There are countless weight loss diets and so much weight loss advice out there that it can be absolutely overwhelming.
That said, there is one weight loss tip that seems to have a significant amount of universality such that even the most seemingly contradictory weight loss diets hold this same tenet as truth: drinking more water will help you lose weight.
However, because so much weight loss advice is indeed contradictory and often seems based on anecdotes or social media diet trends rather than scientific evidence, many people looking to lose weight are still faced with the question: does drinking water help you lose weight?
So, does drinking a lot of water help you lose weight? Keep reading to find out.
We will look at:
- Does Drinking Water Help You Lose Weight?
- How Can Drinking Water Help You Lose Weight?
- 14-Day Drinking Water For Weight Loss Challenge
Let’s get started!
Does Drinking Water Help You Lose Weight?
Drinking water to lose weight is a common strategy for weight loss, regardless of whatever other particular weight loss diet, weight loss exercise program, or weight loss hacks you are following.
In fact, research suggests that roughly 30 to 60% of adults in the United States increase their water intake when they are trying to lose weight.
But, just because a sizable percentage of people try drinking more water for weight loss does not necessarily mean that drinking a lot of water actually helps you lose weight.
After all, there are tons of weight loss tricks and tips that are thrown around that are based on no research at all and are completely ineffective for short-term weight loss, let alone long-term weight loss results.While almost everyone can think of various weight loss fads and weight loss myths that fall into this camp, the good news is that there is scientific evidence that suggests that increasing your water intake can support weight loss and weight maintenance after losing weight.
While there are potential weight loss benefits of drinking water, it is important to establish that drinking lots of water alone, as your only approach to losing weight, will not result in significant weight loss.
If you want to lose a lot of weight, you will need to make other lifestyle changes, such as reducing your caloric intake with a healthy diet and getting more exercise and physical activity on a consistent basis.
Drinking water for weight loss can be seen as an adjunct, or an important weight loss behavior that also improves your health, increases your energy levels, and helps control appetite, but it is not a substitution for the overarching principle of weight loss: you have to create a caloric deficit to lose weight.
A caloric deficit refers to a net negative balance between the number of calories you are consuming in the foods and beverages you eat and drink relative to the number of calories you are burning in a day.
If you are in a caloric surplus (eating more calories than you are burning) or in a caloric balance (calories in = calories out), just drinking a lot of water will not help you lose weight or shift your caloric balance for weight loss.
How Can Drinking Water Help You Lose Weight?
There are various ways in which drinking more water can help you lose weight.
In addition to anecdotal evidence from people who have lost weight crediting the weight loss benefits of drinking water for their own success, there are scientific studies that have found that drinking water to lose weight can indeed be an effective strategy for weight loss in the context of a healthy weight loss plan.
Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of drinking water for weight loss and how drinking water can help you lose weight.
The most significant weight loss from drinking water will come for those who are currently drinking caloric beverages such as soda, fruit juice, sports drinks, energy drinks, flavored milk and other milk products, sweetened coffee drinks, etc., and replace them with water.
Again, weight loss goes back to creating a caloric deficit, and because water contains zero calories, swapping a caloric beverage for plain water will reduce your daily caloric intake by however many calories you are drinking with sweetened beverages.
As an extreme example, imagine someone who doesn’t drink any water but only drinks juice, regular soda pop, and sports drinks.
Let’s say that this person drinks the equivalent of eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day with caloric drinks and is currently overweight but maintaining their weight, which means that they are consuming as many calories as they are burning every day.
A 12-ounce can of Pepsi has about 156 calories, 37 grams of sugar (all of which are added sugar), and no micronutrients.
So, if we approximate things and say that this person is drinking six cans of soda per day, or roughly the equivalent of regular soda and juice, and we round down the calories to 150 calories per can, then they are consuming 900 calories per day from beverages.
This means that if we replace regular soda and juice with water, this person will be consuming 900 fewer calories per day or 6,300 calories per week.
Because you need to create a caloric deficit of 3500 calories to lose one pound of fat, for this fictitious example, swapping water instead of soda and juice would help this person lose almost 2 pounds per week, eight pounds per month, and just over 92 pounds per year (if nothing else changed, including their metabolic rate).
Plus, drinking more water improves your overall health and the physiological functioning of your body systems, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which in turn, can support weight loss.
14-Day Drinking Water For Weight Loss Challenge
Although there is no official “14-day drinking water for weight loss challenge,” we have created a 14-day weight loss challenge focusing on drinking more water as the target tip for weight loss.
The primary goals of this 14-day water drinking challenge are to:
- Jumpstart your weight loss.
- Reset your habits of drinking water vs. soda, other sugar-sweetened beverages, diet sodas, and even calorie-free flavored water drinks that use artificial sweeteners to make your water taste sweet without actual sugar for continued success on your weight loss journey.
Here is our suggested 14-day weight loss challenge focusing on drinking more water:
Drink 8 ounces (240 mL) of water as soon as you wake up.
Drink 8 ounces (240 mL) of water as soon as you wake up and replace one other drink in the day with water.
Sane as day 2, but add a glass of water before breakfast.
Same as day 3, but now replace another non-water drink in the day with water so that you are having four glasses of water per day.
Drink three 8-ounce (240 mL) glasses of water throughout the day, aiming for one before each meal plus one when you wake up.
Replace one more drink with water so you have five glasses of water per day.
Add a glass of water to breakfast to your new water routine.
Add a glass of water to lunch.
Replace one more drink with water (you should be up to 8 glasses of water per day).
Replace another drink with water.
Drink 8-10 glasses of water throughout the day.
Bring a refillable water bottle to work and set an alarm to have 4 ounces of water every 30 minutes between meals.
Practice your new water-drinking routine.
Replace one more drink with water.
Although any type of 14-day weight loss challenge has its potential benefits, taking on a drinking water weight loss challenge is a great way to reset your taste buds and reclaim the ability to find plain water or naturally flavored water satisfying.
You will also change your mindset around drinking water and help establish a water drinking routine to help you make new habits that will have powerful, effective, and lasting improvements in your diet for your weight loss journey.
In this way, a 14-day weight loss challenge that focuses on creating a routine to drink more water rather than cutting out certain food groups, such as on a restrictive diet, helps set the foundation for a healthier relationship with drinking water while still being sustainable rather than fleeting.
For the health benefits of drinking lemon water, click here!