If you’re trying to lose weight by reducing the amount of sugar, salt, and saturated fat in your diet, doctors say that drinking more water can actually maximize your results.
The dietary habits of more than 18300 American adults were studied and it showed that those who increased their intake of ordinary water by just 1% showed a reduction in caloric intake, which reduced the amount of fat, sugar, and sodium in their diet.
This small habit resulted in fat loss, lowered cholesterol levels, and a range of positive health effects.
How much water?
Professor Ruopeng An from the University of Illinois published a report that showed that people who increased their water intake by 1-3 cups per day ended up eating approximately 200 calories less than usual, as well as reducing their sodium intake by as much as 235 milligrams.
“The impact of plain water intake on diet was similar across race or ethnicity, education, income levels, and body weight status. This finding indicates that it might be sufficient to design and deliver universal nutrition interventions and education campaigns that promote plain water consumption in replacement of beverages with calories in diverse population subgroups without profound concerns about message and strategy customization”, he said.
What’s the average amount of water per day?
The National Center for Health Statistics conducted a survey, known as the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which examined data in four separate waves between 2005-2012.
They asked participants to record everything that they consumed over two full days, which were scheduled 3 to 10 days apart. The percentage of plain water that each individual consumed was then calculated as a percentage of their total intake, which excluded coffee, tea, and even herbal tea, but included their water content.
It was found that participants were drinking an average of 4.3 cups of plain water per day, which was approximately 30% of their total dietary fluid intake. The average calorie count was 2157, which included 125 calories from sugary beverages and 432 calories from junk food such as desserts, pastries, and calorically dense snacks.
The study was published in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics.
What difference will a 1% increase make?
By increasing water intake by just 1%, or adding 1-3 cups of plain water to your diet per day, you will feel more hydrated and energized, giving your body exactly what it needs to flush out toxins.
It could also help you feel fuller for longer and can aid digestion, which will leave you reaching less for sugary drinks and fatty foods and more for healthier options. Professor An proved that just a simple switch to plain water could help to reduce sodium, sugar, and fat intake, which will lead to a leaner, healthier physical state.
Interestingly, Professor An found that men and young to middle-aged adults showed the greatest results from increasing their water intake, likely because their caloric intake was higher to begin with.