No matter what diet plan you are following, whether it’s Atkins or Weightwatchers, the key mantra in all of these diet schemes is to drink more water. The reasoning for this varies from the logical idea that water will fill you up and so you’ll eat less, to the more ridiculous theory that water will “flush” the fat out of your system. There is no doubt that water can aid in weight loss, so what is the science behind it all?
The Metabolic Advantage of drinking water
Researchers in Germany conducted a series of experiments results that show that drinking more water may actually increase the rate that you burn calories. These results could have a large impact on future weight control programs. They began by researching the reasoning behind the recommendation of drinking 8 glasses of water a day. Many diets and even Government schemes recommend that you drink this much water so Dr.Michael Boschmann and his colleagues wanted to determine the practicalities behind this recommendation.
The results were quite promising. They discovered that by drinking approximately 17 ounces of pure water, the subjects of the study would have a 30% increase in metabolic rates. Simply put, this meant that they would be burning more calories per minute that before. This effect started with 10 minutes of drinking the water and hit the maximum rate after 40 minutes.
In total the research showed that over a course of the year, a person who increased their water consumption by 1.5 litres a day would lose an extra 5 lbs. a year. This was due to the body’s attempt to heat the water after it has been ingested.
It’s also worthwhile taking into account evidence that also shows that even being slightly dehydrated can lower your metabolic rate, interfering with weight loss.
Less Calorific Consumption
Research further afield in America by Dr.Brenda Davy, a professor of human nutirition at Virginia Tech, completed a study that shown that people who drank two glasses of water 20 to 30 minutes before eating lost more weight quickly and lost more weight overall than those who didn’t.
To further provide evidence towards this theory, Davy and her group published another study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, providing evidence that people who drank water before their meals consumed on average 75 fewer calories at that meal. Consider adding the effect of this small amount of calories into a year and this could amount to a loss of 14 1/2 lbs.
Mixed Hunger Signals
When we don’t consume enough water our bodies uses the feeling of thirst as a way to encourage you to drink more. Sometimes, however, it is easy to mix the feeling of thirst with that of hunger, resulting in an increase in calories when only a drink was required. This is why staying well hydrated by drinking water whilst dieting is important as you’ll remove the chances of confusing the two signals.