I know you’ve heard it a million times before:
“Drink water to lose weight!”
But what if I told you there’s a better way of using water to lose weight?
That is by eating water! Yes! Eating it!
If you’re confused right now, don’t worry. I’ll explain it quickly.
Drinking Water vs. Eating Water to Lose Weight
If you’ve been searching long enough for ways to lose weight, you probably noticed that most weight loss tips include drinking more water.
While the jury is still out on how much influence drinking water has on losing weight, it has been linked to some benefits that aid in weight loss.
Most of the time, we mistake hunger for thirst and eat even when we really aren’t hungry. By drinking more water, you’ll be able to filter out actual hunger from just being thirsty. In the end, you’ll be taking in fewer calories than you normally would.
You may also find yourself drinking less liquid calories like sweetened coffee or tea, sodas, and juices if you’ve been drinking a lot of water.
The most common advice is to drink water before or during a meal to make you feel full before you even eat your food. The goal is for you to eat less while feeling full.
One study found that drinking 2 glasses of water served with breakfast was shown to decrease the feeling of hunger during the meal but this effect was not maintained after the meal.
However, no conclusion was found regarding the possible influence of drinking water on actual food intake during and after the meal.
Interestingly, another study showed that water incorporated into food, as opposed to being served as a beverage, is more effective in reducing hunger and increasing fullness that lasts even after the meal.
The study was conducted with 24 lean women coming to their lab on 4 separate days to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In 3 of those days, the women received 1 of 3 preloads 17 minutes before lunch:
a) chicken rice casserole
b) chicken rice casserole with a glass of water
c) chicken rice soup.
The soup contained the same ingredients (type and amount) as the casserole that was served with water.
The lunches and dinners served were individual, buffet-style, self-selected meals that allowed the women to choose freely from a variety of foods.
After the test, they found that:
“Decreasing the energy density of food by adding water to it significantly increased fullness and decreased hunger and subsequent energy intake.
An equivalent amount of water served as a beverage with the food did not significantly influence food intake.
Thus, consumption of foods with a high water content more effectively decreased subsequent energy intake than did drinking water with food.”
In short, eating water-rich foods is a good way to feel full and satisfied on fewer calories!
So why does eating water work better than drinking it for satiety?
It appears that our body treats water differently depending on whether we drink it or eat it as part of a meal.
Quoting from the research above:
“The results imply that water has a greater effect on satiety when it is consumed as part of a food rather than when consumed with a food.
Part of the reason for this finding could be that water in food, which increases the weight or volume of the food and changes the dispersion of nutrients consumed, probably activates mechanisms involved with hunger.
On the other hand, water consumed with a food would be processed by thirst mechanisms, which are distinct from those for hunger.”
Delicious Ways to Suppress Your Appetite with Water-Rich Foods
Here are some water-rich foods that you can add to your regular diet.
These foods will help you feel fuller for longer. The best part is, they are low-calorie, taste great and pack a lot of nutrients that your body needs!
You won’t even have to worry about eating too much or tracking your calories. (Hint: I’m not a fan of counting calories or dieting!)
You’ll find yourself feeling full before you can even think of getting more!
Start your meals with Soup or Salad
In my previous blog post, I listed eating a low-calorie-dense soup or salad to start your meal as one of the 7 small habits that can help you lose weight and keep it off forever.
Low-calorie-dense just means that the food contains low calories compared to its size or volume. You can eat a large volume of these foods while still consuming fewer calories than calorie-dense foods.
Low-calorie-dense soups include broth, stock, or tomato-based soups. Water-based soups are preferred since creamy soups usually have more calories.
As for salads, most veggies are low calorie so you won’t have a problem. However, try to choose a low-calorie dressing like vinegar.
This will make you eat less of the main dish while still feeling full. It’s also a good way of adding more vegetables to your food.
Which brings us to the next one…
Eat more Fruits and Veggies
Another way you could eat water to lose weight is to consume more vegetables and fruits. Most of them contain a lot of water. Not only will you fill your stomach but you’ll also fill your body with nutrients and fiber!
Some of the most water-rich fruits include:
- Watermelon (92% Water)
- Strawberry (92 % Water)
- Grapefruit (91% Water)
- Cantaloup (90% Water)
- Orange (87% Water)
Some of the most water-rich vegetables include:
- Cucumber (96% Water)
- Iceberg Lettuce (96% Water)
- Celery (95% Water)
- Tomatoes (94% Water)
- Bell Peppers (94% Water)
- Cauliflower (92% Water)
For a more extensive list of the water-contents of various fruits and vegetables, click here.
Snack on Plain Yogurt
Plain yogurt has only 61 Calories per 100 grams and it’s 88% water.
Aside from being a water-rich food, yogurt is a rich source of calcium and protein that influence appetite and energy intake. It also is a good source of good gut bacteria (probiotics) that can aid in digestion and weight loss.
By choosing plain yogurt over flavored yogurt, you’ll be eating fewer calories and avoiding the added sugars that come with the flavored ones.
Mix in some Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese is another water-rich food that also packs a lot of vitamins (especially B-Complex Vitamins) and nutrients that are needed by the body. Like plain yogurt, it is also has a lot of protein and calcium.
It only has about 98 Calories per 100 grams! But be sure to check the label to be sure because some brands may contain more calories than others.
Combine high water content with high protein and you’ve got yourself a very filling food!
Try It Yourself!
Of course, I won’t just leave you with this information without telling you how to actually start applying it in real life. Information is only good if you can actually make use of it. Am I right?
Here are some simple steps to apply this knowledge and lose weight or at least stop overeating.
Step 1: Choose one water-rich food that you really like to eat.
Just pick one of your favorite foods from the list.
Isn’t it amazing if you could eat your favorite food and lose weight while doing it?
You won’t have a hard time since almost all fruits and veggies are water-rich. You could also just pick the plain yogurt or cottage cheese.
Step 2: Eat it at your preferred time.
For example, you can eat some strawberries for breakfast or as a dessert after lunch, etc.
What’s important here is to try to eat it at the same time daily.
However, I do recommend taking it before your last meal so that you will be able to gauge how effective it is in reducing your hunger for the next meal.
Step 3: Observe your hunger and food consumption.
Try to take note of your hunger after you ate the food that you chose on step 1.
You can do this by noting the time when you ate the food and how full you feel after eating it.
After that, take note of the time when you start feeling hungry again.
If you managed to get to your next meal without feeling hungry, take note of how full you still feel before you take your next meal.
Try to take note also of how much food you ate during the next meal.
By doing this, you’ll know if it’s really working for you or not.
Step 4: Do it for a few days or weeks.
Of course, you shouldn’t expect some drastic changes to happen in just a few days or weeks.
The goal here is to find out if eating the water-rich food actually helps suppress your hunger which will help prevent overeating and eventually lead to weight loss.
If it is, then keep doing it. If it’s not, then try to find out why and make some changes or try something different.
We’ve learned that eating water-rich foods is a more effective way to suppress our hunger and make us feel full while taking in fewer calories.
So don’t just drink more water…
“Eat more water to lose weight!”
Use the steps I outlined above to try it for yourself.
Have you tried eating more water-rich foods? Did it help you lose weight? Let me know in the comments below!