(Natural News) Losing weight can be an arduous process, yet there’s one simple habit that can make it easier. Instead of accompanying your meals with shakes and juices, opt for plain water.
This is what helped over 1,200 elementary and middle school students in New York City shed some unwanted pounds over the course of a five-year pilot program. The placement of water dispensers in the cafeterias not only led to tripled water intake during lunchtime, but also helped the students lose small but significant amounts of weight.
“The nutrition profile doesn’t change much when people increase their plain-water intake, but we do see a significant drop in their saturated fat and sugar intake,” said University of Illinois kinesiology and community health professor Ruopeng An, who conducted a cost-benefit analysis of the program. Though the children consumed less milk, An stated that this wouldn’t pose any major nutritional hazards. (Related: Don’t Become Your Own Worst Enemy During Your Weight Loss Journey.)
“While there might potentially be some problems if children consume less whole milk, I would say those are probably minor in comparison with the costs associated with the skyrocketing rates of childhood overweight and obesity in the U.S.,” An explained.
And far from only benefiting children, drinking solely water with your meals is good for adults too. An himself performed a previous study on the effects of greater water intake among adults, and found that there was little evidence of any adverse nutritional side effects,.
Water and weight loss: What’s the connection?
Really though, it’s not at all that surprising that the students under the program lost weight. Water has been proven to aid in weight loss efforts in a number of ways, and according to Healthline.com, these are some of them:
- Water can help burn calories — Specifically, water can help you burn more calories through resting energy expenditure, or the rate at which you use up calories when resting. Adults who drink water can boost their resting energy expenditure by as much as 30 percent, the effects of which can last at least 60 minutes. For children, their resting energy expenditure can go up by 25 percent after drinking cold water. Speaking of which, cold water can actually do a better job of calorie-burning than warm water. This is because cold water encourages your body to use up extra calories to warm the water to the ideal body temperature.
- Water can reduce appetite — For older and middle-aged adults at least. The researchers behind one 2008 study discovered that drinking water before eating breakfast helped obese and overweight adults reduce their caloric consumption during the meal by about 13 percent. And while this effect has not been observed in younger persons, it just means that water can be utilized as an efficient weight loss measure for when you enter your older years.
- Water can decrease caloric intake — Water is naturally free of calories, so when you swap out soda or juice for water, you don’t add any calories to your meal. One other thing to consider: the average person will gain about 3.2 lbs (0.13 kg) every four years. Drinking an additional one cup of water a day can reduce this weight gain 0.23 lbs (or 0.13 kg), while substituting a single serving of sugar-sweetened beverages with water can lower this four-year weight gain by 1.1 lbs (0.5 kg).
To enjoy these amazing health benefits, make it a point follow the recommended intake of four to eight glasses, or one to two liters, of water a day. This is a general guideline, however. You may need more water than other people, or you could be one of those people who can do with a little less. Just be sure to drink water whenever you feel thirsty, as ignoring this urge can cause you to become dehydrated. Even mild dehydration can cause you to reach for food or experience a headache, neither of which are good for you. The same can’t be said of water, which is definitely something you should have everyday.
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