What Are The Benefits Of Drinking Water For Weight Loss? From The YMCA


UPDATED: Wednesday October 31, 2012 4:21 PM

No matter which weight loss plan you are on, you will never escape the recommendation to drink more water. Water is such an essential part of your diet that you can survive much longer without food than you can without water. Whether you drink eight glasses of water per day or simply drink to quench your thirst, you cannot leave water out of a healthy diet and weight-loss regimen.

No Calories: Water is a naturally calorie-free, fat-free and cholesterol-free beverage. You can drink all you want without worrying about excess or empty calories derailing your weight loss. If you do not like to drink water because it is tasteless, squeeze a slice of lemon or lime into your glass. If you have an intense craving for your favorite sweetened drink, pour half a glass of your favorite drink and fill the rest of the glass with pure water. This will save you half the calories, and you will still experience the flavor you love.

Feelings of Fullness: Drinking water can make you feel full between meals. Try sipping a glass of water when unexpected hunger pangs hit. Wait a few minutes before eating to see if you are really hungry or just thirsty. This simple act will cause you to think before you snack, saving you lots of calories. A small study presented at the American Chemical Society showed that drinking two glasses of water before meals caused individuals to eat 75 to 90 fewer calories per meal. If you eat three meals per day, you can save up to 270 calories each day without feeling deprived.

Adequate Hydration: A properly hydrated body is a healthy body. Half of your body is water, but you lose some each day through sweating, urination and metabolism. If you do not replace the water you lose, you can easily become dehydrated. Your bones and muscles contain a significant amount of water, and they cannot perform properly when they are not hydrated well. This means that your workout is less effective, and you will probably get tired more quickly. A dehydrated body holds on to all the water it can get because it does not know when it will get more. This can cause you to gain water weight. When your body has a steady supply of the water it needs, it will gladly get rid of the excess.

Helps the Metabolism: Water plays a role in the metabolism of the food you eat. When you do not drink enough water, your body is not as efficient at this process. A study in the "Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism" found that, in 14 men and women, drinking 17 oz. of water raised the metabolic rate by 30 percent, on average, partly due to the body's attempts to warm the water after ingestion. The study suggests that increasing your water intake by 1.5 L per day for a year could lead to a 5 lb. weight loss, without making any other changes.