It is a general belief that water is fundamental to the success of any weight loss program. But does drinking water really work miracles when it comes to the weighing scale, or is this another myth in the field of health and fitness? We asked two experts, strength and fitness coach- Arnav Sarkar and clinical nutritionist and director from Whole Foods- Ishi Khosla, some frequently asked questions on water and weight loss right from the basic science behind honey, lemon and warm water to its detoxifying properties. Here is what they had to say…
Q1. Does water have any role to play in losing weight?
Arnav Sarkar. Yes, water does have a role to play in weight loss. It is often said that the majority of the population does not drink enough water. For those who maybe carrying excess water weight, an increase in water intake will help flush out the excess water from their bodies. Also, often we confuse thirst with hunger and thus end up eating more food when we probably just needed some water, so with a proper intake of water we can manage hunger better. An extra tip, drink a glass or two of water before you start your meals. This will make you feel fuller and help you eat lesser at the table, thus contributing to fat loss indirectly.
Ishi Khosla. Water per se doesn’t help in weight loss but taking plenty of fluids helps to detoxify the body and reduce water retention. Water having no calories helps to create a feeling of fullness.
Q2. It is said that lukewarm water gives you a feeling of being full, thus suppressing our appetite. Is it true?
Arnav Sarkar. Yes, water does help to suppress appetite to some degree. However for that purpose it does not have to be lukewarm or cold. As long as one drinks enough of it, it will help us control our hunger to some degree. I would like to however advise that one should not neglect proper nutrition by drinking more and more water endlessly. Even though one needs to control their food intake to lose fat, it is still essential to eat properly and get enough nutrients to be healthy, strong and basically look and feel good.
Ishi Khosla. Hot liquids in general give a feeling of fullness. But, this in no way means that it contributes to weight loss. Hot water in no way can replace your food intake. Also, please make sure that you are drinking water only at a few degrees hotter than room temperature and not at a boiling hot stage.
Q3. Is the science behind lemon, honey, water true? Does it help you in losing weight really? Is it a scientifically proven method of losing weight?
Arnav Sarkar. I have always said this that if lemon, and honey mixed in water were a cure for obesity, then all of us in the fitness industry would close our businesses and start selling lemonades. To be honest, fat loss is not so simple as just having a glass of water with lemon and honey mixed in it. I guess this concept is popular because people by nature are always looking for the “magic solution” to fat loss and do not want to work hard for it. Fat loss takes a lot of hard work, dedication and sacrifice. About it scientifically being true, well in a scientific research if drinking lemonade were to help one lose even 0.35 kg of fat in 12 weeks, it will be declared that it is helpful in losing fat. However that amount would not be real world significant. So for that reason scientific research is not always the best the way to determine what works in the real world.
Ishi Khosla. One has to understand that obesity is a serious health condition and we, people of the healthy living fraternity, in no way advocate “one day solution” to weight loss. Coming back to the honey, lemon and water solution- this in no way is a scientific proven method of weight loss and we never advise this to our clients.
Q4. Try and drink lukewarm water right before you sit for your main meals and snacks. How true is this advice?
Arnav Sarkar. Drinking water before meals helps suppressing the appetite to some extent and thus one ends up eating a little lesser. So yes, if one is looking to lose fat then this strategy can come handy to some extent if self restraint is tough. For this purpose either lukewarm or cold water can be consumed.
Ishi Khosla. As already explained, hot liquids do give us a general feeling of fullness, thus drinking lukewarm water right before eating your main meals is a healthy practice.
Q5. Does hot water help in detoxifying our whole body?
Arnav Sarkar. Water is an essential requirement for the detoxification process in our body, as it helps to removes the toxins. To be honest just having enough water is good enough for detox purposes, however if one is to get specific, then I would say that hot water seems to be a better option. That does not mean that all the water we drink in a day must be hot, a couple of glasses of hot water should be enough.
Ishi Khosla. I completely agree. Water acts as a great detoxifier but this in no way means that water helps in burning fat.
Q6. Hot or cold- which type of water is best to burn the fat? Is it good to juggle between hot and cold water all throughout the day?
Arnav Sarkar. This would depend on the timing and purpose. Cold water is more easily absorbed by the body than hot. So, if one is working out and needs to rehydrate quickly then cold water can be a good choice. Again a glass of warm water is considered to be better for detox, so a glass or two of it a day may be consumed too if needed.
Ishi Khosla. There is no science proved behind juggling between hot and cold water all through the day. Simply taking adequate quantities of low calorie fluids, be it water are helpful.
*Image courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images
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