Winter’s growls of fierce cold wind are fading and the spring is blooming. Summer’s heat is around the corner. Is the first sight of a bathing suit on the rack of your local department store giving you nightmares?
As spring fashion trends are showing off more skin and tighter clothing, everyone is looking for an easy fix to lose weight. As a pharmacist I get asked constantly for safe alternatives to lose weight. With all the information available on the internet, it’s extremely hard to decipher what is safe and what is harmful to your body. Many weight loss products on the shelves of your local drug store are full of empty promises and have a track record of being extremely unsafe. I’ve got one safe solution that I always recommend to patients, friends, and family first. It’s safe, simple, and cheap if not free. It’s as simple as drinking a glass of water.
Yes, that’s right. You can lose weight by drinking water! How many times have you heard to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day? Let’s be honest with ourselves. Are you getting enough water? What is so special about water? Our bodies are composed of at least 70-90% water. Not only that, the earth’s surface is 71% covered with water! Unless we know otherwise, water is what allows life to occur on planet earth. Now it has been proven to aid in weight loss. In that sense, I guess you can say that water is a bit magical!
Where is the science? A study from 2010 showed that adults who drink water before meals were more predisposed to losing weight (source: Obesity 18 (2): 300-307, doi:10.1038/oby.2009.235). Over the course of 12 months, middle aged to older aged adults who drank water before meals were continuing to lose weight over the long-run. Those who drank more water were also more likely to be eating healthier!
Let’s look at this from a common sense point of view as well. Imagine your stomach as a big mixing bowl. If you fill that bowl with a few glasses of water, there will be less room for other food. Water is essentially filling up your stomach with a calorie free liquid before you even begin to eat. Therefore you will feel full and end up eating less calories overall. It simply makes sense! On top of that, 75% of the time we feel hungry is really due to being thirsty. Drinking a glass of water before your meal, during your meal, and between meals should help avoid those false food cravings.
As a disclaimer, please remember to always check with your doctor before you make any drastic changes to your water drinking habits. In certain disease states, too much water should be avoided. Normal exercise will also contribute to weight loss.
Overall, nothing can be healthier than a glass of water. My challenge to you is to drink a tall glass of water before every meal and another glass of water with your meal. Replace all of your normal drinks with water and watch the pounds melt away! Before you know it, you will be looking forward to wearing your swimsuit!