Does Drinking Distilled Water Help You Lose Weight?

Woman Drinking Water
Woman drinking a glass of water (Image: Fuse/Fuse/Getty Images)

Some people involved in fitness or weight loss claim that drinking distilled water can help you lose weight. Whether this is true, and whether the water has to be distilled, is a matter that requires a little deeper explanation. Learning whether drinking distilled water really has an impact on weight can help you create a weight loss plan based in fact, not fads.

Negative Food

Water has zero calories and because water requires about one calorie per ounce for your body to process, it is a negative-calorie food. At one calorie per ounce, you would have to drink more than 55 gallons of water to burn one pound worth of calories. Still, it's better for your weight-loss efforts than a high-calorie fruit juice or soda.

Filling Up

CNN health correspondent Dr. Melina Jampolis advises drinking a large glass of water immediately before you sit down to any meal. This fills your body with zero-calorie liquid, helping you control your portions during the meal. Likewise, she recommends drinking water as your first response to any between-meal snacks. According to Jampolis, drinking water for portion control can improve your weight loss results by as much as a pound per month.

Distilled Water

Distillation is a method for purifying water and other liquids. To distill water, boil it and collect the steam to condense and cool in another container. Any contaminants in the original water remain in the boiling container. You can buy distilled water, which is different from spring water or plain bottled water, in most grocery stores. However, there's no research that indicates drinking distilled water is any different than drinking other healthy water in terms of weight loss efforts.

Bottom Line

Drinking water can produce small weight loss effects, but is best considered an adjunct to other more aggressive weight loss measures such as a diet and exercise plan. Although distilled water may taste better -- and be safer than the tap water supply in some regions -- it makes no difference in terms of losing weight.

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