How Much Weight Can You Lose by Drinking Water?

by Jay | Updated on October 22nd, 2022

Water is a great substance. Not only does it hydrate the body and flush out toxins, but it also helps in weight loss. So forget daunting diets and hours on the treadmill – it’s time to reach for a water bottle.

No matter which weight loss program or diet method is used, drinking water is essential to losing weight successfully. Most experts agree that drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily is necessary for optimal health. Still, those who are dieting should look at just how important water is to those wanting to lose weight.

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Why Drinking Water is Vital to Successful Weight Loss

Regardless of what type of diet, what stage of weight loss, and which personal milestone you may have reached if you’re not drinking water, you’re making the process a lot more difficult than it needs to be. Water is the liquid of life.

Our bodies are 60% to 70% water, so water must be essential to our functioning. Although we might prefer to drink sodas or other beverages, nothing hydrates like water.

When starting a new diet or weight loss program, those first few pounds will be water weight, so drinking more water will help one avoid dehydration, which slows down the weight loss process. Burning calories requires ample water; burning more calories means more weight loss.

As a natural appetite suppressant, drinking a glass of water before every meal effectively deters most overeating. Water also aids digestion, allowing the body to process foods more efficiently. Recommended daily water intake is six to eight large glasses, but if you’re heavily overweight, you might need to drink more.

Water also facilitates weight loss inadvertently. When we exercise, we need water to enjoy maximum energy, which results in a more meaningful workout. Since the muscles and organs thrive on more water, it’s not surprising that it’s an important part of your workout routine. Drinking water also helps to boost your metabolic rate, which promotes more calories burned.

Most healthy diets will require more consumption of additional fiber, which helps move food through the digestive system faster, which limits absorption. However, fiber needs a lot of water to do its job more efficiently. The consequence of not getting enough water to aid in digestion is constipation, and nobody wants that.

Reasons why drinking water could help you lose weight

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Drinking water can enhance calorie burn

Most of the studies listed below investigated the impact of drinking one 0.5 liters (17 oz) serving of water.

Drinking water boosts your resting energy expenditure or the number of calories you burn. Resting energy expenditure in humans has been shown to ramp up by 24–30% within 10 minutes of drinking water. This should take at least 60 minutes. One research of overweight and obese children discovered a 25% jump in resting energy expenditure after drinking cold water.

A study of overweight women examined the impact of increasing water consumption to more than 1 liter (34 oz) per day. They discovered that doing so resulted in an additional 2 kg (4.4 lbs) weight loss over 12 months.

These results are impressive given that these women made no lifestyle adjustments other than drinking more water.

Furthermore, these studies show that drinking 0.5 liters (17 oz) of water leads to burning 23 calories. Every year that equates to almost 17,000 calories — or more than 2 kg (4.4 lbs) of fat.

Several other studies have followed overweight adults who drank 1-1.5 liters (34–50 oz) of water daily for a few weeks. They discovered a significant reduction in weight, BMI, waist circumference, and body fat.

When the water is cold, these effects may be much more stunning. This is because when you drink cold water, your body expends additional calories to reheat the water to body temperature.

Drinking water before foods can reduce appetite.

Some people believe that drinking water before a meal suppresses their appetite.

There appears to be some validity, but only among middle-aged and older persons.

Drinking water before each meal has been found in studies of older persons to boost weight loss by 2 kg (4.4 lbs) over 12 weeks.

In one study, middle-aged overweight and obese people who drank water before each meal lost 44 percent more weight than a control group.

Another study found that drinking water before breakfast reduced the calories taken during the meal by 13%.

Although this may be advantageous for those in their forties and fifties, research on younger people has not shown the same remarkable calorie intake reduction.

Drinking more water is tied to a lower risk of weight gain and reduced calorie intake.

Water is naturally calorie-free. Hence it is often associated with lower calorie intake.

This is primarily because you drink water rather than other beverages, usually high in calories and sugar.

Observational studies have revealed that persons who drink water primarily had a lower calorie consumption by up to 9% (or 200 calories) on average.

Water consumption may also aid in the prevention of long-term weight gain. The average person grows roughly 1.45 kg (3.2 lbs).

This sum can be lowered by:

  • Adding 1 cup of water: Raising your daily water consumption by 1 cup may help you lose 0.13 kg (0.23 lbs).
  • Substituting water for other drinks: Replacing a serving of a sugar-sweetened beverage with 1 cup of water may minimize the 4-year weight gain by 0.5 kg (1.1 lbs).

It’s especially important to urge kids to drink water because it can help them avoid becoming overweight or obese.

A recent school-based study sought to minimize childhood obesity by encouraging youngsters to drink water. They placed water fountains in 17 schools and taught 2nd and 3rd graders about water consumption in the classroom.

After one school year, the risk of obesity was lowered by a startling 31% in schools where water consumption was raised.

Water has a natural appetite-suppressing effect.

When the stomach detects fullness, it signals the brain to stop eating. Water can help take up space in the stomach, resulting in a sensation of fullness and a decrease in hunger.

