Can water help you lose weight?

DETROIT – Feeling hungry? Drink some water.

We’ve heard this recommendation before, but it now has some real scientific evidence to support it.  A study of 10,000 adults shows that staying hydrated by drinking water and eating more water-containing fruits and vegetables could help with weight management, especially if you’re overweight or obese.  

There is now a concrete link demonstrating that hydration and obesity and associated!  This is great news because there aren’t many things simpler, more convenient, and less expensive than drinking water.

Without going into very scientific explanations of the body systems concerning fat cell metabolism, to put it simply, fat cells in your body need to be adequately hydrated to release their fat.  Even mild dehydration of 1-2% of your body weight can result in false hunger, thirst, fatigue, headaches, decreased exercise performance, constipation, attention and memory problems, and kidney problems.  

The opposite is true when you are properly hydrated.  In one study, metabolism shot up by 30% for a full hour after drinking 16 ounces of water.  Exercise performance is elevated, and the body systems can all function properly.  That translates into more calories burned over time.

How do you know how much water to drink?  This is a tricky question because there is no perfect formula that suits everyone.  Some people need more water to stay hydrated, and water consumption is not an ideal measure of hydration.  

A landscaper working in hot temperatures obviously needs to consume more water than someone working indoors on a computer.  Your activity level, body size, and the climate you live in all affect your water requirements.  One simple way to check if you’re being properly hydrated is to check your urine color.  

Anything darker than a faint yellow (clear is better) indicates that you’re not drinking enough water.  

Here’s a basic guideline that you can follow to get started with your daily water intake.  Take your body weight in pounds (yes, you need to weight yourself!) and divide it by 2.  Then take that number and convert it to ounces of water you should drink daily.

Example:  Weight 110 pounds / 2 = 55 Ounces of Water Daily

Not a water lover?  Here are a few ideas to help you consume more H2O during the day: 

1.    Consider downloading an app to your smart phone like Waterlogged or Hydration Tracker, to track your daily intake and send you reminders to drink more often.
2.    Try using The Right Cup, a fruit flavored cup that tricks your brain into thinking your plain water is flavored.  Available on Amazon.com. 
3.    Add citrus to your water easily with this Citrus Zinger water bottle available at Target stores.

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