Drinking Water to Lose Weight – How Water Effects Weight Loss

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After reading the book Turn Up The Heat: Unlock the Fat-Burning Power of Your Metabolism by Dr. Philip Goglia, I am even more convinced that at least 50% of our population operates in a habitually dehydrated state. This dehydrated state, ultimately shuts down metabolism and makes it very difficult to achieve our fat loss goals.

There are three simple reasons why drinking water and weight loss go together:

  • Water makes up 60% of our body
  • Water appears to increase metabolism for 60 minutes after the meal
  • Drinking water increases satiety and may decrease calorie intake

With the basic knowledge of the role water plays in our body, we must implement new ideas and REASONS to drink more water. One of my favorite analogies is this: water is the oil to our body’s machine. To ensure a properly running machine, it must be maintained and oiled! Since so much of our body’s mass consists of water, it makes it even more important to ensure that the body’s needs for this are met.

Look at the list below…these are the vital things that water does for your body:

  • Water dissolves and delivers nutrients to cells
  • Water keeps your blood from getting too thick (blood viscosity)
  • Water helps your body remove toxins from the body
  • Water helps to balance electrolytes
  • Water manages body temperature like a thermostat through perspiration and sweat

Does Water Actually Help You To Lose Weight?

A study, published in the journal Obesity in 2010 gave tested how water impacts weight loss in overweight and obese subjects. First, the researchers brought a group of people into the lab, had them drink two glasses of water (500 ml) and then set them loose on a buffet. The control group was set loose on the buffet without pre-hydrating. The researchers noted that the water group consumed about 50 fewer calories than the dry group.

Then they put them on a restrictive diet (1200 calories for women, 1500 calories for men) and sent the water group home with instructions to drink 2 glasses of water prior to each meal. After 12 weeks they brought both groups back to the lab and tested them to see if the water group lost more weight than the dry group?

Not surprisingly (at least to us), the group instructed to drink water lost 4.4% of their body weight and 5.4 kg (11.9 lbs) of body fat while the group who did not pre-supplement with water lost just 1.1% of their body weight and just 3.3 kg (7.3 lbs) of body fat.

Even though these results are pretty astounding, Blythe and myself often see even BETTER results in real life when our clients add more water to their diet. There are many reasons why we see even better results in our clients:

  1. We do not overly restrict calories as they did in this study
  2. We customize the diet and exercise recommendations to the needs of the client (this study gave the same diet to everyone)
  3. We promote the type of exercise that enhances metabolism and healthy hormone production
  4. We take a holistic approach to fat loss

How Much Water Should You Drink?

My first answer is more than you’re drinking now. The truth is, if you’re mildly dehydrated like most people we meet, even adding 2-3 glasses of water per day may produce results.

Ideally, however, we recommend up to one ounce of water per pound of bodyweight (maxing out at 1 gallon per day), especially for those who workout a lot and lose a lot of water through sweat. For most of our clients, 3 liters per day is the sweet spot.

The Theory Of Why Lack Of Water Leads To FAT Storage – Insulation Advantage

It is believed that the body’s survival strategy, when not supplied with adequate water, is to store fat subcutaneously (under the skin) as insulation to maintain a consistent core temperature. Our bodies are fat hoarding machines!  This holds true even if you are entirely on target with your food program. Based on these findings I can STILL strongly recommend that the best way to kick off a new food program is by guaranteeing that you are first drinking enough water.

Bonus Tip: If You Feel Like A Fish, Eat Your Water!

Inevitably, I run into people who HATE water. My recommendation to them is first, buy some Italian Volcano USDA Organic Lemon Juice and put a little in your water to give it nice flavor. My second recommendation is to EAT YOUR WATER! It’s a little known fact that fruits and vegetables, when eaten in sufficient quantities can deliver a glass or two worth of hydration to the body! So, eat more veggies and fruits and you’ll knock out a couple glasses of water from your daily intake!

References:

Dennis EA, Dengo AL, Comber DL, Flack KD, Savla J, Davy KP, Davy BM. Water consumption increases weight loss during a hypocaloric diet intervention in middle-aged and older adults. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2010 Feb;18(2):300-7.

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