Posted by: Kelly | 2009-01-19


Good day,

I am just wondering- how much weight can one expect to lose just by drinking water? I' ve read a few articles that many people lose weight just by upping their water intake. Is that true? Or would most of the weight be water retention weight? I read that you can gain 5- 10 pounds from water retention before the symptons start to show.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Kelly
The only way to lose weight permanently is to decrease your energy intake by using an energy-reduced, low-fat diet and to increase your energy output by doing daily exercise. Drinking large volumes of water without reducing your energy intake will not cause weightloss. Drinking too much water can in fact be dangerous and counterproductive. If you drink more than 2,5 litres of liquid (this includes all beverages, not just water) a day (the adult requirement), then you can cause electrolyte imbalances and wash important minerals like potassium, sodium, magnesium and calcium out of your body which can even be fatal (some of the Comrades Marathon runners have succumbed). Electrolyte imbalances can ironically cause water retention so that you will weigh more. Water stored in the body increases weight, but not body fat content.
Best regards

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