Does Water Help You Lose Weight? Losing weight requires a consistent commitment to several lifestyle choices: Eat healthier, reduce calories, exercise more, get 6-8 hours of sleep a night, reduce stress, stay consistent and drink more water. As you can see there are a variety of factors that go into weight loss, but in my experience, if you just focus on increasing your water intake, you’ll find yourself getting closer to reaching your weight loss goal. Here’s why.
Choosing water over caloric and sugary beverages save you calories, but water is also essential for efficient brain function, more energy, hormonal balance, keeping your cells working properly, and improving exercise recovery. Water also can be detoxifying flushing out toxins and boosting your metabolism.
How much water do I need to drink?
As simple as it sounds, drinking more water can be confusing. In my 23 years of experience working with clients, drinking more water could be an 8-ounce glass. If you googled, “How much water you need to drink daily?” You would find too many recommendations and not know which one is right. So I’m going to make it simple for you and give you what I know to be based on current science.
Part of the reason I believe there are various recommendations is that everyone has different needs. The most recommended amount of eight 8-ounce glasses (64 ounces total) should be enough for most people and will boost weight loss for the average person or someone just looking to drop a few pounds. This doesn’t seem hard to do, but according to a recent study done by the CDC, 43% of adults drink less than four cups of water a day, with 7 percent reporting they don’t drink any glasses of water — yikes!
In general, you should let your thirst be your guide. Last week I discussed the importance of practicing more awareness, so knowing if your thirsty could be another way you could work on it. Be careful of overdoing it. Drinking too much water could lead to hyponatremia, also known as water intoxication, where the sodium levels in the body become overly diluted and can lead to swelling in the brain, seizures, and coma.
I exercise and perspire a lot, so do I need to drink more than 64 oz of water?
If you’re like me and love a great sweat during a workout, then you’ll need more water than the standard 64 ounces. After a serious sweat, you could be depleting your body of proper hydration.
According to The National Academy of Sports Medicine, they generally recommend fluid intake for men is 125-130 oz/day (approx. 16 cups) and 91-95 oz/day (approx. 12 cups) for women.
I’m overweight, so how much water do I need to drink?
For overweight or obese people, their water needs are different. A simple math equation for this is to drink half of your body weight in ounces of water. So if you weigh 200 pounds, you should aim for 100 ounces of water a day to aid in weight loss. Water is an essential nutrient and plays a big role in weight loss. Replacing all of your caloric, processed and sugary beverages such as soda, fruit juice, and sweetened iced teas with water will also help boost weight loss.
Although everyone has their own individual hydration needs, shooting for 64 ounces is a good place to start. Let your thirst be your guide and if you’re still thirsty drink more, just don’t overdo it.
A great indicator if you have had enough water is the color of your urine. A pale yellow or almost clear color means you are properly hydrated. If it’s darker than a pale yellow, you need to drink more water.
Signs of dehydration are thirst, dry mouth, headaches, low energy, more than 6 hrs between drinking water, and in extreme cases dizziness. If you’re an athlete or like to exercise know that just 1 % dehydration in your body can negatively impact your athletic performance, so drink before, during and after. I always drink one 500ml (16 oz) Fiji water bottle during my 1 hr workouts.
The bottom line is if you’re trying to lose weight whether it’s 5 lbs or 205 lbs, drink 1/2 your body weight in ounces of water every day and you’ll be on your way to a healthier and fit you.
Your health and fitness coach,