In today’s age of ultra-complex weight-loss schemes, space-age gyms, and health food eating crazes, your options for losing weight and getting fit are about a dime a dozen. A lot of people who are unsuccessful with their weight-loss plans are simply unlucky, getting into a plan or program that doesn’t suit their needs.
Did you know that the simple act of drinking water can help get you to your weight-loss goals? Life’s most essential ingredient may also be the secret weapon to sculpting your beach body, and you didn’t even know it!
“Wait,” you may be saying. “Why does drinking water help you lose weight?” After all, like so many other things, if it sounds to good to be true, it usually is.
However, recent ground-breaking research, as well as general knowledge long held by doctors and fitness professionals, seems to confirm the notion.
A recent study published in the journal “Obesity” found that water really can be a helpful aide in shedding those pounds. The study was held at the University of Birmingham in the UK, and led by Dr. Amanda Daley. While the study’s findings have yet to be replicated on a wider scale, the results are striking.
In the study, Dr. Daley recruited 84 adults with obesity, who participated in a 12-week experiment. The study participants were divided into two groups. One was instructed to drink 12 ounces (or one to two glasses) of water before each meal, while the other was simply instructed to imagine themselves as full.
Dr. Daley and her helpers monitored the participants’ weight at the beginning, middle, and end of the study. The participants didn’t engage in any physical exercises.
It turned out that the first group, who drank the water, lost on average three more pounds than the other group. The first group lost about nine pounds, which, according to Dr. Daley, is what you could expect from participating in a Weight Watchers plan.
How did water become some sort of miracle weight-loss cure?
Dr. Daley explains it simply…
Water before meals fills up your stomach and makes you feel more full, restricting your impulse to gorge on food. The human body only needs a certain amount of energy per day, and gorging usually takes you far above that requirement. All that extra food is usually stored as fat, unless it’s burned away through exercise.
Dr. Daley cautions people, however, from treating water as the holy messiah of weight loss. It must be paired with a conscious and active effort to engage in healthy lifestyle choices, such as eating nutritious meals and exercising regularly. Water before meals, however, can be a great way to start or boost your weight-loss plans.
A lot of people mistake thirst for hunger pangs, in the process eating unhealthy snacks or simply overeating. A great way to avoid this pitfall is to drink a glass of water as soon as your stomach starts complaining. If the pangs persist, you’re most likely hungry – but go for that apple instead of that Kit Kat!
Put another way, water can be seen as the body’s primary lubricant. It makes up 55-75 percent of total body weight. Just like a car needs oil, if you don’t have enough water in your system, all of your body’s major functions perform less efficiently.
Here are just a couple of ways drinking 8 to 12 glasses of water per day can help you become healthier and leaner:
- It helps the liver metabolize, or burn, body fat
- While eating carbs (e.g. bread, rice), water helps your body prevent that food from being deposited as fat
- Water fuels your muscles, increasing size and strength, and therefore its fat-burning capability
- Drinking water means you’re not drinking sugary drinks like Coke/Pepsi
When exercising, your body requires about 16 ounces of water to burn one pound of fat. Without an adequate supply, you’ll not only make your muscles less efficient, you’ll also tire yourself out way more quickly, leading to an inefficient workout.
On its own, drinking water probably won’t turn you into a lean, mean, fat-burning machine. It does, however, work great as a supplement to your existing weight-loss program, or a way of motivating yourself during a particularly tough transition to healthy living.
Why does drinking water help you lose weight? Well, why don’t you give it a try, and find out for yourself. One way or another, your body will thank you for it.
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