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How Much Water Per Day to Lose Weight?

While water does not actually burn fat, it can help you lose weight in other ways. Water is an essential component of the human body with around 60 percent of its total weight attributed to water. Drinking enough water affects every tissue in your body, including your muscles, skin and organ functioning.

In addition to helping your lose weight, water offers plenty of other benefits as well. Water helps to lubricate joints, protects body organs and tissues, prevents constipation, carries nutrients/oxygen throughout the body and helps to regulate your body temperature. Becoming evenly slightly dehydrated can affect these and other bodily functions -- this impacts your metabolism and fat-burning processes.

Drinking water can help you lose weight in two primary ways: curbing hunger and regulating your metabolism. Drinking water can help you feel full, so you tend to eat less when properly hydrated. Try using the “8-by-8 Rule” for water consumption -- you drink eight 8-oz. glasses of water per day. By following this general rule, you can also help keep your body’s metabolism steady, according to Dr. Melina Jampolis of CNN Health. Drink extra water during and after a workout.

Research suggests that drinking water before meals can help you eat less. A 2008 Virginia Tech study conducted by Dr. Brenda Davy showed that drinking two glasses of water just prior to eating a meal helped people lose more weight than those who didn’t drink water 20 to 30 minutes before the meal. People who drink water before meals eat 75 fewer calories on average compared to those who don't.

Sometimes your brain will confuse hunger with thirst, according to Ali Mollenhauer of Vanderbilt University, which can cause you to consume unnecessary calories. She points out that the thirst mechanism in the human body is weak, which is one of the reasons why 75 percent of Americans are chronically dehydrated. So, next time you feel like grabbing a snack, try drinking a glass of water. It may help to curb your craving.

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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.