Tuesday, April 16, 2024


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After all, is water related to weight loss? And if so, when is it best to consume it? Harvard University gathered all the relevant research in order to dispel the myths and give you an answer. The dietitian we asked has the same opinion.

If you have tried to lose weight through a diet , you will surely have heard the advice to drink a lot of water or drink at least 8 glasses of water a day or drink at least 1 glass of water before each meal . It doesn’t sound unreasonable to fill your stomach with some water before a meal so that you need less food to be full and thus stop eating earlier. But is it true that water can actually help you lose weight?

Dr. ​Robert H. Shmerling , a rheumatologist with long-term experience and one of the editors-in-chief of the scientific review of Harvard University , searched for all the research data, in order to provide a documented answer to the above question.

Water and weight loss: 4 myths that almost everyone believes


Water and weight loss



During his research, evidence emerged that led him to examine some individual myths regarding the relationship between water and weight loss. He cites the results of his research in one of the articles in the online journal of the Harvard Medical School .

Myth #1: Do you feel full? You eat less

Your stomach has nerves that, when they feel stretched, send signals to the brain that it’s time to stop eating. Pre-meal drinking probably had the exact same effect. There are indeed a few studies, however small in scope, that support this idea.

One of them showed that older people who drank a full glass of water before meals tended to eat less than those who didn’t. Another study found that people who followed a low-calorie diet and drank extra water before meals had less appetite and lost more weight over 12 weeks than those who followed a similar diet without extra water. However, no studies have evaluated the effect of drinking extra water on long-term weight loss.

Myth #2: You’re not hungry, you’re thirsty

This explanation suggests that sometimes you head to the kitchen for a bite when you’re thirsty and not when you’re hungry, which you don’t understand. If this is the case, drinking water can save us from consuming unnecessary calories – and this could contribute to weight loss .

The regulation of thirst and hunger is a complex process of the body and varies throughout a person’s life. For example, the feeling of thirst may be diminished in older adults .

However, no conclusive studies have been found to support the idea that people who are thirsty misinterpret the feeling of hunger or that this is why drinking water can help with weight loss.

Myth #3: If you replace soda with water, you will definitely lose weight

If you frequently drink high-calorie beverages (such as sugary sodas, fruit juices , or alcohol ), replacing them with water can help you lose weight over time.

A significant reduction in calorie intake by replacing higher caloric beverages with water could certainly lead to long-term weight loss. Indeed, evidence shows a link between the substitution of high-calorie beverages and weight loss .

Water and weight loss



But in this case, as is the case with almost all calorie restriction diets, it is difficult to stick to it in the long term , so it sounds ideal when you hear it, but really difficult in practice.

Myth #4: You need water to burn fat

Dehydration reduces the body’s ability to break down fat for energy. So maybe drinking more water will help break down fat and ultimately help you lose weight.

Although some animal studies support this view , there is no solid evidence from human studies that drinking extra water helps burn fat.

Does water help with weight loss?

The answer of the dietitian-nutritionist, Eva Tsakou, summarizes all of the above: ” Water in general has not been shown by serious research to help biochemically in weight loss . ” And, while it is essential for all our biochemical functions to be properly hydrated, water is not the only ingredient that hydrates us, as we also get hydration from other liquids, fruits, vegetables, etc.

“For water to help with weight loss (in a non-dehydrated body), one should replace with water something they drank or ate that contained a lot of calories , i.e. a juice or a snack. Also, with meals you can drink water, there is no problem for healthy people (unless there is a gastric problem). While some may help them to better limit the amount of food consumption . However, it works individually. We can’t say it applies to everyone.”

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