Doctor sets daily water drinking target as essential tool for weight loss

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Drinking water is essential if you
Drinking water is essential if you're trying to lose weight (stock image) (Image: Getty Images)

When it comes to losing weight, you've no doubt heard that the key is to be in a calorie deficit - which means you need to burn more calories than you're consuming. And to speed things up even more, daily movement and exercise is essential.

You've no doubt also heard that water is one of the major things we need to drink for our health, but did you know that it can also help speed up your weight loss journey? Dieticians tend to recommend drinking water alongside any diet.

Nutritionist Kelly Jones told Men's Health: "Oftentimes water is pushed to those seeking weight loss because there is a belief that water can 'fill you up' leading to eating less often or less volume come meal time.

"Along with well balanced meals and snacks, adequate hydration may help you better listen to your hunger and fullness cues, helping your body reach the weight it is meant to be over time."

She recommends thinking of water as more of a "maintenance tool" than a "magic bullet" for weight loss. The pro says sipping water regularly throughout the day is essential to preventing feelings of thirst, as when you're thirsty it's already a sign that you're dehydrated. If you continually sip water you'll have "better appetite regulation" throughout the day.

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While water may be able to help you curb hunger short term, it doesn't last for a very long time, according to the expert. She says you need a "proper intake of protein, fat and fibre" to "trigger your satiety signals and truly feel full".

Water can also help you burn more calories while you rest, as it raises your resting energy expenditure (REE). According to Dr Linda Anegawa, physician in internal medicine and obesity medicine and medical director at PlushCare, the REE can increase by as much as 30% within 20 minutes of drinking water.

So how much water should you drink in order to aid weight loss? According to Dr Anegawa, you should aim to drink around six 8oz glasses of water a day, or even more if you're in a hot climate. If you're working out that day, you should also drink an additional 16 to 24oz of fluid, three hours before exercise, and up to a litre an hour during.

It's also important to remember to replace the fluids you lose during a workout. Kelly recommends that for every pound lost while moving, you need to drink an additional 16 to 20oz on top of your baseline needs. If you are drinking dehydrating beverages, such as coffee and tea, you need to increase your water intake.

Ariane Sohrabi-Shiraz

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