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Does Drinking a Lot of Water Help You Lose Weight?

author image Rachel Nall
Rachel Nall began writing in 2003. She is a former managing editor for custom health publications, including physician journals. She has written for The Associated Press and "Jezebel," "Charleston," "Chatter" and "Reach" magazines. Nall is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Tennessee.
Does Drinking a Lot of Water Help You Lose Weight?
Drinking water can help you to feel more full, thus reducing your appetite. Photo Credit: Adam Gault/Photodisc/Getty Images

Water is required to keep your body’s metabolism functioning and your cells functioning properly. By drinking enough water, you can burn more calories and reduce thirst pangs you may be mistaking for hunger. If you are trying to lose weight, make water a vital part of your plan.

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A study by Dr. Brenda Davy of Virginia Tech, highlighted on, found that those who drank two to three glasses of water before eating a meal experienced better weight loss than those who did not. Those who drank water before a meal were found to eat 75 fewer calories at a meal than those who did not.


Your body consists of two-thirds water, which is necessary for chemical reactions that control bodily functions. If your body does not have enough water to perform these functions, the body is not able to burn fat but instead goes into a “survival mode,” where the kidneys and liver must work to make up for lost water. And if you are trying to lose weight, you also are likely exercising, which results in lost water weight via sweating. Drink plenty of water before, during and after exercise in order to sufficiently cool the body.


If you experience symptoms such as unexplained headaches, fatigue, muscle spasms and back pain, this can signal you are not drinking enough water, which can adversely effect your weight loss.


Drinking water regularly throughout the day can help you to feel more full and consume less food at a meal. For this reason, you should drink water 20 to 30 minutes before a meal. Foods also can be a source of water. Choose soups, fruits, and low-fat dairy products that contain water. To determine the amount of water you should have each day, multiply your body weight in pounds times 5. The result is the amount in ounces you should drink per day, according to the Diet Channel.


While drinking water can help you to lose weight, drinking too much can pose a health risk, according to This condition, known as hyponatremia, occurs when the body takes in too much water and is unable to balance the levels with sodium. If you experience symptoms such as confusion, irritability or even seizures, seek immediate medical attention.

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