructose not only makes you gain weight faster than other ingredients, but it also aids in the production of adipose fat, a particularly harmful kind of body fat. Adipose fat collects in your abdominal regions and is linked to heart disease risk. This, alone, is reason enough to avoid soda an other sugary drinks all together.

Stick to Drinking Water

The health risks listed above only highlight how important it is for pure, clean drinking water to be your beverage of choice, especially if you are trying to lose weight. It’s not that water has some sort of magical weight-loss property that melts away fat, but it does help us reduce our calorie intake, it helps us stay hydrated, and it allows our body to function optimally.

So how much water should you drink every day? Watch this video and then read below for some great guidelines:

Drink When You Are Thirsty

At the very minimum, you should drink water whenever you feel thirsty. This is your body’s natural way of tell you it is dehydrated, and what better liquid to re-hydrate with than water.

Carry A Water Bottle

Generally, you don’t want to wait until you are really thirsty to drink water. Usually by the time you feel thirsty you are dehydrated, so try to keep a water bottle or cup with you that you can sip during the day. As I pointed out in the video, it’s pretty important to know how much you’re actually consuming throughout the day. So, if possible, refill your bottle from a jug or water pitcher so that you can easily keep track and not resort to guesswork.

Check Your Urine

There is another simple trick: your urine will be a light yellow color if you are drinking enough water. Dark yellow urine is a sign of being dehydrated.

Drink More Water in Hot Weather, or When Exercising

Of course, you will need to consume more water than normal if it’s hot outside and you are exercising or are engaged in a vigorous physical activity. A general rule of thumb for water consumption during exercise: Drink 250ml for every 20 minutes of exercise you perform. Also keep in mind that your thirst mechanisms work less efficiently as you age, so adults should be sure to drink water regularly even if there isn’t an overwhelming sense of thirst.

Check Your Water Supplier

You may also want to consider your water supplier and what contaminants might be present. Some municipal water supplies may contain contaminants, including heavy metals, fluoride, pharmaceutical drugs, and fuel. In this case, you may want to invest in a whole house water filter.

Water is Essential to Your Health!

In general, most people are in a state of constant dehydration because they are not getting enough water. Drinking water can most certainly help with weight loss, and also prove beneficial to your health in many other ways. If you’re just starting on your weight loss journey, increasing your water consumption is always a great first step.

Happy Hydrating!

Here’s how drinking water at regular intervals can help you lose weight and increase your metabolism

We’re not big on clichés but when a dietician says, “pure water is world’s first and foremost medicine,” quoting a Slovakian proverb, you know she’s not messing with you on the importance of the colourless elixir of life. “Water is central to the most basic physiological functions such as regulating blood pressure, stabilising body temperature and digestion. It can also help in increasing the amount of calories you burn” thereby facilitating weight loss, informs dietician Nmami Agarwal.

Though water’s primary functions include: transportation of nutrients throughout the body, regulation of body’s temperature and maintenance of pH levels — to ensure your health is not at the risk of any diseases, especially kidney stones. It is also an appetite suppressant.

How can drinking water at regular intervals help lose weight?

Drinking water before meals can make you feel full for a longer amount of time, and reduce your calorie intake. “Many a times, your body is not able to differentiate between hunger and thirst,” says Agarwal. Thus you end up binging on food, when you’re actually just craving a glass of water.

Sipping water at regular intervals increases the amount of calories that you burn in increasing your REE (resting energy expenditure) – it represents the amount of calories required by the body during a non-active period. “Fat loss is also a result of sympathetic activation via the sympathetic nervous system, which is important to regulate metabolism and utilisation of food as energy. It helps in increasing glucose uptake by cells and drinking water can provide sympathetic stimuli. This in turn increases the overall metabolic activity related to sympathetic activation,” adds Agarwal. “Apart from this, water also helps breakdown fat cells (lipolysis) faster.”

When’s the best time to drink water if you’re trying to lose weight?

If your end goal is weight loss, “the ideal timing to drink water is at least 30 minutes prior to a major meal. Always keep a 30-minute buffer between the two, because if you drink water immediately before a meal, it will do more harm than good as it can dissolve the necessary digestive juices required for digestion.”

How many glasses of water should one drink in a day for effective weight loss?

“8-12 glasses of water or 2.5 litres of water is recommended. But this amount of water is recommended universally to everyone and not just for those looking to shed pounds. To lose weight, you also need to improve your daily diet and exercise frequently. A diet comprising essential nutrients including proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals is the one that will lead to a sustainable weight loss.”

What are the health benefits of drinking water?

