Does drinking water help you lose weight?
Guest post by Julie Upton, M.S., R.D., CSSD
It may sound too simple to actually work, but research shows that it does. Here’s how water can help you win at losing.
When it comes to managing your weight, we always suggest drinking water as your main beverage and limiting liquid calories, because they’re not as filling as eating the same number of calories from real food. But several studies are showing that drinking water can also help you eat fewer calories overall, especially when you drink your water before your meals.
Researchers at Virginia Tech have conducted several studies showing that drinking 16 ounces of water before each meal results in more pounds lost. In one study, 48 overweight or obese men and women between the ages of 55 and 75 who were on a low-calorie diet (1,200 calories per day for women and 1,500 calories per day for men). Half of the people were instructed to drink 16 ounces of water before each of their meals.
Those in the water group lost 15.5 pounds in 12 weeks, compared to 11 pounds in the control group not drinking extra water. In another study of overweight adults, the same researchers found that after drinking 16 ounces of water, the calories consumed at the subsequent meal was reduced by 13%. If you make this simple change, you can save yourself about 100 calories a day, that will add up to pounds lost in just a few months.
Water aids in losing weight by not only helping you curb calories at meals, it’s also been shown to help keep your metabolism high and if you make your beverage of choice water, you’ll be less likely to drink beverages that are loaded with calories like sodas and fruit juices.
To keep water top of mind, keep a daily tally of how many ounces you’re drinking each day and strive to drink 16 ounces before each meal. A good rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in fluid ounces each day. If you weigh 140 pounds, that means you should drink 70 ounces of water.
Julie Upton, M.S., R.D., CSSD
Co-Author, 101 Fat Habits & Slim Solutions (Penguin, 2013)
Appetite for Health