“Drinking water for weight loss? Does this even work?” I assume those are the thoughts that go through the mind of anyone who comes across a piece of article like this one, especially for the first time.
When looking to lose weight, it might always and most times seem like an uphill battle. Interestingly, it’s not that complicated. This is because we have resources all around us (like water), that could help with this process. The beautiful thing is, most of these amazing resources are free!!
In this article, we are going to look at how drinking water can be of great help when trying to lose weight. Among the major points detailed in this article are some of the most common questions other people ask especially from google.
Don’t worry, I didn’t have to sneak around your house to see you type these questions into Google. I only did a google search to see what others ask about water for weight loss.
The benefits of water for weight loss include; appetite control, increased calories burnt, excretion of wastes from the body reduces calorie intake, helps fat burning and is also essential for physical exercise.
Benefits of drinking water for weight loss
Hydration alone is very beneficial to the health of a person. Aiding weight loss is another amazing benefit of water which makes it very impressive. Here are some of the benefits to enjoy when drinking water for weight loss;
1. Natural appetite control
Most of the time you drink water, the brain senses that you full and notifies the other organs to stop taking in food. This will help you to cut down on the food intake caused by a big appetite. As a result, his kind of person will cut on their weight and as well as benefit from other benefits of drinking water.
2. Increment in calories burnt
Many pieces of research have come out to applaud drinking water for burning extra calories. It’s even further better when someone drinks cold water because the body would have to work hard in order to warm up the water hence burning more calories.
3. Excretion of wastes from the body
When the body is hydrated, it makes it easy to put out wastes from the body like urine. Kidneys can be aided to handle their role of filtering out the toxins and other wastes.
Just like the urine, most of the other excretion is also helped by water. If excretion doesn’t happen as supposed, some organs in the body could be damaged which in the long run might fail metabolism. This is where water becomes very important.
4. Reduces liquid calories intake
When we replace other high calories drinks with water, we will have weight loss benefits. This also causes one to develop the sense of feeling full hence not taking in any more drinks.
5. Fat burning
Daily consumption of water can metabolize the stored fat or carbohydrates hence burning fat from food and drink. Without water, it would be impossible to burn fat.
6. Essential for physical exercises
Regular drinking of water can boost your performance when working out. It is also important to note that water helps to hydrate the body after workouts and other physical exercises.
The body depends on water for almost everything. Much of this water is lost while you workout. Drinking water could be the best way to replace it.
Having looked at the benefits of drinking water for weight loss, let’s see some of the;
Most frequently asked questions about drinking water for weight loss.
Is cold water bad for you?
Drinking water on a daily basis is essential to digestion, excretion of wastes, keeping all other organs healthy and many other uses. Regardless of all these positives, here is why you should not opt for cold water;
1. It slows down digestion
Since the temperature imbalance is caused between the water and body, a lot of energy is spent to correct and regulate the temperature. In all this process the blood vessels shrink thereby restricting digestion.
2. Affects the heart rate
Drinking cold water can drop your heart rate as some studies have shown.
3. Could cause sore throat
This could be the reason many discourage you from drinking cold water due to increasing the chances of having a core throat and stuffy nose. Mucus tends to build up especially after drinking cold water forming a protective layer of the respiratory tract. Research has shown that people with Achalasia condition (a condition where swallowing food is difficult)had their condition worsened.
4. Break down of fats
Whenever you drink cold water most especially after a meal, the fat is solidified hence making the breakdown of unwanted fats in the body difficult.
5. Coldwater could also trigger migraines for those who already suffer from them. You can see further details in this ancient study.
Benefits of drinking hot water for weight loss
- Hot Water drinking helps the body to have the needed fluids to improve digestion and improve bowel movements.
- It relieves congestion and gives you a relaxed feeling.
- Hot water will keep the body temperature system up so that metabolism is not hindered while the body tries to raise the temperature.
- It helps your intestines to contract thus helping to relieve waste products that are bloating your body.
- Hot water when mixed with other weight loss supporting fruits or roots, could have magical benefits for weight loss. For example, hot water and lemon are very popular in this case.
All of these are important for weight loss. In summary, hot water will give you most if not all the benefits of drinking cold or warm water, in addition to the benefits listed above.
Benefits of drinking cold water for weight loss
“Drinking water is very beneficial to your health”
You have probably heard that a billion times.
I may not give conclusive advice as to what works best as of cold or hot water. Let us take a look at the benefits of drinking cold water as regards to weight loss. Then, you will be the judge.
- Drinking cold water helps boost metabolism since the body has to work harder to raise the body temperature hence burning calories.
