How Much Water Should I Drink to Lose Weight?

Patient Expert

We take it for granted and perhaps do not recognize the many properties of water.   Open the tap, and here it comes. Travel to the shore front and there it is, oceans and oceans of the stuff. It fills rivers and streams. It fills the shelves of markets and convenience stores. It falls on golfers who shake an angry fist and lament that their day on the green is ruined.

Just imagine how ruined all our days would be if it never rained. To state the obvious, water is vital.

How Much Water Should I Drink?

For as long as I can remember we have been told to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day -- more if you exercise heavily but less if you drink other beverages frequently. That seems a bit outdated to me. More recently, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends that  men should consume about 3.7 liters (about 13 cups) of water  daily and women should consume about 2.7 liters (about 9 cups).

During a workout or other physical activities, on hot or cold days, and owing to your weight and certain medical conditions, you may need  more.  The online daily hydration calculator is a great tool that calculates how much water you need by factoring in those criteria.  I just used it to calculate  how much water I need today. The result -  3.2 liters.

Here's a tip: Drinking water doesn't have to "taste boring." Just stir up a pitcher of your favorite flavored water from these Drink Water to Lose Weight Recipes.

The benefits of this simple discipline are many.

Water  for Optimal Health

Water is an energy booster, relieving the dehydration that makes you feel fatigued. When you are thirsty, you have already become a bit dehydrated. Dehydration also makes the body and mind feel stressed whereas 70 to 80% of your brain tissue is water.

Water helps to prevent muscle cramping and is a lubricate for the joints of your body. Water also hydrates your skin cells and gives your face a younger appearance. In addition, it is a good for digestion and helps to keep your bowels  regular.

As an added bonus, it has been proven that drinking water helps to lose weight.

Water for Weight Loss

It has been shown that people who drink two glasses of water twenty to thirty minutes before they have a meal lost weight more quickly and lost a greater number of pounds then those who did not drink water prior to eating.

It was also discovered that people who drank water before meals consumed an average of 75 less calories over that course of that meal.** If this action were continued for one year, a person would lose 14 ½ pounds.**** It has also been shown that being just 1% dehydrated causes a drop in metabolism that can interfere with weight loss.**

The body has difficulty differentiating hunger from thirst. If you do not consume enough water across the day, thirst might be interpreted as hunger and more food will be eaten then is necessary.

Finally, drinking alot of water to stay healthy during a fasting diet is essential.  To learn more, read  Fasting Diets and Weight Loss, Part 2.

Drink Iced Water for Maximum Calorie Burn

Calories can be used to define the amount of energy contained in food. Another definition for calorie can be the measure of energy it takes to raise the temperature of one gram of water one degree Celsius. Therefore, your body burns calories when you simply drink iced water.

Your body burns 17.5 calories raising the temperature of a sixteen ounce glass of iced water. If you comply with the eight glasses of eight ounces of water per day recommendation but drink iced water instead of non-iced water, you will burn 70 calories per day. Over the course of a year, the numbers will add up and translate into weight loss.

References:
CNN Health - http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/expert.q.a/04/10/water.losing.weight.jampolis/index.html  - accessed 8/6/12
Discovery Fit and Health - http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/diet-fitness/weight-loss/question447.htm  - accessed 8/6/12
WebMD - http://www.webmd.com/diet/healthy-water-9/slideshow-water-health  - accessed 8/6/12
ADA Press Release June 12, 2007  accessed 7-15-2012

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You can read about  my decision  to have weight loss surgery back in 2003 and  my journey  to maintain a lifetime of obesity disease management since that time. My wish is to help you on your own journey of  lifetime obesity disease management  with shareposts along the way to help you navigate that journey successfully.