• Water helps excrete waste from the body in the form of sweat, urination and bowels

• It helps in the absorption of essential nutrients from the food you consume

• Water controls constipation, hypertension, migraines and urinary tract infections

• Water keeps your skin healthy by improving circulation, hydration and boosting collagen production

• It helps in the lubrication of joints and thus improves bone health


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Research Review: Water and weight loss

Glug glug glug… ahhh.

Sorry, I was just finishing off a glass of dihydrogen monoxide.

Where did I get it? From a top-secret lab – okay, not so much… actually from my tap.

I’m sure many of you have caught on that dihydrogen monoxide is H2O, or good old water. And according to media reports, it might be the next big weight-loss supplement.

Grab a drink and let’s talk.

What water does

Pretty much everybody has heard that their body is over 60% water. Thus, if you weigh 150 lb (68 kg) then 90 lb (41 kg) if you is water.

Why don’t you hear a lot of sloshing when you walk around with all that water? Well, even though water is in your blood and other bodily fluids that are liquidy, a lot of that body water is in your cells or attached to molecules like proteins and carbohydrates (1).

Water does seven main things in our bodies

  • transporting;
  • dissolving;
  • cleaning;
  • reacting;
  • padding; and
  • regulating temperature.


Even though water isn’t coursing through your veins and arteries the way it runs through a river, it does transport things to and from the cells of your body, such as:

  • nutrients and oxygen that are important for the cell to grow and repair itself
  • important messages from hormones
  • cell waste products, like carbon dioxide


As a toddler, perhaps you discovered a key function of water when you dropped mama’s sugar bowl, full of sugar, into the toilet bowl. (Or maybe that’s just my kid.)

Yep, you discovered that water is a solvent and it dissolves sugar as well as most things. Water is a nearly universal solvent.

The one thing water can’t dissolve are lipids (fats, oils, waxes, etc.) but your clever body can surround water-insoluble molecules with proteins so they can be transported in water.


Every time you wash your hands or take a shower, you take advantage of water’s function as a cleaner. While there’s no soap inside your body (unless you swear, perhaps), water flushes important filtering organs like the kidneys and liver that remove toxins from our bodies.


Water is an important molecule of most of the body’s chemical reactions, but in some cases it has to be broken down, or hydrolyzed, during some chemical reactions. When sugar (sucrose) is digested into fructose and glucose, water is also a part of the reaction and is hydrolyzed.


Water is the major ingredient in body fluids that — even though icky — are very important to moisten and lubricate our bodies.

Even when we breathe, we need water-based lubrication, called surfactant. Otherwise each breath would feel like we’ve collapsed a lung. (One of the major challenges for premature babies is that they haven’t yet developed lung surfactant.) Joints and the digestive tract also need water-based lubrication to work properly.


You probably don’t think of water as padding or a shock absorber, but that is exactly what it does for your joints.

Your joints contain sacs filled mostly with water. When you jump, punch, fall or even move, these sacs prevent the two ends of the joint from smashing into one another. Between the vertebrae of your spine, water makes up the filling of your vertebral discs that allow you to bend, twist and jump without agony – just ask someone with degenerative back disease how important it is to have water in your discs.


Going for a run up a hill during a July noon in Texas makes you appreciate water. You’ve probably already figured out that sweating buckets helps regulate your temperature.

Yet water does more than just make up sweat. Water in blood vessels at the surface of your skin can help get rid of heat from your body, kinda like how a radiator works. Cooling fluid (blood) goes from the engine (major organs, heart, liver, lungs, kidneys, etc.) to the radiator (skin) where heat can be dissipated.

Research question

Clearly (get it?), water is important stuff. But can it help us lose weight? That’s the question we address this week.


In this study, the researchers recruited men and women between the ages of 55 and 75 years old that were overweight or obese (BMI between 25-40 kg/m2).

Researchers excluded recent yo-yo dieters. That meant the participants’ weight had to be the same, within 2 kg (about 5 pounds) for the last year or longer. Participants were also excluded if they had:

  • a history of depression
  • diabetes
  • uncontrolled high blood pressure
  • heart, lung or kidney disease
  • a history of eating disorders


Before the study started, everybody had to come into the lab twice: once to eat as much food as they wanted, and once to drink 500 mL of water and then eat as much as they wanted.

Researchers wanted to see whether people would eat less if they drank water before a meal. 12 weeks later, at the end of the study, the participants did the water-drinking test again.

Caloric intake

After the initial lab visits, researchers put all the participants on a diet that permitted 1200 kcal/day for women and 1500 kcal for men. Since the average male participant was around 90 kg, 167 cm tall, and 62 years of age this seems a bit restrictive.