- Drinking a glass of cold water before a meal could help you feel fuller hence less calories taken in when you eat less food.
- Cold water helps to cool down the body if taken during exercise or workouts.
Can you lose belly fat by drinking water?
Among the ways drinking water can help in giving you a flat stomach is an increment in your metabolism. This can raise the total energy spent per day on various activities in the body.
On another note, drinking water has the sensation more so after eating where one may feel too full to take in more foods.
The drinking of water can also relieve constipation and decrease bloating. All which fuel the weight-loss engine to achieve the desired weight goals.
Related article: Does drinking water help you to lose weight?
It’s important to note that: Drinking water alone may not give you a flat stomach. Greater results will be achieved when you use the water for its advantages listed above while developing exercise routines. Consistency is very much key in this case, just like in any weight loss case.
Does water flush out fat?
Drinking water supports the excretion process. Fat after going through the fat burning process, leaves the body through urine, exhalation, and perspiration. All of these processes involve an amount of water which means without it they wouldn’t take place. This could help us conclude on the fact that water actually flushes out fat.
How do I know if I have water weight?
It’s very common to notice a sudden increase in your weight over a few days. In most cases, this is caused by a gain in water weight due to a number of reasons. For example taking in a lot of sodium, dehydration, hormones, medication, high consumption of carbohydrates, and others.
An increase in water drinking and consumption of potassium can help alleviate the water weight by giving the kidneys help to deal with the excess fluids. To tell if you’re having a gain in your water weight here are signs to guide you on that;
1. Swelling on your ankles, Fingers, or wrists
Whenever you notice swelling of ankles or wrists then it’s possible you have retained more water in the body. A common experience is when you notice that socks leave indentations when put off.
2. Pressing your skin and Indentation keeps on for seconds
Usually when you have a simple press on to the skin and then an indentation is left onto it for a couple seconds. This could indicate that your body can be holding onto some water.
3. The gain of weight in a short spell of time
You could be undergoing a weight loss campaign, and on a particular morning after weighing yourself, you notice that you have put on more weight. This extra weight could be water weight.
4. When your stomach is swollen and feels bloated
One meal isn’t enough to give you a noticeable weight gain right away, but the bloating feeling is possible. Therefore, it’s possible the whole condition is due to water weight.
Most, if not all, of the weight fluctuation instances, are attributed to high levels of water retention in the body hence water weight.
How can I lose water weight quickly?
Water weight is a common concern to Athletes and bodybuilders, and also to the most important fact that a big percentage of our bodies are made up of water.
Edema is the name given for the build-up of fluids in the body. This can be the reason why you may not be seeing significant changes during weight loss. The quantity of water the body retains largely depends on one’s eating habits which can lead to the swelling in the hands, feet, ankles and legs. Water weight doesn’t pose any serious effects on human health. However, Edema could be a side effect of life-threating health conditions like heart disease or liver and kidney diseases. Therefore, here are the quick ways to lose water weight;
1. Intense Physical Exercise
For reasons of swelling due to muscle repairs, the intensive workout routines could lead to water retention for a short while. However, in the long run, all the weight starts to wear off keeping the right water levels in the body.
When you see swellings in the muscles, don’t stop exercising as this will soon dissolve with further exercise.
2. Drink More Water
This might sound like I am insane, but this practice works like magic. Taking more water can actually solve the water weight issue. Studies have shown that taking at least 2 liters of water per day can amount to ninety-five calories burned thus helping weight loss.
3. Reduce the intake of Salt
If you didn’t know already, sodium is a chemical element commonly found in salt. This means that refraining or reducing salt intake can cut down on your water weight.
4. Substitute Carbohydrates with other foods
Try the foods that are fiber-rich instead of the carbohydrates which will increase the water weight. Every gram of glycogen –form of energy not used up from eating carbohydrates, contains 3g of H20 on it.
Therefore, making small replacements of carbohydrates like white bread, rice, sugar, and pasta with fiber-rich vegetables can be of help. You can do this until you notice good changes.
5. Handling Menstruation conditions
Women experience changes in their hormones which sometimes increases water retention in the body i.e. Estrogen and Progesterone hormones. When one gets through the menstrual period, this whole condition turns to normal hence no need to worry.
It is also worth noting that women usually crave salty foods and carbohydrates during this period that contribute to water retention in the body. Its highly advised to take a supplement of magnesium oxide, plenty of water, black coffee or tea. These are natural diuretics that help to alleviate water retention. (the supplement is the only un natural).
