All of the experts agree that water is an important
part of any healthy weight loss plan. But why? How can a
drink with no nutritional value help you lose weight?
As it turns out, water is beneficial in numerous ways.
Here are 10 of the ways water can help you lose weight and
improve your general health:
Water makes you less hungry.
Thirst is often mistaken for hunger. If you can't seem
to stop snacking, drink a glass of water or two.
A study by the American Dietetic Association found that
people who drank water before meals tended to consume 75
fewer calories at those meals.
Over a year, such a reduction would add up to a 14.5
pound weight loss.
Water speeds up your metabolism.
Fat metabolism occurs when the liver transforms fat
into energy. The liver also acts as a secondary filtration
system for the kidneys.
Even mild dehydration can cause the kidneys to stop
working efficiently. This, in turn, forces the liver to
stop metabolizing fat and start doing the kidneys' job -
bad news for your weight loss efforts.
Water aids digestion.
Our digestive systems need plenty of water to break
down the food we eat and absorb nutrition from it.
Water also promotes regular bowel movements. Without
enough water, constipation may occur.
Water fights bloating.
Many dieters avoid drinking too much water because they
think it will cause them to bloat.
In reality, the opposite is true. When you introduce
more water into your system, your body will let go of
retained fluid, resulting in a slimmer you.
Water cushions your joints.
If you work out frequently, you know that joint pain
can be a real deterrent to exercise. Your joints need
moisture in order to stay lubricated.
If you're dehydrated, minor joint aches and pains can
become significant, making it that much harder to hit the
Water stops dehydration in its tracks.
Dehydration is no joke. A 1% loss of body fluids can
hinder the body's ability to metabolize fat, and can leave
you feeling weak, bloated, and thirsty.
A 5% fluid deficiency can cause extreme fatigue,
weakness, heart palpitations, fever, muscle cramps,
headache, and nausea.
Dehydration of 10% or more is frequently fatal.
Symptoms of severe dehydration include vomiting, chest
pain, muscle spasms, confusion, dim vision, seizures, and
Water has other health benefits, too.
Water helps carry oxygen to our cells, making us feel
more energized. It is also a crucial factor in
muscle-building and toning.
People who drink one or two glasses of water before
each meal are less likely to suffer from high cholesterol,
heart disease, or stroke. It also dilutes the sodium in
our systems and helps reduce high blood pressure.
How much water is enough?
Doctors used to advise us to drink eight 8-oz glasses
of water each day. That advice has changed somewhat in
Now we're told to drink one ounce of water for every
two pounds of body weight. Therefore, a 200 pound man
would need to drink 100 oz of water each day to stay
This newer approach is particularly helpful for anyone
who fights chronic dehydration, like diabetics. It is also
beneficial to those who lose significant amounts of fluid
from sweating during exercise.
While it is possible to drink too much water, you would
need to drink a truly massive amount to do harm to
yourself. Most people should be more concerned with
dehydration than with drinking too much.
When you're trying to lose weight and get healthy,
think of water as your best friend. If you're not getting
enough, increase your intake slowly.
Start with a glass of water with each meal. Then add a
glass between meals. Work your way up to 64 oz each day,
or more if you're in danger of dehydration. The rewards
will be worth the change in lifestyle.