by Will Grumke May 10, 2022 5 min read
Want a simple, cheap diet tip? Drink more water.
It might sound too good to be true, but studies have shown a link between drinking water and a person’s ability to lose excess fat.
Not only can hydration help with your weight loss goals, but it also plays an important role in muscle function and digestion.
Everyone knows that water is necessary for survival, but a large percentage of the population is experiencing chronic dehydration – which could be making it hard for you to lose weight.
Here are a few benefits of focusing on hydration as a foundational point in your weight loss efforts:
Did you know that thirst cues are often mistaken for hunger cues? Sometimes it can be tricky to know whether you are actually hungry, or if your body is just asking for more water.
When you feel the urge to reach for a snack, try drinking a tall glass of water instead. Then, give yourself 15-20 minutes after drinking the water before you decide whether a snack is necessary.
This can also help make it easier to stick to the right portion sizes when you do have a snack or meal. Which makes it easier to stay on track with your nutrition, and ultimately help you reach your weight loss goals.
Your water consumption may have an impact on the calories that are burned each day. Researchers found that drinking 500mL (16.9 fl oz) of water can boost calorie burn rates by 2 – 3%.
This boost in metabolism can affect the number of calories burned while resting. If you want to optimize these results, drink cold water so your body needs to expend energy to heat the water for the digestive process.
Drinking soda, coffee, and other beverages can rack up your calories throughout the day.
Calorie intake matters when it comes to weight loss. For many people, it is easy to consume too many calories through drinks.
Drinking water instead of calorie-laden beverages means that you can enjoy an extra snack or increase portion sizes since you have more calories available to eat … when you don’t drink them!
Water is a critical aspect of flushing waste and toxins from the body. If you are dehydrated, then urine output decreases … and the natural cleansing functions in the body are impacted.
You can support your system by drinking plenty of water to help facilitate the removal of toxins, which can help your body function better overall.
There is no question that a good exercise routine can play a role in your weight loss efforts.
If you want optimal performance in the gym, then you need to be sure that you are hydrated to support the function of your muscles, joints, and connective tissues.
Being properly hydrated also helps prevent cramps and becoming prematurely fatigued while training.
As with any other health and fitness strategy, you shouldn’t go overboard with your water consumption. Drinking too much can lead to adverse effects as well. The recommendations for hydration vary depending on various factors (below is a list of a few) that impact how much water you need:
Many sources recommend about 8 glasses (64 ounces) of water per day … but that is more of a recommendation for a sedentary person … and even with that, it’s the minimum.
Therefore, for an active person like yourself ... a good starting point is to shoot for at least 100-120 oz of water per day.
One of the best ways to stay hydrated is to simply keep a water bottle on hand at all times, and drink throughout the day!
If you have a hard time remembering to drink water throughout the day, then you might consider setting some silent reminders on your phone.
That way, they don’t bother you at work … but appear on the lock screen of your phone.
So the next time you look at your phone, there’s a good chance there is a friendly reminder to drink more water!
For me, setting those reminders 6 times a day helped me build the habit of drinking water throughout the day! Now, it's become a habit ... and I don’t need any reminders.
O and remember that your activity levels and food choices will have an impact on the amount of water that is needed as well.
For example, if you have a sedentary day at the office, then you probably don’t need to drink as much as you do for a day out walking or exploring in the sunshine and heat of the day.
Keep in mind though, most people don't drink enough as it is, so even if you aren't as active as you normally would be ... making sure to get in plenty of water is always a good idea!
If you haven't tracked your water intake before, I highly encourage you to do it for a few days to see what the average amount of water you drink a day is. This can be done very easily in the 1st Phorm App.
Well, an easy way to keep an eye on your hydration levels is by checking the toilet after using it. Your urine should be clear or have a light yellow color.
If your urine has a darker color, think apple juice, that typically indicates that you are less hydrated or dehydrated, which means that you should drink more water.
Oh and let’s cover this fun fact here as well … If you’re taking a high-quality multi-vitamin, there is a good chance your urine will be bright yellow, your first or second bathroom trip after taking it.
So, if that happens to you, don’t be alarmed. This can happen from your body secreting B-vitamins.
Just because you have a beverage in hand, doesn’t mean that it is supporting your hydration goals.
In fact, caffeinated drinks can lead to dehydration, such as coffee, energy drinks, soda, and tea. This is because the caffeine has a mild diuretic effect, which could contribute to dehydration.
You don’t have to skip your morning cup of coffee or cold brew ... (I know I don’t, and won’t) but be strategic in switching to water throughout the day.
Drinking water is one crucial component to earning results, and not drinking enough is a factor that can affect your weight loss success.
It’s actually one of the main aspects of achieving results. Following a good nutrition plan consistently, moving your body through daily activities and workouts, and drinking enough water are some of the major players in the results you earn.
If you're looking to get the best results, or amp up your results, then looking into a resource such as the 1st Phorm App that combines these three areas into one convenient platform can help a lot!
The 1st Phorm App can be used to track your food, your water, your workouts, and many more tools and resources to help reach your goals ... including direct access to your personal TransPHORMation Advisor to help you with your specific goals!
But whether you use the 1st Phorm App or not, making sure you are drinking adequate amounts of water each and every day will help you maximize your fat loss efforts!
NASM Certified Personal Trainer, NASM Certified Nutrition Coach, NASM Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist, NASM Certified Weight Loss Specialist, NASM Certified Behavioral Change Specialist, NASM VCS Virtual Coaching Specialist, CrossFit Level 1 Trainer