Water is essential for all bodily functions including regulation of temperature as it makes up about 60% of our body weight. We are constantly losing water through the processes of sweating, breathing, digestion as well as via urine, hence making it important to keep replacing water back into the system. While many opinions exist on how much water we should drink daily, on average, the recommendations agree on 2 litres or about 8 glasses of water daily – aside from the water content of our food and beverages. But this can vary depending on the individual as some people sweat a lot. In obese people, another glass needs to be added for every 10kg of extra weight.
Drinking water is also believed to be the last missing piece of the weight loss puzzle as it is required for burning calories by metabolizing and burning fats. If you are exercising and eating a normal balanced diet and still not shedding weight, then insufficient water is the most likely culprit. Water is vital to proper functioning of all bodily systems; the kidneys require a certain amount of water to function optimally, and when that’s not available, they transfer their role to the liver. And when the liver has to divide its attention among two functions, it can’t burn fats into energy efficiently. Hence, you end up losing insufficient weight. Your body may also go into survival mode and start preparing for water shortage by storing water in your hips, ankles, thighs and around the stomach.
In short, insufficient water intake can result in a slow-down of metabolic processes and consequent slow down in calories burned. Drinking water increases your resting energy expenditure by 24-30% within 10 minutes of drinking water and can last for about 60 minutes. Scientific research has also shown that drinking 2 glasses or half a litre of water can burn about 23 calories, which sounds like a pretty good reason to drink away folks!
Studies have also shown that drinking 2 glasses of water before meals and 30 minutes after meals resulted in a loss of 2kg over 12 weeks in middle-aged and older people. Drinking water regularly leads to less calorie intake, appetite suppression as well as more calorie burn; hence it’s a great way of controlling obesity.
You should also aim for drinking water every two hours, or you could go for fruit-infused water in case drinking plain water gets boring. Try eating your water – as in watermelon or even as healthy, wholesome, home-made soups which could replace meals. Or go for chilled greened tea which is a great metabolism booster. For those who crave soda beverages, sparkling water is a good alternative.
However, it’s not just water that’s going to help you lose significant weight, but it’s definitely one important piece of the weight loss puzzle!