Could your daily hydration habits be limiting your weight loss efforts?


Drinking more water every day is a natural instinct for some looking to clean up their diets. But for others it can easily fall away as we go about our busy lives. By paying attention to your daily hydration status, you can help boost your weight loss efforts. Particularly as we enter the colder months and hydration tends to be overlooked in favour of comfort foods. There are numerous ways drinking more water can help shed the extra kilos this winter. Wet your appetite with our top hydration takeaways below. 


Drinking water can increase your calorie expenditure.


Drinking water increases the amount of calories you burn throughout the day. This is often referred to as daily energy expenditure. A 24-30% increase can be seen in as little as 10 minutes post consumption, lasting as long as an hour (Boschmann et al., 2003). This impact can also be seen in a study where women changed nothing other than increasing their water intake proceeding to lose 2kg extra over the course of a year (Brown et al., 2006).


Drinking water prior to meals can reduce appetite.


Reducing your appetite is a sure way to consume less calories throughout the day which can lead to greater weight loss. A quick way to reduce your appetite is to consume water prior to meals. This works particularly well for middle-aged and elderly populations due to the slowing of gastric emptying that occurs as we age (Van Walleghen et al., 2007).


Drink water an hour before meals to allow time for hormonal signals of satiety to take effect and lead to less hunger at the time of eating. 500ml is recommended 30-60 minutes prior to meals for best results. Just be sure to implement this approach slowly over time to avoid sudden increases in urine production that may be problematic for some (Daniels & Popkin, 2010).


Drinking water can help stave off weight gain in younger adults and children.


It has been proven that drinking water often replaces sugar filled calorie dense beverages, which leads to a reduced caloric consumption overtime (Illescas-Zarate et al., 2015, Popkin et al., 2010). With the average soft drink containing 200 calories, you can see how this straight swap can save you a lot of excess sugar and acidity. 


Younger adults and children can especially benefit from this approach as a preventative weight gain strategy. Encouraging our youth to drink water has shown a 31% decrease in risk of obesity in schools (Muckelbauer et al., 2009).


Tips to help stay hydrated for weight loss.


  • Make sure to always pack a water bottle wherever you go.
  • Set a ‘water break’ reminder on your phone/watch every 3 hours.
  • Keep chilled water in the fridge as this tastes better for some.
  • Opt for the FREE water often given when dining out. Have a glass of this prior to any other drinks you may order.
  • Flavour your water with cucumber, mint, fruit, or citrus occasionally for a fresh satisfying change. 
  • Make rules for yourself to help create hydrating habits. Ie. drinking a full glass of water upon waking everyday.


Avoid over consuming dehydrating beverages.


Alcoholic beverages such as beer, wine, and liquor increase urine output and could cause dehydration if consumed in large amounts. Caffeinated energy drinks, coffee, and some teas may also contain ingredients that increase urine production and contribute to dehydration.


Not only do these beverages have diuretic capabilities, they also contain extra calories which is counterintuitive to your weight loss efforts. Give the sugar loaded beverages a miss and save yourself the additional calories. 


How much water do you need for weight loss?


Water is essential to burn fat from food and drinks as well as stored body fat. Each individual will need varying amounts of water depending on weight, exercise activity (each day), temperature and humidity changes. 


As a general rule, drink 1L per 30 kg of body weight on average.

Example: 90kg person = 3L per day


Combine this with a well balanced diet and an adequate amount of exercise and you’ve got a fantastic recipe for success on your weight loss journey.


Key Takeaways:


  • Drink plenty of water to increase your daily calorie expenditure
  • Replace sugar laden beverages with calorie FREE water
  • Drinking water can help suppress your appetite
  • Drinking water prior to meals can help increase satiety
  • Take a water bottle with you everywhere you go as a helpful reminder




  1. Boschmann M, Steiniger J, Hille U, Tank J, Adams F, Sharma AM, et al. Water-induced thermogenesis. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. 2003;88(12):6015–9.
  2. Brown CM, Dulloo AG, Montani J-P. Water-induced thermogenesis reconsidered: The effects of osmolality and water temperature on energy expenditure after drinking. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. 2006;91(9):3598–602.
  3. Van Walleghen EL, Orr JS, Gentile CL, Davy BM. Pre-meal water consumption reduces meal energy intake in older but not younger subjects*. Obesity. 2007;15(1):93–9.
  4. Daniels MC, Popkin BM. Impact of water intake on energy intake and weight status: A systematic review. Nutrition Reviews. 2010;68(9):505–21.
  5. Brown CM, Dulloo AG, Montani J-P. Water-induced thermogenesis reconsidered: The effects of osmolality and water temperature on energy expenditure after drinking. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. 2006;91(9):3598–602.
  6. Popkin BM, D’Anci KE, Rosenberg IH. Water, hydration, and health. Nutrition Reviews. 2010;68(8):439–58.
  7. Muckelbauer R, Libuda L, Clausen K, Toschke André Michael, Reinehr T, Kersting M. Promotion and provision of drinking water in schools for overweight prevention: Randomized, controlled Cluster Trial. Pediatrics. 2009;123(4).



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