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Tips to optimize your weight loss by just drinking water

Tips to optimize your weight loss by just drinking water
Dr. Constance Odom, MD Picture of Dr. Constance Odom, MD

Medically reviewed by

Written by our editorial team.

Last Edited 5 min read

Drinking more water can definitely help you lose weight, and it is one of the easiest things you can do to keep excess calories out of your diet. There are several ways that you can lose weight with water, and the more of it that you drink the better. You should try to substitute most of the drinks in your diet with water, especially drinks like soda, juice and other sweetened drinks. Even drinks that are sweetened with artificial sweeteners have proven to be potentially dangerous for your health, as artificial sweeteners can have a negative effect on your metabolism and increase your chance of developing Type 2 diabetes and other chronic illnesses. There are many different ways that drinking more water can help you lose weight, and they are described below.


Drinking water before a meal helps reduce your appetite

Before you eat any meal, you should drink water, during your meal, and after your meal. It has been suggested by some that at least part of appetite is related to thirst, so there is always the chance that you may be dehydrated before you eat, and drinking water before your meal may help with your food cravings. On average, drinking water before eating a meal results in 75 fewer calories per meal, which ends up being an enormous amount of 6,300 calories per month, assuming that you are eating 3 meals per day. This is from nothing more than drinking water before eating, and what seems like such a simple thing to do can really make a huge difference in your weight loss efforts and help to keep you from gaining weight. So, if you haven't been doing it, definitely try drinking water before eating and see if it makes a difference in how much you eat and how satisfied you are.


Water is the best replacement for calorie drinks

Calorie drinks are a source of empty calories; that is, they add more calories to your diet without much substance. It can be easy to drink one or two cans of soda per day, and this can add an extra 300+ calories to your diet per day, which can end up being 2,100 calories per week. You can easily put on 1-3 pounds of fat or more per month just from drinking a few cans of soda per day, and it just ends up being a very unnecessary source of weight gain when you can replace soda with water. Even carbonated flavored water is much better than soda and can work as an alternative if you need something that is carbonated, but you should totally avoid any drinks with calories if you are trying to lose weight at all and replace them all with water.


Artificially sweetened drinks are not good for you

Studies have shown that artificially sweetened drinks will not work to help you lose weight, and can actually have the opposite effect on your body and metabolism. So, you will need to also replace these drinks with water or unsweetened drinks in your diet if you are trying to lose weight. Studies have found that aspartame, the chemical used to sweeten many diet drinks, can increase your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes in the same way that sugar drinks can, and it causes a release of insulin even though there is no actual sugar in those drinks. There are also other metabolic effects that have not been fully studied from aspartame, sucralose, Ace-K, and the other artificial sweeteners that are regularly used to flavor drinks. It's best to stay on the safe side and replace those drinks with water, or one natural alternative that is now being used more often is Stevia flavored drinks.


Stevia flavored drinks are one option outside of water

If you can't stand the idea of drinking just water all the time, you still have plenty of other options available that are safe for your health. Unsweetened tea (green, white or any flavor), unsweetened coffee, or drinks that are sweetened with Stevia are all perfectly safe and healthy options that won't cause weight gain or give you any metabolic problems. Stevia drinks are now available for pretty much every common drink that is flavored with sugar such as soda drinks, coffee, tea, and other drinks. Juice isn't going to cause any metabolic problems, but if you do drink juice you need to be extra careful with your portions; juice is a source of empty calories even though it has nutrients, and really the best way to get the health benefits and nutrients of juice is to eat the fruit.


Drink more water if you are dehydrated

If you find that you are dehydrated regularly, you need to be drinking more water no matter what, as your body needs to have a sufficient amount of water for digestion and its numerous metabolic processes. You can tell whether or not you are dehydrated by the color of your urine; if it is light yellow or pale then you are properly hydrated, but the darker it is the greater the chance that you are not getting enough water in your diet. If you notice that you are regularly dehydrated, try to always have a bottle of water with you and try to reduce the sodium intake in your diet, while also avoiding any drinks that are sweetened with sugar or artificial sweeteners.


Drinking cold water can boost your metabolism

If you do drink water on a regular basis, some studies have shown that it is better to drink it cold. The energy that the body expends to warm up cold water can cause a temporary boost in your metabolism. Although the boost isn't dramatic, it is just another easy way to burn more calories and speed up your metabolism. The increased metabolic effects occur within about 10 minutes after drinking cold water, and it continues for another 40 or so minutes. So, drinking cold water has a few extra health benefits and is preferable but not totally necessary; the main thing is that you drink water on a regular basis no matter what temperature it is and try to replace as many sugar drinks in your diet with water as possible.


Drinking more water also reduces your risk of illness

Aside from some of the potential weight loss benefits, increasing your intake of water can reduce your risk of several illnesses. Studies have found that people who drink five 8 ounce glasses of water or more per day, almost 50% less likely to die of coronary heart disease compared to people who drank two or fewer glasses per day. Other studies have found that people who drink 8 glasses of water per day are less likely to get illnesses like colon cancer, obesity, urinary stone disease, urinary tract cancer, and other illnesses. Drinking water can also help alleviate symptoms that may be associated with dehydration such as headaches, fatigue, toxin buildup and more. It also helps keep your skin looking hydrated and fresh, and it helps to regulate your body temperature and keeps your joints and muscles lubricated so that you are more flexible and less likely to be injured while working out. In general, there are dozens of health benefits of drinking more water including the potential to lose weight, with few downsides so try to get as much of it in your daily diet as you can!


This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your physician about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Nu Image Medical may not offer the medications or services mentioned in this article.