6. Stress Management
Whenever under enormous stress, the levels of cortisol –a hormone that affects the amount of water the body keeps, is increased. Therefore adhering to ways of managing your stress levels can solve the water amount kept in the body.
How much weight can you lose drinking a gallon of water a day?
A gallon of water is about 4.5 liters. Question is; can you drink this much a day?
Drinking enough water is far important to our bodies than just losing weight. You probably heard of the 8×8 rule, which basically means we are advised to take eight 8-ounce glasses per day. This works out to 16 ounces per day. (1.8 liters)
Having made the analysis above, you can see that a gallon might be overkill if you decide to go this route. Too much water could also drop your levels of sodium too low which is a condition called hyponatremia
If drinking a gallon a day works out for you, then the weight you might lose will still depend on your body. It will also depend on what your workout routine looks like.
Effect of drinking water on weight loss with addition to other lifestyle changes
Water alone has got a great impact towards burning of calories hence achieving weight loss goals. With lifestyle changes, for example, regular exercise and diet changes, the rate at which one burns out calories will definitely increase.
This basically means the person with this kind of practice of drinking water and having changes done in their lifestyle will cut off more weight within a short time period.
However, body weight reduction and gain varies from one individual to another depending on a wide range of factors like hormones and genes, hence the exact weight loss may differ from person to another.
How much weight can you lose drinking only water for a month?
A research conducted on women over a period of 12 months showed women to have lost 2kg when they were taking water alone.
This study goes on to explain the effect of water drinking on weight reduction, Body Mass Index decrease, and reducing the weight around the waist area.
The most impressive results came in when the women drank cold water as compared to warm water. Therefore, drinking half a liter of water will increase the calories burned in a particular time which should lead to weight loss.
Do water pills help you lose weight?
Diuretics are also called Water pills. They are prescribed given to someone to increase the amount of water and salt expelled from the body. The Diuretics medication is mainly used to aid the kidneys to reduce the amount of water in the body through urine.
Water pills help to reduce blood pressure, prevent fluid build-up and decrease swelling. Hence are commonly given to people with hypertension, heart failure, and idiopathic edema.
It should be strongly noted that water pills don’t aid weight loss, neither do they resolve bloating. These pills should be taken with guidance from the doctor.
Water pills are associated with side effects like; dehydration, constipation, too much ruining, dizziness, low pressure, high heart rate, and muscle cramping.
On the other hand, if you persist on taking the water pill for a long period of time then you could instead increase in weight.
Does drinking water make your stomach bigger?
There are instances where the stomach bulges when you take a lot of water, but this should have no health concern unless otherwise.
Whenever someone takes too much water, the stomach expands pushing against other organs in the body. In this process, the stomach will push outwards, but this is for a small given time (temporary). As soon as the body processes the water then the body can regain its original shape.
It’s also important not to mistake this to be a gain in body fat. Still, if the habit of taking too much is prolonged, it could induce fat hence body weight. Therefore, your stomach will grow bigger if you take too much water but this is not a call of alarm when noticed if it’s done for a small period of time and not regularly.
The negative effects of drinking water
With several medical personnel and nutritionists advising to take at least eight – 8-ounce glasses of water a day, It harder to think of any negative effects.
Despite the numerous benefits attributed to drinking water, there are health concerns to drinking too much more than what’s required by the body. Here are some of the downsides;
- Did you know that Headaches are signs of both dehydration and over-hydration? Probably you didn’t. The salt utilization done in our blood will begin to go down whenever we take a lot of water. That action will cause cells in every organ in our body to begin swelling (including the brain) thus a headache sensation.
- Exhaustion of potassium in our bodies can come from drinking too much water. Lack of this essential nutrient can cause chest pains, leg pains, irritation, and others.
- Fluid overloadin the body is a highly possible outcome causing low sodium levels thus bring in vomiting, nausea, cramps, and fatigue. The condition is called Hyponatremia.
- There is a sensation feeling of fatigue and tiredness when we take too much water. This mainly due to the heavy workload of the kidneys when filtering the water and creating a fluid level balance in the bloodstream.
- Expect to frequent the washrooms whenever we take a lot of water which is a response from the body that it cannot handle absorption of fluid.
- There is an instance of low electrolyte levels when we take too much water and it can bring about muscle spasms and cramping.
Have a check to know if your body is hydrated and the simple way to have this done is by checking the color of our urine. Dark yellow means you could probably need more water. Thirst is another way to tell when you are dehydrated.
However, it’s highly advised to find out from your doctor or medical personnel the quantity of your water intake so that you don’t drink too much to lead to hyponatremia and impaired brain function.