Posted in:

Can Drinking More Water Help You Lose Weight?

© by Shutterstock

Many people seeking to lose weight turn to increasing their water intake, and for good reason. Studies suggest that water not only supports overall health but can also aid in weight loss. 

This article explores the various ways water can contribute to shedding pounds and maintaining a healthy weight.

Benefits of Drinking Water for Weight Loss

Reduces appetite and calorie intake when consumed before meals  

Drinking water before meals can help fill your stomach, leading to a feeling of fullness and reducing the amount of food you consume. In one study, middle-aged and older adults who drank water before each meal for 12 weeks lost 44% more weight than those who didn’t increase their water intake.

Drinking water 30 minutes before meals can help fill your stomach, which can lead to a feeling of fullness and reduce the amount of food you consume.

Helps remove waste from the body 

Drinking water can also improve digestion and reduce the risk of constipation, which can contribute to feelings of bloating and discomfort that may lead to overeating.

Proper hydration ensures that your digestive system functions smoothly, which is crucial for weight loss.

Reduces overall liquid calorie intake

Water is calorie-free and can replace high-calorie beverages like sugary sodas and juices. People who drink mostly water consume 200 fewer calories per day on average than those who drink other beverages. This simple substitution can significantly reduce daily calorie intake and support weight loss.

Studies have shown that people who drink mostly water in their day consume 200 fewer calories per day than those who do not.

Necessary for burning fat

Water plays a vital role in metabolizing stored fat. It increases resting energy expenditure, which is the number of calories burned at rest. Studies have shown that drinking water can increase resting energy expenditure by 24-30% within 10 minutes, lasting for at least an hour.

In fact, people’s resting energy expenditure has been shown to increase by 24 to 30% within 10 minutes of drinking water. So, drinking water naturally increases resting calorie burn.

Optimizes workouts and exercise performance

Your muscles are about 80% water, and staying hydrated is crucial for optimal muscle function. Proper hydration can improve workout performance, leading to more effective exercise sessions and better weight loss results. 

Water also helps maintain muscle mass, which increases resting metabolism.

Lowers the chance of weight gain

Encouraging children and adults to drink more water can help prevent weight gain. A study involving school children who had access to water fountains and received education about water consumption saw a 31% reduction in obesity risk after one year.

Replacing sugary drinks with water helps maintain a lower calorie intake and supports long-term weight management.

How Much Water Should You Drink to Lose Weight?

General guidelines for daily water intake 

There are no strict recommendations for daily water intake, but drinking 1 to 2 liters per day is generally sufficient for weight loss. This equates to about 4 to 8 eight-ounce glasses. It’s essential to drink water when you’re thirsty and ensure your urine is mostly clear with a slight yellow tint, indicating proper hydration. However, individual needs may vary based on factors like body weight and activity level.

In most of the studies performed, people are drinking one to two liters or four to eight eight-ounce glasses of water. Eight glasses a day may be the perfect amount for some and too little for others.

Factors affecting individual water needs

Water requirements can differ from person to person due to several factors. Body weight, physical activity level, and overall health play significant roles in determining how much water one needs. For instance, more active individuals or those living in hotter climates may need more water. 

Additionally, certain health conditions may increase water requirements. Always listen to your body and adjust your water intake accordingly to stay well-hydrated.

Do not drink water when you are not thirsty; always drink water only when you are thirsty. The above quantity of water is also based on individual factors like body weight, activity level, and overall health.

Tips for Drinking More Water

In addition to drinking more water, paying attention to when and what you eat can significantly impact your weight loss journey. It’s essential to align your eating habits with your body’s natural rhythms to optimize metabolic function. Consuming high-carb or high-sugar meals late at night can disrupt the natural fasting period your body undergoes during sleep, hindering its ability to recover and burn fat efficiently.

“Snacking, or eating high-carb / high-sugar meals late at night, disrupts the body’s natural fasting period. When we eat before bed, our body spends more time on digesting food than recovering.” said Marine Melamed, Nutritionist, Lumen

By avoiding late-night snacking and focusing on balanced meals earlier in the day, you can help your body maintain a healthy metabolism. Pairing these eating habits with adequate water intake ensures your body functions smoothly, supporting digestion and nutrient absorption. This combined approach not only aids in weight loss but also promotes overall health and well-being, making it easier to achieve and maintain your weight goals.

Practical tips to increase water intake 

To boost your water intake, try using a large BPA-free water bottle to keep track of your daily consumption. Adding fruits like cucumber or lemon can make water more enjoyable and flavorful. 

Setting reminders on your smartphone can also help you remember to drink water throughout the day. Simple strategies like these can make it easier to maintain adequate hydration levels.

You may infuse your water with lemon and mint, apple cider vinegar, or cucumber slices.

Incorporating water into your daily routine 

Incorporate water into your routine by drinking a glass of water right when you wake up and 30 minutes before meals to help control your appetite.

Another tip is to drink water whenever you feel hungry, as thirst is often mistaken for hunger. Including liquid-based foods like soups and broths in your meals can also increase your overall water intake, helping you stay hydrated and support weight loss efforts.

Having liquid-based food during your meals can also help in weight loss. Drink buttermilk, soup, or any liquid-based food at the start of your meal.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you lose belly fat by drinking water?  

Drinking water alone won’t target belly fat specifically, but it helps reduce overall body fat by promoting fullness and supporting a calorie deficit.

How much weight will I lose on a water fast for a few days?

A short-term water fast might lead to rapid weight loss, mainly from water weight, but it’s not a sustainable or healthy long-term strategy.

Can water fasting help you lose weight? 

Water fasting can cause temporary weight loss, but it’s not advisable for long-term weight management. Balanced diet and regular exercise are more effective.

How much water should you drink to lose weight?

Aim for 1 to 2 liters of water daily, adjusting based on individual factors like activity level and body weight, to support weight loss.


Drinking water is a simple yet effective strategy to aid weight loss by reducing calorie intake, boosting metabolism, and improving overall health. While it plays a supportive role, combining water intake with a balanced diet and regular exercise is essential for sustainable weight loss.

Remember to stay hydrated, listen to your body, and make water a key part of your weight loss journey.