Can water help you lose weight?


Wouldn’t that be wonderful if that was really the case? If all you had to do to shed a couple of lbs a day was lounge in your armchair and watch TV or read a book while supping on a few glasses of water?

Well, it may not be as far-fetched as it sounds. Here at Overland Park Boot Camp we’ve been reading up on a pretty famous  study at Virginia Tech where researchers put two groups of adults aged 55 to 75 year old on a low calorie diet over 12 weeks. The group who drank two glasses before every meal lost an average of 15.5lbs – 4.5lbs more than the dieters who didn’t bother with the water.

The reason it worked, according to nutritionists, is because the water tricked the body into thinking it was already pretty full before the group started eating. This meant their hunger pangs weren’t as big and they ate less.

But more importantly, according to dietician Lyssie Lakatos, was that dehydration (even just a little bit) can cause your metabolism to slow down meaning calories won’t be burned so fast.

Our weight is made up of 60 per cent water. We need it to shift nutrients and oxygen around our organs and get rid of toxins. It also does the important job of regulating our body temperature.

According to nutritionists the ideal amount of water we should be drinking is eight glasses a day. For those of us who exercise regularly we need a lot more due to perspiration and effort.

So yes, water is essential but it’s not a fantastic weight-loss tool. We’re well aware at Overland Park Boot Camp that sticking to a healthy diet full of water-based vegetables, lean protein, low-fat dairy products and complex carbs while combining it with a regular and effective exercise routine will get better, more long-term results and far more speedily.

Where it would really help us is by using water as a substitute for all those fizzy drinks we’re apt to consume when we want a pick-me-up, usually in the middle of the day. That’s beverages such as sugar-based fruit drinks and sodas.

One interesting finding of the above study is that when the same diet and water routine was given to two groups of dieters aged 18 to 35 there was no difference in weight loss between those who drank water before meals and those who didn’t. The conclusion, according to dieticians? It takes longer for an older adult’s stomach to empty therefore they felt fuller for a longer time than the younger group (at last – a plus to growing old!).

A note of warning to finish: drinking too much water (we’re talking gallons here) can be dangerous as it depletes sodium levels in the blood and can lead to hyponatremia. The symptoms of this condition are confusion and seizures and, in extreme cases, coma. But that’s incredibly rare. So go ahead, get supping and we’ll certainly raise our glass to you here at Overland Park Boot Camp

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