HealthKnowledge

How Drinking Water can help you lose Weight

Water is what makes up most of our body, about 60% to be more precise of your body is made up of water. Water is naturally without any calories and can be easily linked to a calorie reduced diet.

Most of your daily bodily functions need water to work properly, therefore drinking water is critical for your good health and well being.

Drinking more Water can make you burn more calories

Drinking water can help boost your metabolism. When you drink 0.5 of a litre of cold water in one go, your resting calorie burning rate increases by about 10-20% within just 10-15 minutes from drinking it, and this lasts for about 30 minutes.

Drinking that half a litre of water also causes 20-25 calories to be burned (or 18,000 calories (about 2kg of fat) per year if drinking 1 litre of water per day). Hence drinking more than 1 litre of water per day can help you lose 2 extra kg over the next 12 months, without any other lifestyle changes that is.   

Your body needs water to properly burn fat which is stored in your fat reserves and also fat in the food you eat. Fat burning or lipolysis needs water. Water first interacts with the tridlyceride fats, creating fatty acids and glycerol.

drinking water is critical for your good health and well being

Replace other beverages with Water

Replacing other beverages with Water is in itself a very easy way to reduce your calorie intake (by about 200 calories per day on average) and lose weight.

Other drinks include soft drinks, store bought juices, alcohol, coffee and tea. These drinks can contain a lot of liquid calories. Replacing these drinks with water, or with green or herbal tea, will help you achieve your weight loss goals. Diet beverages should also not be taken lightly, water should be your go-to drink.

Drinking water before a meal will reduce your appetite

Drinking water before a meal can reduce your calorie intake by circa 15%. When the stomach is full, it sends a message to the brain to signal to stop eating. Water can help fill your stomach helping you take in less food and calories. Drinking water before a meal helps you feel full earlier.

Often people are also really just thirsty, but the message their brain receives is sometimes pointing towards the hunger feeling, making the person eat rather than drink. To avoid this from happening, make sure you keep well hydrating with water throughout the day. Also try and always take a full glass of water before sitting down for a meal.

How much water should you drink everyday

This varies from person to person, the following factors are important to consider;

  1. Age
  2. Body size
  3. Activity level
  4. Humidity
  5. Temperature
  6. Health conditions

Drinking 2 litres of water each day is what is generally recommended by health authorities. However water needs vary largely per person. If you sweat a lot or exercise regularly, you will need more water to replace the water you lost through your sweat.

Drinking 1.0-1.5 litres of water per day will help you lose weight, body mass index (BMI) and body fat. Cold water is even more effective with weight loss, than room temperature water, as your body uses more calories to warm up the water to your body temperature.

Try keeping a glass of water on your bedside table before going to bed, at night you might feel thirsty and having the water near will ensure you keep hydrated during the night.

Your body also struggles to distinguish between hunger and thirst, so if your body is getting dehydrated, you might get a signal that you are instead hungry and start craving certain foods. It is therefore important to drink a lot of water to keep hydrated, especially when on a weight loss plan.

Dehydration symptoms can also include headaches and mood swings.

One way of checking whether you are properly hydrated is checking the colour of your urine. If it is dark yellow you need more water, you should aim for a pale yellow colour.

The importance of encouraging children to drink water over sweetened drinks

Children should be encouraged to drink water instead of sweetened drinks and store-bought juices. This is not only important for their teeth, but also to help prevent becoming overweight or even obese.

Water helps you remove waste from your body

Your body needs water to remove water such as urine and feces from your body. When you are dehydrated this bodily function does not work at its best. Your kidneys need water to flush out toxins and waste, without water the kidneys start retaining all the water they can and toxins can start to build up.

Dehdyration can also cause constipation, as the faeces becomes hard and your body struggles to keep the waste moving.

Having a lot of waste in your body can cause you to feel tired, bloated and swollen. Your waist line can increase and you will not feel at your best.

Stay hydrated at all times also for your general well being.

Drinking water and exercising

Exercise is an important part of your weight loss plan, and water is important for your muscles, heart, lungs and joints to work properly during exercise. Drinking water can also reduce the risk of getting a cramp during exercise, or suffering from fatigure.

You should drink water before, during and after your work out to reduce the risk of becoming dehydrated. Drinking water is even more important in hot, humid conditions, or when exercising outside in the sun.    

When we exercise and sweat we lose more fluids, however your body still needs to maintain your blood volume (and blood pressure). Whilst exercising your body also redirects blood flow to areas closer to the surface of the skin, to help to lose some of the extra heat. The purpose of sweating is to cool the body, as the sweat on your skin evaporates it causes cooling. Therefore drinking water when exercising (before, during and after exercising) helps your body carry out all these functions, reduce heat and at the same time maintain your blood volume. Thus avoiding heat exhaustion and fatigue, helping you workout for a longer time, which means you can burn more calories and get more fit.

When your body does not have enough water, it secretes a chemical that narrows your blood vessels, causing high blood pressure. This can increase your risk of heart disease. Keeping hydrated helps your body allow the blood to flow normally.

Drinking Water and Weight loss

Water is critical for many body functions, therefore drinking water is very important whether you are trying to lose weight or trying to remain healthy. Drinking water when on a weight loss plan is a good idea, here is why:

  1. Water is a 100% calorie free drink
  2. Drinking cold water makes you burn more calories
  3. Drinking Water before meals naturally suppresses your appetite without taking any appetite suppressing pills
  4. Replacing other drinks with water will help you lose weight easily, helping you cut down on extra sugar

Drinking water does not have to be boring or a sacrifice, there are many ways to create fun drinks which are both healthy and made up of water. These drinks include;

  • Green tea
  • detox water (Water with cucumber, mint leaves, lemon juice, and a slice of ginger)
  • Ginger tea
  • Lemon Water With Chia Seeds
  • Herbal tea
  • Vegetable juices
  • Infused Water (Water with fruits such as strawberries or watermelon)
  • Fruit juices (slow cold juicing)

More healthy drinks alternatives can be found here.

We therefore strongly suggest to incorporate drinking water in your weight loss plan, as it plays an important role to your overall good health (good hydration is a key component to good health) and weight loss.

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