While weight loss may seem like this lofty, at times unreachable, goal, there are easy, affordable, and quick ways to support your journey. And one of those ways is to drink the right beverages that promote weight loss.
Often overlooked, the beverages you drink play a big role in determining the number you see on the scale. In fact, 20% of your daily calorie intake comes entirely from beverages, according to a BMC Public Health analysis. For the average person, that equates to about 400 calories a day.
So making the right choices about what to sip is paramount when it comes to losing weight, and that’s why dietitians say that water is the best thing to drink to control your weight.
“Most people don’t drink enough water, and often confuse hunger for thirst. Having a daily water goal can [help to control weight] by detering people from drinking other beverages high in calories and sugar, like soda, sweetened coffee, and sports drinks,” Amy Davis, RD, LDN, of The Balanced Dietitian.
There are several ways that drinking water can support weight loss.
Studies have shown that drinking water boosts your metabolism by increasing the rate in which your body burns calories. Over the course of just one hour, drinking water can boost your metabolism by as much as 24%.
Drinking water can also help you feel full, thus keeping you from eating unnecessary calories. A study published in the journal Obesity found that drinking 2 cups of water before a meal can support weight loss by helping you to eat fewer calories. In fact, researchers found that those who drank water before a meal ended up losing 4.5 pounds more over the course of 12 weeks compared to those who ate without being asked to drink water beforehand.
Like Davis says, one of the main ways drinking water helps you control your weight is by displacing other, higher-calorie beverages. Two notable ones are alcohol and coffee drinks.
“During the pandemic and quarantine, many people started drinking more. The nightly glass of wine or cocktail will put on pounds especially in your stomach area!” says registered dietitian, Lisa DeFazio, MS, RD. “It opens your appetite, increases sugar cravings, and you will eat more. The next day you are more tired and less likely to exercise.” (Related: What Happens To Your Body When You Give Up Alcohol)
Coffee drinks are just as bad as drinking alcohol when it comes to your weight—and oftentimes end up carrying more calories per drink than a glass of wine or pint of beer: “Fancy blended coffee drinks are like milkshakes; they can be 300-400 calories each!” says DeFazio.
So you can see that swapping either of these beverages with a glass of water can immediately save you anywhere between 100 and 400 calories!
How to drink water for weight loss
Davis recommends drinking at least half of your body weight in ounces of water daily to control your weight. (Related: This Is How Much Water You Need to Drink for Weight Loss.)
And because we know that plain water might be a bit underwhelming for people, the dietitians we spoke to recommended a couple of ways to jazz it up.
“If plain water is too boring for you, add sliced citrus fruits for a hint of flavor,” says Summer Yule, MS, RDN, a registered dietitian and recipe developer based in Connecticut.
For a bit of kick, you can also try spiking your water with some apple cider vinegar!
“Blend 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in 4 to 5 ounces water and drink 5 minutes before a meal. This trick helps to improve digestion and thereby stabilize blood sugar. The better you digest your food, the more full and more energized you will feel,” says Kylene Bogden MS, RDN, a holistic registered dietitian for the Cleveland Cavaliers and co-founder of FWDfuel Sports Nutrition.
Tossing a green tea bag into a cup of hot water can also accelerate your weight loss results: Green tea is full of antioxidants called catechins, which have been linked to enhanced fat burning.
No matter which way you choose to drink water, just know that by doing so, you’ll be helping your body function at its best so you can better control your weight and live healthily. And for the other side of the story, don’t miss these 7 Unhealthiest Drinks for Weight Loss.
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