Does Water Really Help with Weight Loss?
You’ve probably heard “drink water” more times than you can count – but does it really help with weight loss? The short answer is, “it depends.”
If you’re already drinking plenty of water, drinking more won’t make a difference in your weight. However, if you’re dehydrated and you start drinking more water, or if you drink high-calorie beverages often and you replace them with water, then yes, water can be exactly what you need to shed those pounds.
Water does boost your metabolism because it is needed for every type of cellular process, and dehydration causes these processes to run less efficiently. Metabolism is one of these processes. Being even slightly dehydrated causes your metabolism to slow down significantly.
Another way water helps with weight loss is that it can often satisfy what feels like hunger. The body isn’t very good at telling the difference between hunger and thirst, so when you feel hungry, you might just be dehydrated. So try drinking a glass of water rather than eating and see if your “hunger” goes away. You can also drink a glass of water before a meal to feel fuller and eat less.
Drinking enough water also helps you digest your food properly. It helps your kidneys function well and helps prevent constipation.
How much water you need depends on your height and weight, your activity level, and the climate where you live. The “eight glasses a day” mantra is now considered outdated – instead, you should drink when you feel thirsty, leaning towards more if you are exercising or the weather is hot.
Another way to know how much water you need is to keep an eye on your urine. It may not sound glamourous, but the colour of your urine provides important clues about your health. If it’s clear or light yellow and has very little smell, you’re well hydrated. Darker, smellier urine means you need to drink more water.
To easily fit more water drinking into your day, try carrying a water bottle with you and filling it up as you empty it. Keep water at your desk and next to your bed as well. And spread your water consumption throughout the day, replacing the coffee or soda you would normally be drinking. There’s no easier way to cut calories and help yourself lose weight.