Day 5 of the weight loss plan is to put into practice a new habit which will make a huge impact on your weight loss success. Today I am talking about drinking water for weight loss. So go ahead and grab a bottle of the clear stuff before you read on.
Although I’ve titled day 5 as “Drinking Water For Weight Loss”, let’s be clear from the beginning. H2O is not a magic potion that will burn fat and strip your body of all the unwanted pounds.
However, I believe that drinking water and weight loss are directly correlated. In other words, drinking water will help with weight loss. Let me explain.
Studies have shown that drinking H2O can enhance your metabolism. For example, research showed that drinking 500 ml (about 2 cups) of water increased metabolic rate by 30%. The increase occurred within 10 min and reached a maximum after 30-40 min. (Source). The same study estimated that when we are drinking about 2 liters of H2O per day, our energy expenditure equals to about 96 cals.
As well, drinking cold water is better when weight loss is the objective. The body will have to heat up the water to the normal bodily temperature and for this process our bodies will expend even more energy.
Drinking water may also help to curb hunger and stop overeating. We often confuse thirst for hunger. So when you feel like snacking because you “feel” hungry, drinking a glass of H2O first may alleviate your “hunger pangs”.
When it comes to drinking beverages other than water, our culture is really bad . I am not talking about drinking tea or coffee. I am talking about the multitude of juices, sodas, sports drinks, flavored plain or mineral waters that lurk at us everywhere we go. These are nothing but sugary, often nutrient empty, calorie-rich temptations. And by the way the diet sodas are processed and perceived by our bodies and brain… they are just as bad…
So even though water does not directly affect your weight, drinking water is a must for weight loss. It has no calories, but the commonly consumed beverages have many…
Let’s have a look at the caloric content of the common drinks/beverages:
- Water – 0 calories
- Coke – 138 calories per 12 ounce can
- Pepsi – 150 calories per 12 ounce can
- Minute Maid Lemonade – 150 calories in 12 ounces
- Snapple Apple drink – 150 calories in 12 ounces
- Sunkist Orange Soda – 170 calories per 12 ounce can
- Nesquik (Nestlé chocolate low fat milk) – 170 calories in an 8 ounce bottle. This translates to a whopping 255 calories per 12 ounces!
Now let’s have a look at 8 ounces of some fruit juices we and our children are drinking:
- Apple juice – 114 cals
- Freshly squeezed orange juice – 112 cals
- Cranberry cocktail – 137 cals
- Grape juice – 152 cals
It is much better to eat the fruit and satisfy your thirst with water. For example, there are only 60 cals in one medium sized orange. So, one is much better off to eat an orange than drinking the juice.
Water is an essential nutrient without which life could not exist. It is more important than any other nutrient. You can survive only a few days without it, whereas you can live for weeks and even months without other essential nutrients. In addition to keeping you hydrated, drinking H2O will:
- help you reduce caloric content from your diet by simply replacing calorie-rich nutrient empty beverages
- hydration will boost your metabolism up to 3%
- it will curb your appetite
- it will help metabolize fat
- it will help to get rid of toxins
- it will keep your skin supple
- by the way, drinking this Nature’s free gift is also important for reducing cellulite
Start drinking water early in the morning and stop drinking it around dinner time. This way you won’t have to be concerned about night time bathroom breaks.
If you are not used to drinking water, start with small amounts and increase the amount each day. As well, don’t gulp it all at once. It is better to spread out drinking it throughout the day. Your body will thank you as you will feel more energetic and refreshed.
How Much Water Should You Be Drinking
Water needs depend on many factors including diet, physical activity, environmental temperature, humidity, among others. Typical recommendation for adults are based on the amount of expended energy under normal conditions (temperature and humidity).
For example if a person expends 2000 calories per day, he or she will need to be drinking 2 to 3 liters of H2O which is 7 – 11 cups. Use our calculators to determine how much energy you expend daily.
I keep saying that drinking water for weight loss is essential, but actually what I am also saying is that one needs it for hydration.
Water, is the purest way to get hydrated. However, there are many healthy fruits and vegetables, such as watermelon, tomato, cucumber, cantaloupe, that are full of H2O. When you eat these, they will also help you keep hydrated. Soups are also excellent for hydration, specifically broth based soups.
My favorite is skim milk. I love drinking it because it is loaded with vitamin D, fat free (excellent if you are on a weight loss diet) and rich in protein!
Alcoholic beverages, and drinks that contain caffeine (coffee and tea) are not good substitutes for water. Both caffeine and alcohol act as diuretics and they will cause the body to lose about half of the liquid from the beverage.
In conclusion, I would recommend you buy a bottle which is easy to carry and drink from. A refillable drinking bottle is more environmentally friendly than using a plastic throw-away one. But, in a long run it does not matter where and how you’ll get the water as long as you make a habit of drinking it. When you’ll do nothing else but replace the empty calories of the common drinks you are drinking now with water, weight loss will follow…