Does Drinking Water Help You Lose Weight? (A RDN Explains)

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Obtaining a healthy weight is important for overall well being and health. We know that being overweight puts individuals at higher risk for various chronic diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Roughly two-thirds of adults in the US are overweight, so countless individuals are on a quest to shed excess weight.

We know that water plays many key roles in the body including regulating body temperature, keeping your joints lubricated, delivering nutrients to cells and more. However, consuming adequate amounts of water may also help reduce calorie intake and potentially promote weight loss.

While water intake alone is not enough to lose large amounts of weight, proper hydration can certainly help along the way.

In this article we are going to explore the science behind the link between drinking water and weight loss to understand its potential benefits for your weight management journey.

📌 Key Takeaways

  • Staying properly hydrated may help you lose weight as water can act as an appetite suppressant and help reduce your overall calorie intake.
  • To remain properly hydrated it is recommended to drink about 8 cups of water per day.
  • Increasing water intake alone is not enough to lose significant weight. Making changes to overall nutrition and physical activity are important for achieving weight loss goals.

🚰 Water As An Appetite Suppressant

One of the ways water can influence weight loss is its ability to act as a appetite suppressant. When you drink a glass of water before meals, it creates a feeling of fullness, reducing overall food intake.

This is because when the stomach is full it sends signals to the brain that it is full. Research supports this, as many studies have suggested water intake prior to meal consumption reduces overall calorie intake.

Not only that, thirst is often confused with feelings of hunger, leading to excess calorie consumption. By staying adequately hydrated, you can minimize these feelings of thirst confused by hunger and prevent unnecessary snacking.

This will help you make more mindful choices about your food intake.

Water fasting concept

🔎 Water and Calorie Intake

Aside from the many vital roles water plays in the body, it is also zero-calorie.

Replacing sugar sweetened beverages like sugary sodas, energy drinks and other sugary drinks or alcoholic beverages with water is a simple but effect strategy for weight management.

Liquid calorie intake can add up quickly and reducing the consumption of liquid calories can lead to substantial calorie savings over time. Water is an ideal choice for those looking to lose weight.

Several studies have shown that when overweight individuals drink 34-50 ounces of water daily for several weeks this resulted in weight loss, reduction in body mass index, body fat and waist circumference.

Additionally, studies have also shown that although diet beverages contribute a low amount of calories, replacing diet beverages with water intake also has shown to promote weight loss.

📥 How Much Water Should You Drink?

There is not a specific amount of water that you should drink to promote weight loss. However, in general for healthy weight loss it is recommended to remain properly hydrated.

Everyone’s needs for hydrations are variable depending on climate, activity level, age, sex and more. For example, a marathon runner will need more water daily than someone who is inactive due to water lost through breath and sweat.

A practical way to see if you’re well hydrated is paying attention to your body weight before and after exercise, urine color and thirst. This is also known as WUT (body weight, urine, thirst).

In general, consuming 64 ounces of water per day is enough to achieve proper hydration for most individuals.

In addition, consuming water rich foods like fruits and vegetables can help contribute to staying hydrated and are healthy options to promote weight loss and overall well-being.

Woman drinking a glass of water

📋 Practical Tips for Incorporating More Water into Your Weight Loss Journey

Here are some practical tips to help you incorporate more water into your weight loss journey:

  1. Set a daily water intake goal: Aim for at least 8 cups (64 ounces) of water per day. Bringing a reusable water bottle with you throughout the day may help you reach this goal.
  2. Use water as a pre-meal ritual: Drink a glass of water before each meal to help control your appetite.
  3. Infuse water with flavors: Add natural flavors like lemon, cucumber, or mint to make drinking water more enjoyable.
  4. Set reminders and create habits: Use phone alarms or a water bottle with time markers to remind yourself to drink water regularly.

Related: What happens if you drink water while fasting?

✅ Potential Challenges and Considerations

While drinking water has numerous benefits, it’s essential to avoid over hydration, which can lead to an imbalance in electrolytes.

Moderation is key, and individual water needs may vary based on factors such as activity level, climate, and overall health. Listen to your body and adjust your water intake accordingly.

Woman feeling dizzy after drinkingw ater

📑 Conclusion

Drinking water is an often overlooked but powerful tool in the weight loss journey. From reducing calorie intake to acting as an appetite suppressant, hydration plays a vital role in supporting your efforts to achieve a healthy weight.

So, as you embark on your weight loss journey, don’t forget to keep that water bottle close – it just might be the extra push you need to reach your goals.

However, remember that water alone will not help you lose significant weight, overall lifestyle changes including nutrition and activity level are pertinent as well.

It takes hard work! Remember to consult with a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) for personalized advice and recommendations tailored to your specific needs.

❔ Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Water Should I Drink to Lose Weight?

In general, it is recommended to drink at least 64 ounces of water per day for proper hydration. However, water intake recommendations are variable depending on the individual person and should account for climate, activity level, age, sex and more.

Easiest way to know if you’re staying properly hydrated is looking at your urine color and paying attention to if you’re thirsty. Proper hydration may help you lose weight as discussed above.

Can You Lose Belly Fat By Drinking Water?

Drinking water is not enough to lose belly fat, however drinking adequate amounts of water and changing other aspects of your daily life including nutrition and activity level can all help you lose belly fat and promote overall weight loss.

How Much Weight Will I Lose if I Only Drink Water for 30 days?

It is not recommended that you only drink water for 30 days since this could result in severe weight loss. Healthy weight loss should be slow and progressive.

Fasting for 30 days would result in fast weight loss, however could result in negative side effects. It is important to make sustainable changes to lose weight and keep it off.

  • Roxanne Trotter
    MS, RDN

    Registered Dietitian Roxy, fueled by her love for food and wellness, tackles misinformation head-on. Her Master's in Human Nutrition and diverse experience (weight management, hospitals) equip her to translate complex health topics, especially those related to water quality. Through her own practice (Nutremedies LLC) and writing for Water Filter Guru, Roxy empowers readers with accurate, evidence-based information, helping them make informed choices for a healthier life, one sip at a time.

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