"I'll just stay for one drink." Famous last words. Most of us are guilty of overdrinking at some...
Drinking water to lose weight may be a foreign concept to some. For others, you may have been told this before but you aren’t sure exactly how drinking water helps with weight loss. Let’s clear that up.
How does drinking water help us lose weight?
First and foremost, it increases our satiety (this is the feeling of being “full”) for about 30 minutes. If your brain is telling you to eat and you don’t think that you are physically hungry, try drinking a glass of water and “recheck-in” with your body. Doing this will help you learn the difference between your brain wanting food for dopamine or comfort, and your physiological hunger signals.
Drinking water also aids in digestion and improves constipation by keeping our bowels regular by stabilizing our gut flora which removes toxins and decreases inflammation.
Other benefits of drinking water include:
- Improves circulation, increasing oxygen flow to our brain and organs
- Improves the immune system, meaning we get sick less often and recover faster
- Regulates body temperature
- Decreases frequency and severity of UTIs and kidney stones
- Hydration before exercise improves workout performance
- Hydration after exercise helps to reduce soreness by flushing lactic acid, cushioning the joints and stabilizing electrolytes
Improves sleep quality
How much water should you drink per day to lose weight?
Well, it depends on your health, your weight, and your activity level. There are some medical conditions that affect the heart, liver, and kidneys where physicians will advise someone to restrict their water intake.
Although generally, we recommend that healthy people take in about 8 cups per day. This is 64oz or about 2 liters of water.
Keep in mind, if you are exercising or sweating you will need more throughout the day.
If that is the case, take breaks and listen to your thirst.
Another way to guide your hydration is through your urine. Your urine should be clear or a light-yellow color. If it is dark, you are behind on fluids and dehydrated.
Dehydration can lead to weakness, fatigue, low blood pressure, confusion and dizziness and it can happen quickly.
Flavor Tip: You can make your water intake more enjoyable by infusing it with fruits such as cucumbers, lemons, or oranges!
30 Day Water Intake Challenge
I challenge you to track your water for 30 days and see if there is a difference in the way you feel.
- Keep a sleep journal
- Document how much you eat and how often
- Use a water bottle with measurements on it so that you know how much water you are actually drinking throughout the day. I have one that has 1400mL or 48oz – so I drink one full one in the office and then 1/3rd of one when I get home and I know I’ve met my requirements.
- You can even take a picture of yourself on the first day of the challenge, then again on the last day. A lot of people notice changes in the clarity of their skin and a reduction in abdominal bloating.
And of course, come back and leave a comment with your results! I hope this helps you on your weight loss journey. As always, stay safe, stay healthy.
Dr. Kristine LaRocca
Disclaimer: Although I am a medical doctor, I am not YOUR doctor. So the things I teach are not to be used as medical advice. You should consult your physician to discuss what is best for you personally.