It’s a common statement that you hear basically everyone says, that in order to lose weight, you have to drink a lot of water. But is this true?
The key hack of this article is that it is most likely true. Let’s look at the research first.
Does Drinking Water Actually Help with Weight Loss?
A 2010 study compared two groups of dieters of which one would drink two glasses of water (500ml) before each meal whilst the other group did not. The water group lost roughly 5 pounds more at the end of the 12 weeks (1) than the non-water group.
A 2003 study indicated that the body may need to burn more energy to process chilled water (2). It went as far as suggesting a 30% metabolic boost in energy expenditure.
A follow up to that study replicated the result to some degree. Participants were shown to have an increased metabolic boost of 24% that lasted 60 minutes after drinking 500ml of water (3).
If we are consuming water logically we are less likely to be consuming calorie-loaded alternatives such as alcohol or sugar-loaded soft drinks.
Water has zero calories.
Water burns more energy!
The body may need to burn energy to process water intake. There seems to be some data that suggests even more energy is needed to process chilled water. More research is certainly needed on this point however as the “chilled water to lose weight” notion has brought some non-consistent study outcomes.
Personal meaningless anecdotal experience
I never drink enough water. Allegedly. This is what everyone tells me. At work, I’m constantly amazed at how much of it people around me consume. Gallons and gallons. They have to go to the bathroom every 10 minutes but that’s okay because Charlie here, can do the work 😐
I always have had headaches and a deep sense of lethargy. My brain has always felt cloudy. These were some of the reasons why I wanted to lose weight more than 12 months ago. I thought that by losing weight I would get more energy and more clarity.
Yet after a great deal of the success of losing weight, I still feel these negative effects.
I have never been a professional water drinker. I have only ever drunk water when I was thirsty. I never believed people that said we needed to drink water when we are not thirsty. I thought the notion was wrong and that carrying around a drink bottle was a waste of time.
However, upon reading some of these studies, I have decided that it’s time to increase my water intake to see if I can replicate some of the supposed benefits of increased energy and fat loss.
The personal plan
I have set up an hourly reminder on my phone to remind me to drink 500ml every 2 hours during working hours. Allegedly, according to some of the data, this will boost my resting energy expenditure by at least 20%.
I’ll have to figure out how I’m going to manage carrying a water bottle with me to work. My minimalist lifestyle hurts when I decide to add physical objects. I’m doing this though because my health and energy levels are the most important factors in my life.
I’ll re-assess the success of this plan is 30 days. If I do have increased energy or weight loss, these would probably be good signs that drinking more water is helpful.
Key Points & Hacks You Can Implement Now
- Water may help you lose weight by blunting appetite and or facilitating increased energy expenditure
- Set up a reminder on your phone to drink 250ml of water every 2 hours during working hours.
- Drinking chilled water may be more beneficial than drinking room temperature water. I might start to refrigerate my water bottle for this reason.