What do I mean? Well, let’s look more at basal energy expenditure. This is the amount of energy that your body needs to be alive, and fuels things like breathing, your heart’s beating, and your cells absorbing nutrients.

How to calculate basal energy expenditure


66.5 + (13.75 x kg) + (5.003 x cm) – (6.775 x age)

Thus: 66.5 + (13.75 x 90 kg) + (5.003 x 167 cm) – (6.775 x 62 years)

=1709 kcal/day (or 209 kcal/day more than they were eating in the study)


655.1 + (9.563 x kg) + (1.850 x cm) – (4.676 x age)

=1531 kcal/day (or 331 kcal/day more than they were eating in the study)

Source: Harris J, Benedict F. A biometric study of basal metabolism in man. Washington D.C. Carnegie Institute of Washington. 1919.

Looks like the caloric allotment in the study fell a bit short.

Remember, these are calories needed to live if people are comatose — doing absolutely nothing but staying alive… no going for a walk, no standing washing dishes, not even getting up to go to the washroom. Just basic physiological functions are included here.

Water for weight loss

Everybody was on the same diet, but half the participants had the secret pre-meal supplement – 500 mL water.

Before each of their three meals, the water group drank 500 mL of water and then they could eat. There was no other difference between groups for the 12 weeks of the study.


Eating fewer calories than you need causes weight loss; mostly fat but some lean body mass too.

And remember the gluttony testing — you know, the one where the participants ate as much as they wanted with or without drinking 500 ml before eating — well, if they drank water before a meal, they ate less (about 50 kcal less), but only before the study started; after the 12 week diet, drinking water didn’t affect how much calories the participants ate.

One explanation is that everybody was eating less per meal without drinking water (541 kcal before and 506 kcal after the 12 weeks). Or there may be a certain amount of calories the body requires and it can’t be fooled by being filled with water.

Drinking water (500 mL or about 16 oz) before three meals a day while on a diet increases fat loss in overweight and obese individuals.

Doh! Haven’t we’ve heard this before? Yes and no.

Yes, nearly every diet plan or nutritionist will tell you to drink more water to help you lose weight and no, because this is the first scientific study that randomly assigned participants to comparison groups to see if water helps with weight loss and if so, how much more weight would be lost.

Why water helps with weight loss may be obvious. Not only does water make you feel fuller, so you eat less, drinking water also replaces energy-containing drinks like juice, soda pop, and vitamin water. People on average drink over 400 kcal/day in North America. Water may even increase metabolism.

A few years back, a study found that if you drank 500 mL of water, your body would use 24% more calories for 60 minutes after drinking water. The researchers figured that this was because of changes in osmolarity caused by drinking water and that your body has to expend energy to bring everything back in balance (2).

Bottom line

Drinking two cups of water before a meal will keep you hydrated, fuller, and may even boost your metabolism for an hour. And all you need to do is turn on your tap. Talk about convenience.

Before you go off to your favorite vitamin shop to try the latest weight-loss supplement, try drinking two cups (500 mL) before you sit down for a meal.

Oh, and make sure you’re near a toilet.

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Can water help you lose weight?

Researchers are still unsure why drinking more water helps a person to lose weight, but many studies show some positive correlation between increased water consumption and weight loss.

Below are six reasons that water may help with losing weight.

1. Water is a natural appetite suppressant

Share on PinterestDrinking water may aid weight loss.

When the stomach senses that it is full, it sends signals to the brain to stop eating. Water can help to take up space in the stomach, leading to a feeling of fullness and reducing hunger.

A person may also think that they are hungry when they are actually thirsty. Drinking a glass of water before reaching for something to eat can help to curb unnecessary snacking.

In a 2014 study, 50 overweight females drank 500 milliliters (mL) of water 30 minutes before breakfast, lunch, and dinner, in addition to their regular water consumption, for 8 consecutive weeks.

The participants experienced a reduction in body weight, body fat, and body mass index. They also reported appetite suppression.

A study from the previous year had yielded similar results.

2. Water increases calorie burning

Some research indicates that drinking water can help to burn calories.

In a 2014 study, 12 people who drank 500 mL of cold and room temperature water experienced an increase in energy expenditure.

They burned between 2 and 3 percent more calories than usual in the 90 minutes after drinking the water.

Water may also temporarily increase the body’s resting energy expenditure, or the number of calories burned while resting.

Drinking cold water may further enhance water’s calorie-burning benefits, because the body expends energy, or calories, by heating up the water for digestion.

3. Water helps to remove waste from the body

When the body is dehydrated, it cannot correctly remove waste as urine or feces.

Water helps the kidneys to filter toxins and waste while the organ retains essential nutrients and electrolytes. When the body is dehydrated, the kidneys retain fluid.

