For Weight Loss, Water's No Cure - But It Helps

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Drinking eight 8 ounce glasses of water a day is encouraged by most weight loss programs, but the water is not what makes you lose weight. Drinking that much water gives you the feeling that you’re full – and you are, sort of. Space is being displaced though it contains no nutrition. But it does give you a feeling of fullness and keeps your mind occupied when your mind might be thinking about high calorie drinks.

Here’s how it works. Dr. Brenda Davy, associate professor of human nutrition, foods and exercise at Virginia Tech, presented a study at last year's obesity conference in Phoenix showing that people who drank two glasses of water 20 to 30 minutes before every meal lost weight more quickly and lost significantly more weight than those who didn't. But did the water cause them to lose weight? In a sense - they chose to eat less because they were full of water.

So, water is not exactly a wonder drug for weight loss. But it helps.

The body doesn’t effectively differentiate between hunger and thirst. If you don't drink enough water throughout the day, your body may mistake thirst for hunger, and you’ll eat more than you really need, which can also stall your weight loss.

Drinking the 8/8 ratio of water is harder for some people because they are not used to drinking water that often. Also, many of us don’t drink enough water in a day which can lead to dehydration. So drinking water maintains adequate hydration which is healthier for you.

So, water doesn’t take fat away the same way eating at night doesn’t add weight. It's mainly how much you eat—not when you eat—in a given day that affects weight gain. Many people eat at night because they’re bored. They wind up consuming more calories than they need for the day and those calories are then stored as fat.

Copyright © Christine Hammerlund – 2010.Christine Hammerlund is a registered nurse and the owner of Assured Healthcare, a healthcare staffing service headquartered in Gurnee, Illinois.