Does drinking water help you lose weight?

Monday September 13 2021
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Drinking water can curb cravings for food and beverages that are starchy, salty, sugary, smoked, spirits, and soda, which are all injurious to health and cause weight gain. PHOTO / PROMISE TWINAMUKYE

By Promise Twinamukye

‘Water,’ as the saying goes, ‘is life.’ 

This is because it is essential and very important to the human body. 

Water is calorie-free and it is like the basic of life. Among other nutrients, some (not all) water is said to have minerals such as calcium, fluoride, iron, potassium, or sodium, depending on the source and whether or not it’s filtered or distilled. Some flavoured or enhanced water products may also contain added vitamins or electrolytes, according to verywellfit.

Research has shown that every cell, organ and tissue in the body uses water to help with temperature regulation, keeping hydrated and maintaining bodily functions.

Research has also shown that drinking water aids the process of losing weight. 

In a 2013 review of studies on people who were dieting to lose or maintain weight, scientists observed that increased water consumption helped the participants lose weight. 

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According to Joanita Nalule, a nutritionist at Natural Chemotherapeutics Research Institute (NCRI), drinking water may help you lose weight by decreasing your appetite, increasing your metabolism, and helping you burn excess fat.

“Drinking water (especially before food) helps to create a sense of satiety and makes you consume fewer calories hence weight loss with time,” she says, adding that this may not work for everyone. 

“Since people are different, weight loss using water may work for some people and might not work for others. But in general, it’s effective.”

Bricks Diamond Blain Sankarah, a training director at The Military Fitness Bootcamp in Kampala says water aids weight loss in a way that if it fills one’s tummy, one is bound to eat less than they would have eaten if they had not had water first.

“If you are hungry and you take water, you are definitely going to feel like you are satisfied. This is because once you take water, it takes up most of your stomach space letting you eat smaller food quantities,” Sankarah says.

“If you kept a bottle of water on your desk (and actually drank it), chances are that you will eat fewer cookies (junk). It could therefore be a hack to stop you from stuffing yourself with food, even at celebrations.”

Also, drinking cold water helps boost metabolism because your body works a little harder when trying to warm it up, which helps one burn more calories through a process is known as thermogenesis. 

According to insider.com, scientists observed the effects of drinking 500ml of water 30 minutes before breakfast, lunch, and dinner in 50 overweight girls for eight weeks. They noticed that the participants lost weight and had reduced BMIs without making any other lifestyle or dietary changes at the end of the study. The researchers concluded that this weight loss was a result of water-induced thermogenesis. 

Sankarah also admits that drinking water helps the body remove waste.

“Blood vessels need water to clean up the system. That is why you need water before bed because the body recovers at night. 90 per cent of the body’s recovery happens at night. That is why one’s urine is yellowish in the morning,” Sankarah said.

That, he said, is because water has been doing its job during the night, and the excretions are so.

He added that a female is recommended to take at least 2700ml of water every day and a male 3700ml (when they are much more active).

How should water be better taken?

According to Sankara, there is no better way to take water.

“Everyone has their preferences. But, one should consider the more recommended warm water,” he said, “It releases blood circulation, and helps in easy breakdown of food.”

This will also depend in what circumstances under which one takes the water.

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