However, the medical community is still unsure about how much of an influence water consumption has on weight loss.
In this article, learn six reasons that drinking water may help a person to lose weight. We also look at how much water a person should drink each day.
Six reasons why drinking water may help you lose weight
Researchers are still unsure why drinking more water helps a person to lose weight, but many studies show some positive correlation between increased water consumption and weight loss.
Below are six reasons that water may help with losing weight.
1. Water is a natural appetite suppressant
When the stomach senses that it is full, it sends signals to the brain to stop eating. Water can help to take up space in the stomach, leading to a feeling of fullness and reducing hunger.
A person may also think that they are hungry when they are actually thirsty. Drinking a glass of water before reaching for something to eat can help to curb unnecessary snacking.
In a 2014 study, 50 overweight females drank 500 milliliters (mL) of water 30 minutes before breakfast, lunch, and dinner, in addition to their regular water consumption, for 8 consecutive weeks.
The participants experienced a reduction in body weight, body fat, and body mass index. They also reported appetite suppression.
A study from the previous year had yielded similar results.
It is easy to accumulate liquid calories by drinking soda, juice, or sweetened coffee or tea.
Most people also ignore how many calories they consume in sports drinks or alcoholic beverages.
Replacing even a few high-calorie drinks each day for water or other no-calorie beverages, such as herbal tea, may have long-term weight loss benefits.
There is no standard recommendation for how much water to drink. Some people require more or less water, depending on a variety of factors, including:
- activity level
- body size
- sun exposure
- health status
Most health authorities suggest ranges for daily water intake. The following water intake recommendations are from the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) in the United States:
- 2,700 mL/day for adult women
- 3,700 mL/day for adult men
Getting enough water
A 2013 study of results from the National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey 2005–2010 found that most adolescent males drink more water than NAM recommends each day.
However, results showed that many adults, especially older adults, did not drink enough water to meet NAM’s guidelines.
Of the individuals aged 20–50, 42.7 percent of males and 40.6 percent of females did not meet NAM recommendations. Of those 71 years of age or older, 94.7 percent of males and 82.6 of females did not meet the guidelines.
The following tips can help to increase water intake:
- drinking at least one 8-ounce glass of water with each meal
- carrying water in a reusable water bottle
- drinking extra water when exercising or during physical activity
- drinking extra water when it is warm, humid, or very sunny
- keeping a glass of water near the bed
- eating more soups and liquid-rich meals, such as curries, stews, and smoothies
- eating fruits and vegetables with high water contents, especially berries, grapes, melons, tomatoes, celery, cucumbers, and lettuce
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