30-59% of U.S. adults that try to lose weight were found to increase their water intake. So numerous people believe that this strategy can help them reach their weight loss goals. But are they actually losing weight simply because of their increased intake of water? The answer is yes…and no.

Staying hydrated is essential to having a healthy body, yes. But how much effect does it actually have when it comes to maintaining a healthy BMI? In a nutshell, Dr. Mercola comes to the conclusion that drinking water and ultimately staying hydrated has indeed proven to be associated with slightly lowering your body weight.

The weight loss that people associate with drinking more water comes from a list of multiple factors aside from simply adding water to your diet. Modestly drinking water throughout the day may not produce results, but drinking water strategically may actually produce positive results.

Eliminating Sugary Beverages From Your Diet

Drinking more water while continuing to drink sugary beverages such as soda, energy drinks, alcohol, or fruit juices will offset any encouraging effects you can get from consuming an adequate amount of water. Replacing pure water for your other regular beverages can lower your overall caloric intake by roughly 9 percent, or 200 calories per day.

So if you can stay away from beverages that are high in calories or sugar, you could be on your way to seeing some optimistic effects.

Learning When You’re Hungry Versus Thirsty

Some people fall victim to not knowing when they are merely thirsty versus hungry. And by the time you actually register thirst you may already be dehydrated. So the best way to stay hydrated is to evaluate how much water you should actually be drinking and stick to a plan that allows you to consume that amount.

Consider your factors such as your energy output, if you’re an athlete, how frequently you urinate, and the color of your urine. More information on gauging the necessary water intake for your personal needs can be found here.

Reduce Your Appetite

If you’re an adult, studies show that if you drink 500 milliliters of water (about two tall glasses) prior to eating, you may lose up to 4.4 pounds within 3 months. Over the course of one study, participants lost up to 9 pounds, which is what you could expect from signing up for Weight Watchers for 12 weeks.

In this situation, water seems to be the cheaper alternative to losing weight and has proven results. So if you’re looking to employ this tactic make sure you are committed to drinking plenty of water and make/order smaller meals.

Kick Start Your Metabolism

Another way to use the power of water is to have it burn calories for you. In a study of adults who drank 500 ml of water, it was shown to increase metabolic rate by 24 and 30 percent beginning within the first 10 minutes and peaking around 30 to 40 minutes afterwards.  Moreover, studies were especially effective when using cold water.

Overall, consuming around 0.5 liters of water can aid in increasing calories burned per hour for a humble weight loss

All in all, water can truly help you if you’re trying to lose weight, but just adding water to your diet isn’t going to radically change your body overnight or even in the long term. Understanding when and how to make the most of increasing your water intake will help you benefit from some modest yet successful results.