Should I Limit the Amount of Water I Drink if I’m Trying to Lose Weight?

Many people give up water when they diet under the impression that they’ll lose weight. However, just the opposite occurs. If you don’t drink enough water every day, your body stores it along with the excess fat that you don’t want.

The University of Minnesota’s Water Resource Center has incorporated research from several sources into a short, concise guide on drinking water to lose weight. Here are some highlights from the study:

  • Your body stores water when you don’t give it enough. If you don’t drink enough water, your body thinks it’s in danger and holds on to whatever water it can find. This “emergency” supply is stored between cells and translates into extra weight and swelling. Your feet, legs, and hands will be the first to swell, followed by other areas of your body. When your body gets enough water however, storage is not necessary and this swelling does not occur.
  • You need water to burn fat. Without water, your kidneys can’t do their job and when this happens, your liver is dispatched to pitch in and help. While your liver is busy helping the kidneys, it’s not focusing on its primary function of converting fat into fuel and some of the fat that should have been burned gets stored instead. Drinking the right amount of water enables the kidneys and the liver to function independently and on their primary tasks.
  • The more water you drink, the less you’ll eat. Water is a natural appetite suppressant. A glass of water before eating will help you feel full and eat less. By drinking water, you’ll also get rid of extra salt, which can cause the body to retain water and bloat.

Drinking cool or cold water is best. Why? Cool water is absorbed faster and helps burn more calories. Try to limit the amount of soda, tea, coffee and other caffeinated drinks that you consume as caffeine is a diuretic and causes you to lose water rapidly.

So how do you know if you are drinking enough water? General rule of thumb is 6-8 cups (1.5-2 liters) per day. In most cases, if you’re drinking the right amount your urine will be colorless.