A person may also believe they are hungry when they are thirsty. Drinking a glass of water before reaching for a portion of food can help to reduce unwanted munching.

In a 2014 study, 50 overweight females drank 500 mL of water 30 minutes before breakfast, lunch, and dinner, in addition to regular water consumption, for 8 weeks.

The participants’ body fat, body weight, and body mass index decreased. They also reported a decrease in appetite.

A prior year’s study had produced similar results.

Water aids in the removal of waste from the body.

When the body is dehydrated, it cannot properly eliminate waste such as urine or feces.

Water aids the kidneys’ ability to filter pollutants and waste while retaining critical minerals and electrolytes. In addition, the kidneys retain fluid when the body is dehydrated.

Dehydration can also cause hard or lumpy feces, as well as constipation. Water softens or loosens hardened stools, which keeps waste moving.

Water also helps the body’s recovery from digestive issues, including diarrhea and indigestion.

People with a build-up of waste in their bodies may feel bloated, puffy, and tired. In addition, bloating can cause a person’s waist to add more inches.

Staying hydrated is a smart method to avoid retaining waste, which can lead to weight gain.

Water is required to burn fat.

The body cannot adequately digest carbohydrates or stored fat without water.

Lipolysis is the process of metabolizing fat. The first phase in this process is hydrolysis, when water molecules interact with triglycerides (fats), resulting in fatty acids and glycerol formation.

Drinking plenty of water is important for burning fat from food and drink and storing fat.

In animal studies, increased water intake resulted in increased lipolysis and fat loss, according to a mini-review published in 2016.

Water helps in workouts.

Exercise is one of the most crucial aspects of any weight loss plan.

Water aids in the proper movement of muscles, connective tissues, and joints. It also aids the lungs, heart, and other organs in their work when they increase activity during exercise.

Being hydrated lowers the likelihood of things like muscular cramps and weariness interfering with a good workout.

To avoid dehydration, drink water before, during, and after exercise.

Water is crucial, especially when exercising in hot, humid, or overly sunny weather.

Getting the Right Amount of Water for Optimal Weight Loss

There are many factors to consider when determining the right amount of water consumed each day. Consider total body weight, the temperature and humidity of the surrounding environment, the level of daily activity, and what types of foods are consumed. All these will help find just the right amount of water for a particular situation.

Generally, nature and the human body provide the best way to determine the correct amount of water each day. Think of the body as a gauge that indicates how much water is needed by the color of urine produced.

Lighter, pale-colored urine indicates sufficient water is being supplied. Dark-colored urine usually indicates more water is needed. Remember that other factors, including vitamin supplements and antibiotics, may affect the color.

What is the appropriate amount of water to drink?

Many health experts recommend eight 8-ounce glasses of water (approximately 2 liters) every day.

This number, on the other hand, is arbitrary. Like so many other things, water requirements largely depend on the individual.

For example, people who sweat a lot or exercise frequently may require more water than individuals who are not as active.

Elderly adults and breastfeeding women should also keep a closer eye on their water intake.

Remember that many foods and beverages contain water, including tea, coffee, fish, meat, milk, and notably fruits and vegetables.

As a general guideline, drink water whenever you are thirsty and drink enough to fulfill your thirst.

If you have a headache, are irritable, are continuously hungry, or have difficulty concentrating, you may suffer from mild dehydration. Drinking additional water may help in resolving this.

According to the research, drinking 1-2 liters daily should lead to weight loss.

In different measurements, here’s how much water you should drink:

  • Liters 1–2
  • Glasses (8 oz. ): 4–8
  • Ounces: 34–67.

This, however, is only a general guideline. Some people may require less, while others may require significantly more.

Drinking too much water is also not a good idea because it can lead to water poisoning. In extreme circumstances, such as water drinking contests, this has resulted in death.

The average person

While everyone’s needs are different, White believes adhering to the commonly advised number of eight 8-ounce glasses (64 ounces total) should suffice and help boost weight loss for the average person or someone seeking to lose a few pounds.

It may not appear to be a large number, but the issue for most individuals is simply drinking enough water in the first place. According to CDC research, 43 percent of Americans drink less than four cups daily, with 7 percent saying they do not drink any glasses of water at all—yikes!

In general, you should follow your thirst’s lead. For example, if you’re still thirsty after drinking 64 ounces of water throughout the day, modify your consumption appropriately.

But, if you’re thirsty, don’t overdo it; drinking too much water can cause hyponatremia, also known as water intoxication, in which the sodium levels in the body become extremely diluted, causing swelling in the brain, convulsions, and coma. There’s a reason this risky activity is one of the ways you’re drinking water incorrectly.

If you work out frequently.

If you’re a serious gym rat or endurance athlete, you’ll want more water than the typical 64 ounces. You could be dehydrating your body after a vigorous sweat session.

“The American College of Sports Medicine recommends drinking 16 ounces of extra water before exercising, 4-8 ounces during exercise, and extra 16 ounces after exercise,” White says. “You can also weigh yourself before exercising to see how much weight you lose. Then, after that, drink 16 ounces for every pound lost.”

