Drink to lose weight

If you’ve ever given your health much thought, you already know the importance of staying hydrated. Skipping just one 20-ounce bottle of Coke a day and sipping water instead will save you 240 calories. That’s the equivalent of half a pound a week, and almost 25 pounds a year!

But water isn’t beneficial merely because it replaces other beverages; this simple drink has impressive impacts on your metabolism as well.

Water’s Surprising Impact on Your Metabolism

Research shows that drinking lots of water can benefit weight loss, and the results are impressive. Water increases your resting energy expenditure, which is the number of calories you burn through normal living. In fact, some research shows that drinking half a liter of water can increase your metabolism by almost a third for over an hour at a time.  

The impact of staying properly hydrated is so profound that it works without further lifestyle changes. For instance, one study found that overweight participants who drank at least 1.5 liters of water each day shrank their waist circumference and BMI within a few weeks, even though they didn’t change their diet or exercise habits.  

My Personal Take on the Importance of Water

Here’s some honesty for you. When I first started my clinic, I didn’t push my clients to drink more water. I believed that they should drink water when thirsty and sip a glass or two at dinner, and that would be enough. My views changed when I took on a client who followed a near-perfect diet but still couldn’t lose weight. Her case confounded me until I realized that she wasn’t drinking water and was hydrating instead with wine and diet Snapple. At my suggestion, she switched out those drinks and drank water instead, and the weight began to melt off- up to two pounds a week.

Working with this client inspired me to change my perspective on the importance of hydration. I now educate everyone at my clinic about the importance of drinking water for achieving your weight loss goals, even if you stay hydrated with other liquids during the day. I’ve seen the metabolic shift that water makes happen firsthand with countless clients, and I’ve noticed the difference for myself.

How to Improve Your Water Consumption

So, what’s the best way to ensure you’re staying hydrated? When it comes to sipping water, I believe that simple is best. Stay away from fancy carbonated waters and mix-in packets, as carbonated water increases your body’s acidity and triggers IBS symptoms, and the packets usually contain sugars or strange artificial ingredients. You can drink these “special” waters a treat, but don’t rely on them for daily hydration.

If you’re bored with tap water, I do recommend adding a squeeze of lemon, lime, cucumber or other fresh fruit (not concentrate) to the drink. Another option is to add a product like True Lemon for a convenient burst of flavor without artificial ingredients or unnecessary calories.

To encourage consumption, carry a water bottle with you wherever you go. The cuter the container, the more likely you won’t forget to bring it with you! Hydration-wise, room temperature water is best because you can drink it faster.

When you first wake up, drinking water is just as critical as that cup of coffee. I recommend that you try to nail the first liter by lunch so that you stay hydrated throughout the day. You can also adjust the amount you drink to prep for the rest of your day. For instance, if you’re heading into a salty dinner, be sure to drink several cups of water beforehand so that the sodium doesn’t overwhelm your system.

Learn More About Hydration with The Food Fix

This article is just the beginning of what I can share with you about hydration and your health. You can learn more by joining The Food Fix, my clean eating and weight loss program designed for real life in the real world. No restrictive plans, counting points, weighing or measuring your food, or eating pre-packaged meals out of a box. Learn more at foodfix.me.

Heather Bauer

Heather Bauer is a nationally recognized nutrition expert, author, and entrepreneur.

She brings her fresh and inspiring approach to diet to prime time spots on Good Morning America, CNN, CBS, The Talk, Access Hollywood Live and The Tyra Banks Show. And she's featured in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and People Magazine. 

Heather is the author of two best-selling nutrition and diet books, The Wall Street Diet and Bread is the Devil, and has regular columns on The Huffington Post and USNews where she writes about the latest trends.

She is the founder of Bestowed, the leading product discovery platform for health-conscious consumers, and has an active nutrition counseling practice in NYC, which she founded in 2001.

Heather is a Registered Dietitian (RD) and a New York State Certified Dietitian-Nutritionist (CDN). She graduated from The University of Wisconsin with honors and is a member of the American Dietetic Association (ADA) and the New York State Dietetic Association (NYSDA).