Dehydration can also result in hard or lumpy stools and constipation. Water keeps waste moving by softening or loosening hardened stools.

Water also helps the body to recover from digestive problems, such as diarrhea and indigestion.

When waste builds up in the body, people may feel bloated, swollen, and tired. Bloating can add inches to a person’s waist.

Staying hydrated is a good way to avoid retaining waste, which may add a few extra pounds.

4. Drinking water can reduce overall liquid calorie intake

Share on PinterestWater is a calorie-free alternative to energy drinks or juice.

It is easy to accumulate liquid calories by drinking soda, juice, or sweetened coffee or tea.

Most people also ignore how many calories they consume in sports drinks or alcoholic beverages.

Replacing even a few high-calorie drinks each day for water or other no-calorie beverages, such as herbal tea, may have long-term weight loss benefits.

Authors of a 2012 study found that replacing two or more high-caloric beverages for non-caloric drinks every day for 6 months resulted in an average weight loss of between 2 and 2.5 percent in a group of females with obesity.

In a study from 2015, female participants drank 250 mL of water after lunch each day while attending a 24-week weight loss program. They lost 13.6 percent more weight than women in the same program who drank the same volume of diet beverages after lunch.

Results of a large-scale study showed that men and women who replaced one serving of a sugar-sweetened beverage for water or a low-calorie drink every day for 4 years gained 0.49 fewer kilograms (kg) than a similar group who had made no changes.

The same study found that adults who replaced at least one serving of fruit juice with water or a low-calorie drink gained 0.35 kg less than their counterparts.

5. Water is necessary to burn fat

Without water, the body cannot properly metabolize stored fat or carbohydrates.

The process of metabolizing fat is called lipolysis. The first step of this process is hydrolysis, which occurs when water molecules interact with triglycerides (fats) to create glycerol and fatty acids.

Drinking enough water is essential for burning off fat from food and drink, as well as stored fat.

A mini-review from 2016 found that increased water intake led to increased lipolysis and a loss of fat in animal studies.

6. Water helps with workouts

One of the most important components of any weight loss plan is exercise.

Water helps muscles, connective tissues, and joints to move correctly. It also helps the lungs, heart, and other organs to work effectively as they ramp up activity during exercise.

Being hydrated reduces the risk of things that can get in the way of a good workout, such as muscle cramps and fatigue.

Always drink water before, during, and after exercise to avoid dehydration.

Keeping water close at hand is essential, especially if exercising in hot, humid, or very sunny conditions.

Water and Weight Loss

Numerous studies conducted on weight loss and the intake of water have been conclusive on the importance of water and the role it plays in weight loss. Water increases calorie burn, ramps your body metabolism, prevents over-eating and excessive calorie consumption and also helps in extending work out sessions. It is, therefore, important to maintain a good level of water intake, at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily, to lose weight as well as maintaining a healthy weight.

Drinking of water is proven to increase the calories burned by the body; also referred to as the resting energy expenditure. The resting energy expenditure has been shown to increase considerably, in both adults and children, within a few minutes of water intake lasting at least for an hour. These studies have been carried out on overweight and obese children, women and men. The candidates taking part in the studies did not change their lifestyle in any way except increase their intake of water. This resulted in a higher level of calorie burn over a period resulting in weight loses.

The intake of cold water may also help in weight loss. When the body takes in cold water, it tries to heat it up, and this process leads to an increase in metabolism. Though these metabolic rates may differ in both men and women, an estimated increase of water intake to about 1.5 liters (8 glasses) per day increases the number of calories burned over a specific time span with a reduction in Body Mass Index (BMI), waist circumference and body fat as well.

Water is also considered to be an appetite suppressant. A recent study reviewed the diets of over 18,000 adults and found, “the majority of people who increased their consumption of plain water by 1 percent reduced their total daily calorie intake as well as their consumption of saturated fat, sugar, sodium and cholesterol. “ Drinking water before meals creates a notion of being fuller, therefore, reducing the amount of food that we eat. The less we eat, less calories we consume. The results obtained from older, and middle-aged adults were even more impressive than those of younger individuals in the same study. The total calories that are avoided over time can lead to considerable levels of lost weight, just by drinking water before meals.

Water is also known to lubricate joints in the body as well as reduce muscle cramping. As a result, it is possible to work out longer and harder. The outcome is more weight lost by keeping hydrated with water. It is, therefore, advisable to drink plenty of water when working out to increase the body’s endurance, leading to even more weight loss.