If you are significantly overweight

Water requirements change for those who are overweight or obese. White believes they’ll need to drink more water to stay hydrated and lose weight. Drink half your body weight in ounces of water, according to a simple math calculation. So, if you weigh 180 pounds, aim for 90 ounces of water daily.

According to a study published in the Annals of Family Medicine, persons with higher BMIs were the least hydrated. According to the study, water is an essential nutrient that may play significant weight loss as diet and exercise.

Researchers at Virginia Tech discovered that overweight persons who drank 16 ounces of water half an hour before meals lost three more than those who did not and 9 pounds over 12 weeks.

Replacing caloric and sugary liquids like soda, fruit juice, and sweetened iced teas with water can also aid in weight loss.

Drink Water and Lose Weight

While many producte make claims about the best liquid to put into one’s body, water is far and away the best way to rehydrate the body and assist in healthy weight loss.

Water keeps blood volume high and increases oxygen supply to the muscles. Conversely, lack of water means less oxygen to the muscles, which leads to fatigue and feeling tired. Conversely, sufficient water consumption allows more energy for exercise, more exercise burns more calories, and weight loss is achieved.

Drink a full glass of water before sitting down for any meal and get that full feeling even before starting a meal. A fuller feeling stomach means that less food is consumed, caloric intake is reduced, and losing weight occurs. Now multiply this pre-meal glass of water with the energy increase from a higher blood volume, which is a successful weight loss strategy.

A team led by Dr. Brenda Davy of Virginia Tech undertook a 12-week randomized trial studying the link between water consumption and weight loss in 2009. The results indicate drinking water before meals do indeed lead to weight loss.

In addition, The Economist (“Drink till you drop”) reports the effects to appear to be long-lasting. The team followed the participants for a year after the end of the trial and found that those who drank water before a meal continued to do so and lost weight.

48 inactive Americans aged 55 to 75 were split into two groups during the trial. One group was told to drink half a liter of water before each of three daily meals, while the other group was given no instructions on what to drink.

Both groups were put on a low-fat diet. The Economist reports the women were allowed 1,200 calories a day, the men 1,500. After 12 weeks, the group that drank water had lost seven kilograms (15.5 pounds). The other group had lost only five kilos.

Make Drinking Water Before Meals a Habit to Lose Weight

The participants could eat what they liked once the trial was over. The research team tracked their dietary habits over 12 months after the trial and found that those who were in the group which drank water before a meal continued to do so and continued to lose weight. The other participants put weight back on.

“Drinking more water is a pretty simple strategy that may be helpful to people trying to lose weight,” Dr. Davy told Business Week (23 August 2010). “We’re not saying, ‘Drink more water, and the body fat will melt away. But for people trying to lose weight and follow a low-cal diet, it’s something they can do as part of that.”

The exact mechanism remains a mystery, but it would appear to work, particularly for those middle-aged or older. It’s hard to say how much weight loss is due to drinking more water, as those who drink more water generally follow a healthier diet anyway, but the research results look promising. Drinking more water is less daunting than spending hours at the gym. But can it be that simple?

Is it possible to lose abdominal fat by drinking water?

Water can help you get a flat tummy in at least three ways.

To start with, it may aid in weight loss by temporarily raising your metabolic rate.

Water consumption might boost your total energy expenditure by up to 100 calories daily.

Second, drinking water before meals can make you feel fuller, causing you to consume fewer calories.

Third, it may aid in the relief of constipation and the reduction of abdominal bloating.

Before each meal, try drinking a full glass of water. It may assist you in achieving your goal.

How much weight can you lose in three days just drinking water?

You will drop much weight quickly because the water fast reduces calories.

According to studies, a 24- to 72-hour water fast can cause you to lose up to 2 pounds (0.9 kg) daily.

Unfortunately, a large portion of the weight you lose may be water, carbohydrates, or even muscle mass.

Fitting Water In

The best way to take water is by drinking it consistently throughout the day. The maximum metabolic and dietary benefit is achieved if you are constantly hydrated. Drinking large quantities at one time is not as effective because much of it flush through your system without the cleansing benefit.

One suggestion is to keep a large bottle of water with you at all times, consciously sip during and between meals, and tain from caffeine. Caffeine is a diuretic that requires you to drink twice as much to achieve the same hydration levels as drinking water alone.

If you hate water taste, add a twist or lemon, lime, or fresh strawberry for a hint of taste. Crystal Light makes a low-calorie drink mix that might appeal to your tastes; if not, other companies have similar products on the shelves. With so many options available and the knowledge that water is fundamental to weight loss and health, there is no excuse not to drink your quota of water each day.


Jay is a health and wellness enthusiast with expertise in water quality and nutrition. As a knowledgeable advocate for holistic well-being, Jay successfully manages Type 2 Diabetes through informed lifestyle choices. Committed to sharing reliable and authoritative insights, Jay combines firsthand experience with a passion for enhancing health."