Numerous studies have claimed that Americans are suffering from a dehydration crisis.

In 2013, one study showed that 43% of men and 41% of women didn’t meet the daily water requirements set by the US Institute of Medicine. However, a government report from 2016 showed that the average American man and women met or exceeded required water levels.

There’s little consensus on the matter. We all know we need water to live. But nobody is quite sure how much we need to stay healthy.

Of course, many wonder how water helps you lose weight.

If you’re considering drinking water to lose weight, keep reading to learn how it can help. But first, consider how water fits into your overall diet.

Drinking Water to Lose Weight Should Accompany a Balanced Diet

Water helps you lose weight, but there’s a right and wrong way to use water for weight loss.

Some people would have you believe that you can substitute water for food to lose weight. There is a lot of misinformation about this practice. When done incorrectly, it can be dangerous.

There is some benefit to short-term fasting. Your body will run out of glycogen to consume about 6 hours after you eat. This can make some people cranky and a bit irrational, but it isn’t harmful in small doses.

Ketosis

After this period, you’ll enter ketosis. Athletes and people pursuing weight loss often try to enter this state to make weight loss more effective.

During ketosis, your body begins to break down extra fat for energy. This causes ketones to build up in the body.

For anyone who has ever tried to lose weight, this is obviously an attractive prospect. But ketosis is only healthy in small doses.

Also, ketosis does not provide your body with all the energy it needs. During the ending stages of ketosis, your cognitive function won’t be as strong at the beginning. For this reason alone, you should be careful about fasting because it could make you drowsy or distracted.

Thankfully, there are ways to enter ketosis without fasting. With the ketogenic diet, you avoid carbs, sugars, and starches. Instead, you focus on eating fruits, vegetables, nuts, and certain fats.

Intermittent Fasting

If you do decide to forgo meals, only do so with intermittent fasting. Forgoing food for days at a time can have serious consequences for your health. After about 72 hours, your body will begin to break itself down for energy.

Once you reach this point, you are no longer pursuing weight loss. You’ve begun to starve. You can lose muscle mass, harm your immune system, and grow ill because of a lack of vitamins and nutrients.

Drinking water can help you lose weight. But it should always accompany a lifestyle of healthy eating and exercise. You should consult a doctor before making any major changes to your diet.

How Does Drinking Water Help Weight Loss?

There are multiple ways drinking water can help you lose weight. First and foremost, water is a necessary ingredient for life. Your body simply does not function correctly without it.

Water Aids Digestion

Water accounts for 50%-70% of our body weight. It’s also crucial for almost all our bodily functions, including digestion.

Water helps break down foods, so your body can absorb nutrients more efficiently. It’s also an important ingredient for digesting soluble fiber. This helps your bowel make well-formed stools that are easy to pass.

Drinking Water Before Meals Helps You Avoid Overeating

It seems like such a simple trick, but it’s quite effective. If you drink plenty of water before and during a meal, you‘re likely to eat less because your stomach feels full.

Water Can Replace Calorie-Filled Drinks

While it can be hard to avoid soda and alcoholic drinks, it’s crucial to do so if you want to lose weight. Limiting and avoiding these drinks can also have other positive impacts on your health.

Try to replace high-calorie drinks with water. Plain water is always the best choice. However, if you crave carbonation, you can replace your drinks with sugar-free and calorie-free seltzer water.

Make Drinking Water a Part of Your Meal Plan

Most of us drink water only when we’re thirsty. But if you want to drink water to lose weight, you’ll need to do more than follow your instincts. Instead, drink water for weight loss as part of your meal plan.

Keep track of how much water you’re taking in each day. Plan to drink water at certain times of day, such as before meals or after a workout. But still, don’t neglect to drink water when you’re thirsty.

With a plan in place, you can get the full benefits of drinking water to lose weight. Nonetheless, it can be difficult to know just how much water you need each day.

Don’t Drink Too Much Water

Study after study has produced different answers as to how much water we should drink every day. The old saying is that 8 glasses is standard. But there is no evidence to back up this claim.

Researchers now say that it’s relative: it depends on the individual. Of course, that doesn’t mean there aren’t some guidelines.

According to the Mayo Clinic, adequate daily fluid intake looks like this:

  • About 15.5 cups (3.7liters) each day for men
  • About 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) each day for women

Remember, however, that some of your fluid intake comes from your food and other drinks (even coffee). Other factors, like exercise and your overall health, may require you to drink more than what’s recommended above.

It is also possible to drink too much water.

Water intoxication (hyponatremia) can occur if you drink an extreme amount of water in a very short period. The symptoms are like those of heatstroke and exhaustion.

It’s a serious condition that can be fatal. But it’s also extremely rare.

In order to suffer from this ailment, you’d have to drink gallons upon gallons of water all at once. Most people will stop drinking water when continuing to do so becomes uncomfortable.

For the most part, you’ll need to think about drinking enough water more than you’ll need to think about drinking too much.

Make Water a Part of Your Weight Loss Plan

Drinking water to lose weight shouldn’t be your only strategy. But water should play a starring role in your healthy and balanced weight loss plan.

First, try to get enough water each day. Then, try tricks like drinking water before meals to help yourself cut calories.