Drinking more water in the place of calorie-filled drinks can also lead to weight loss with time. Long-term weight gain is prevented by drinking water which is calorie free instead of sugar-sweetened beverages. This behavior should be especially encouraged in children to help them develop healthy habits that keep them from becoming overweight or obese in adulthood.

As with any diet change, always consult your doctor and use your best judgment. Although rare, excessive consumption of water may cause over hydration or water toxicity which may cause headaches, nausea, and even death in extreme cases. How much is enough water? Many reputable sources suggest dividing your weight by half and using that number as a guideline for how many ounces you should be taking in although the old adage of 8 glasses a day will work as a baseline too.

A balanced consumption of water plays a significant role for weight loss in the body. There are many methods you can use in weight maintenance, but water should always play part. It’s an easy and available tool that helps in increased calories burn, accelerates body metabolism and extended body workout sessions which all result in but one thing-weight loss.

Water & Weight Loss: Discover How ‘H20’ Can Assist Your Efforts

This article was contributed by Spinning®.

Water makes up 55 to 60 percent of the human body and plays a vital role in a number of essential bodily functions including regulating your internal body temperature and getting rid of waste. All that considered, it’s no surprise that water can also be a valuable tool for students who are trying to lose weight. In fact, you might say it is the closest thing there is to a “silver bullet” for weight loss. (1)

Water contains no calories and has these five following major functions:

  1. In the blood, it transports glucose, oxygen and fats to working muscles and carries away metabolic by-products such as carbon dioxide and lactic acid.
  2. In urine, it eliminates metabolic waste products.
  3. In saliva and gastric secretions, it helps to digest food.
  4. It lubricates joints and cushions organs throughout the body.
  5. In sweat, it dissipates heat through the skin. (2)

It is important to know that approximately 70 percent of an individual’s body weight is water. (2) When an individual severely restricts calories or certain nutrients such as carbohydrate, the body will retain less water, which explains the rapid weight loss observed in low-carb diets. Losing water is not indicative of true weight loss success. Lost water weight can return almost instantly with consumption of the next meal or glass of water. True or desirable weight loss involves actual fat loss, which will likely occur at a rate of about 1 pound per week if an energy deficit is consistently and sufficiently achieved.

Although counterintuitive, the body will retain less water if intake is adequate. Here are a few more ways that drinking more water can help with weight loss:

  1. When water takes the place of sugary beverages or juice, it results in a reduction of total calorie intake.
  2. Drinking a glass of water before meals and snacks can help an individual to feel full and consume fewer calories.
  3. Maintaining an adequate intake can help the body to function more efficiently, especially in the areas of maintaining ideal body temperature during exercise and increasing fat utilization.
  4. Many individuals mistake thirst for hunger. Drinking more water will prevent this effect.
  5. Drinking more water will decrease the desire for other sugary, high-calorie beverages.

Drinking cold water slightly increases thermogenesis, the energy required to bring the water up to body temperature. However, the actual energy expenditure is minimal.

What type of water is the best? Tap water, spring water or carbonated water without sugar or artificial sweeteners is the best. Excessive consumption of artificial sweeteners may stimulate hunger (should reference this).

How much is enough? There are three different theories:

Theory #1: Nearly all the beverages and foods we consume contain water, so we do not need to worry about drinking extra.

You can pretty much disregard the first theory. While it is true that nearly all of the foods and beverages we consume contain water, this alone is rarely enough to keep an individual adequately hydrated. Fruits and vegetables contain high amounts of water, but the average American does not eat enough servings of those foods to supply sufficient fluids. An easy way to determine whether you’re adequately hydrated is to observe the color of your urine; pale yellow to nearly clear is ideal. (However, certain medications and vitamin supplements will darken urine color.) You would be hard-pressed to find someone that experiences this without drinking additional water.

Theory #2: All healthy adults should drink 64 ounces per day.

This is a good place to start, especially for someone who is not in the habit of drinking water regularly. However, the recommendation is too general. Given that healthy adults vary significantly in weight, body composition and activity level, their fluid needs will also vary greatly.

Theory #3: Healthy adults should drink half their body weight in ounces of water per day.

This theory does the best job of tailoring the recommendation to the needs of the individual. Following this suggestion would lead a 100- pound person to drink 50 ounces per day, while a 200-pound individual would include 100 ounces of water per day. It makes sense that a larger individual would have greater needs. Increasing water intake may be challenging initially, but losing weight and learning better eating habits is a process. Making changes gradually makes the whole process less daunting and will contribute to more permanent success.

The bottom line is that people have to do what works best for them. Nearly all individuals will benefit from drinking more water. They should try to consume between 64 ounces and half their body weight in ounces of water per day. They should recognize that they need additional water on warmer days and while exercising. (2)

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