The number of weight loss diets available today is incredibly high. They’re all different from one another and some are more effective than others. However, nearly all of them have one thing in common: they all encourage people to drink more water. Proper hydration may be the most important, and the most overlooked, way to assist medical weight loss or diet plans.
Increase Calorie Burn
Drinking water increases your resting energy expenditure, which is a fancy way of saying your body burns more calories, even in a state of rest. Studies have shown that drinking about 16oz of water resulted in a temporary spike in the participants’ metabolic rate. Other studies showed that overweight people who drank between 1-1 ½ liters (34-50 oz) of water daily over the course of a few weeks displayed a significant reduction in weight, BMI, waist circumference and body fat. Researchers came to the conclusion that increasing water intake to about 1.5 liters per day would increase daily caloric burn by about 200 calories. That’s not including the additional caloric burn of exercise.
In addition, keeping properly hydrated will also help fuel your body through your workouts. If you’re hydrated, your heart can pump blood to your muscles more efficiently. This helps them function properly, which means you can exercise more intensely. Effective fat loss suffers significantly when a person is dehydrated. You don’t start to feel thirsty until you lose about 2% of your body weight in water, which is actually about the same point at which your exercise performance starts to diminish. Ensuring that you’re properly hydrated will stop you from having to play catch up, allowing you to burn calories more effectively, both during and after your workout.
Decrease Calories Consumed
Along with increasing the number of calories burned, drinking plenty of water can also assist in decreasing the amount of calories one consumes. Water is naturally zero-calorie, so including it in your routine in place of another beverage can help you create a calorie deficit in your diet. Believe it or not, the majority of Americans actually drink the majority of their daily calories. One 17 oz bottle of Coca-Cola is 200 calories alone. A grande Caramel Macchiato is 250 calories. A grande Java Chip Frappucino, one of Starbucks most popular order items, is a whopping 470 calories. Swapping out just one calorie-laden drink per day could assist greatly in any medical weight loss plan.
Help Curb Hunger
Many times, the feeling that people associate with being hungry actually comes from dehydration. This stems from the fact that the symptoms of hunger and the symptoms of thirst mirror each other. So, the grumbling stomach, low energy level, and light-headedness you feel might actually be your body’s way of telling you to grab a glass of water, not a snack.
For those on a medical weight loss diet, drinking 1-2 glasses of water 30 minutes before a meal can help preemptively fill your stomach, meaning you end up feeling full faster and, thus, will consume fewer calories. Ensuring that you stay properly hydrated overall can help keep you satiated and help curb needless snacking.
Boost Your Energy
Need a way to get through your mid-afternoon slump? Rather than grabbing a sugary, caffeinated soft drink, a glass of water could be just as beneficial. For many people, dehydration will often masquerade as fatigue. Keeping your body, which is made of nearly 70% water, well-hydrated will help keep your muscles fed, your neurons firing, and your brain focused on the task at hand.
Stay Hydrated on Your Medical Weight Loss Plan!
Remember, drinking liquid is not the same as drinking water. Many people’s go-to drinks aren’t good for staying hydrated, and some, like those with a lot of caffeine, can actually have the opposite effect on your body. While the amount of water a person needs depends on their daily activity level, it’s a good idea for everyone, especially those doing medical weight loss, to make sure they drink plenty of good old H2O.
Lorraine Maita, MD is an award winning physician, speaker, and author of “Vibrance for Life: How to Live Younger and Healthier.” She can make you slim, sharp, sexy and supercharged. She is an expert in anti-aging medicine, bioidentical hormone replacement, nutrition, medical weight loss, supplements, and executive health. Dr. Maita was the medical director for 3 Fortune 100 companies and has a private practice specializing in Functional, Integrative, Personalized and Anti-Aging Medicine in Summit and Basking Ridge, NJ. If you’re interested in getting started on a medical weight loss plan, get in touch and schedule your appointment today!