What's the number one thing you would associate with being on a diet?
While the answer might vary, I'm sure if you took a survey of 100 people one of the top answers would be drinking more water. It's 'Dieting 101' to start increasing your daily water intake when trying to lose weight.
Have you ever wondered why?
Maybe you've been on diets before, or are on one just now - although, as it's approaching the festive season that's unlikely! We are very familiar with the endless benefits of drinking water but so often we can find it challenging to integrate getting the adequate daily minimum into a habit form. Particularly if you don't drink a lot of water prior to starting a diet, you might underestimate it's importance. Have you ever wondered why drinking water is so important for weight loss though?
One of the easiest and most vital changes you can make as part of a diet is to reduce calories gained through drinking. Liquid calories add up so easily, whether you've got a soft spot for fizzy drinks or fruit juices, it's easy to forget their sugar content.
Just as no other liquid hydrates you like water, no other liquid has as low a calorie content as water. Therefore, in order to effectively cut calories, these have to be the first to go.
What does the research say?
The research speaks volumes for the power of water in weight loss. Study after study has highlighted the power of drinking the right amount of water - and at the right times - in shifting the pounds.
A study in the journal 'Obesity' in September 2015, carried out research on 'preloading' water before meals. Participants were split into two groups, one which drank 500ml of water before each meal - 3 times per day. The other group, were told to imagine being full before eating each meal. The group that drank the water prior to their meals lost twice as much as weight as those who didn't.
Numerous other studies also highlight the effectiveness of drinking water in burning calories. A 2006 publication in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, found that drinking 500ml of water results in your body burning 23 calories. Not a great deal of course, but over a whole year this could add up to around 17,000 or 2 kilograms of fat - just for drinking half a litre of water!
Some research also claims that drinking cold water can increase energy expenditure because your body has to work to raise the temperature of the water once its inside your body, pretty cool right?
Mineral Deficiency & Overeating
One of the most common triggers for overeating is mineral deficiency. This is when your body lacks the appropriate levels of minerals like calcium, magnesium and iron etc. and your brain mistakes this for hunger.
Your brain is sending signals to your cells because your body is lacking sufficient quantities of these minerals. Too often we mistake it for hunger and reach for foods that don't make up the mineral intake we actually need. This triggers a cycle because when your body doesn't get the mineral balance it needs from the food you just gave it, the balance is even more thrown off than beforehand. And guess what? You feel hungry again... and the cycle continues.
The Good News...
The good news is that there are very simple ways to keep your mineral balance right. The first and most obvious one is to eat plenty of fruit and vegetables. Dark, leafy greens and things like broccoli are great for micronutrients like calcium & magnesium, so make sure these are a regular part of your diet.
However, you can also rebalance your micronutrient and mineral intake through drinking water. By getting yourself a water filter which enhances the mineral content of your drinking water, instead of a water softener - like Brita, which depletes mineral content - you can top up your micronutrient intake by simply enjoying the refreshing water from your filter. Micronutrient balance can seem complicated, and it's an easy issue to overthink, but this is a great tip for staying on top on of your micronutrient intake - drink plenty of mineral-rich water!
Before you go...
There you have it, that's why water is the number one weapon for you to maximise if you're focused on losing weight. There are lots of ways it can help you in terms of energy expenditure, micronutrient balance and the well being you'll feel from being properly hydrated! 😁