Forget juice fasts, low carb diets and intermittent fasting, the easiest way to lose weight is free, readily available and an easy daily habit – just drink more water. New research published in the scientific journal Obesity (Read it here) has reported that overweight or obese men and women who were instructed to simply drink a 500ml glass of water 30 minutes before each of their meals lost an extra 2kg over a 12 week period following a lower calorie diet. This result was explained by the fact that dieters who were instructed to drink more water consumed up to 40 fewer calories per meal than dieters simply following a lower calorie diet without the extra water. Such findings support previous research which find that individuals who drank water before each meal consumed up to 200 fewer calories on a daily basis.
There are a number of reasons why the simple act of drinking more water is linked so closely to weight control. First and foremost, drinking water before a meal helps to ensure that we are eating purely out of hunger, rather than because of thirst. In general drinking more water is linked to more positive health related behaviours and there is also some evidence to show that drinking ice cold water can actually increase the number of calories you burn. So just in case you need a few more reasons to drink some more of the good stuff……..
1. Dehydration can cause us to eat more
Our desire to drink and keep well-hydrated is relatively weak compared to hunger signals which see us grab food the minute we are slightly hungry. In fact statistics suggest up to 70-75 per cent of us are dehydrated at any point in time. So next time you are feeling a little hungry, get into the habit of drinking some water instead and waiting at least 30-60 minutes or until you are really hungry to eat. Remember light to clear urine will indicate you are hydrated.
2. It stops you drinking other high kilojoule drinks
When you are drinking a couple of litres of water each day there is less opportunity for kilojoule packed soft drinks, milk based coffee, flavoured tea and juice which tend to take the place of water when we are thirsty. Basically this means we consume far fewer kilojoules over time when we primarily drink water, in turn supporting weight control.
3. It keeps your tummy happy
Do you regularly feel tired, bloated and clogged up? When it comes to maintaining a healthy digestive system, drinking enough fluid is the crucial link between fibre intake and exercise to keep waste moving through the digestive tract efficiently. While water-based salad and vegetables help this process, you cannot go past good hydration as a key factor in preventing the abdominal bloat.
4. You will burn more kilojoules
It is proven that drinking cold water, especially icy cold water will help you to burn up to 400 extra kilojoules or 100 calories per day for every 2L of water you drink, which the equivalent of an extra snack every single day.
5. Psychologically it helps to keep on track with our diet and lifestyle goals
Health-related behaviours are often built by association. For many of us, the simple act of always carrying a water bottle with us, or starting the day with a glass of water and lemon helps to keep us mindful of what we are eating and drinking and as such focused on our diet goals throughout the day. Since the clear stuff is generally free, why wouldn’t you try drinking more of it? It may just work.
*Susie is currently a brand ambassador for Zip. Read more about her partnership with Zip here.