Will Drinking Water Help Me Lose Weight?

Drinking water may help you lose weight.
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Question: I'm struggling with my weight loss diet. I mean I'm sticking with my calorie counts, but the weight loss is really slow going. I've read that drinking water can help with weight loss. Is that true and why?

Answer: Yes, it is possible that drinking more water throughout the day will help you lose weight. So why is that?

One possible reason for this weight loss could be that that drinking more water could affect your metabolism, which would cause you to burn more calories. But, I actually haven't seen any evidence for that to be the reason for any weight loss.

Drinking water certainly helps you lose weight when it becomes a substitute for high-calorie beverages, such as sugary sodas and other sweet drinks. I mean, if you typically drink 12 ounces of soda each day, replacing it with water could easily save almost 1,000 calories each week and help you lose a little over a pound each month. I think this is probably the best explanation.

Population studies suggest that people who drink more water tend to consume fewer calories. So that could be due to swapping out the sodas, or it could be just part of an overall shift in health-conscious, meaning that making one good decision (drinking more water) leads to another good decision (eating right) and maybe even another good choice (exercising more).

Some experts believe that feeling hungry may be an indicator that you need water. I'm not sure if that's true, but drinking water instead of eating a snack will reduce the calories you consume.

Finally, increasing your water intake before meals may help you watch your weight because it takes up space in your stomach. This, in turn, may reduce the amount of food you consume during a meal -- at least if you're middle age or older; studies don't indicate that young people who drink water before a meal tend to eat less.

Best Ways to Drink More Water

You don't have to drink plain tap water to avoid extra calories if you don't like it. Mineral water works just fine, or you can add lemons or limes to your water for flavor. Herbal teas have virtually no calories unless you add sugar and milk. Other healthy beverages include 100-percent fruit juices, vegetable juices, and low-fat milk. They contain some calories but also offer lots of vitamins and minerals. It's important to note that vegetable juices can be high in sodium.

Coffee and black or green tea contain caffeine, and many people think that the diuretic effect of caffeine offsets the amount of water supplied, but recent studies suggest that's not true. Caffeine is a nervous system stimulant, and caffeine-sensitive individuals may need to avoid excess consumption of highly caffeinated beverages like coffee, colas, and energy drinks.

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