There are many claims that drinking lemon water and especially hot water with lemon, can help with weight loss. While there are many benefits to drinking water and benefits from lemon juice, are the weight loss claims true that it can it really help you lose weight?
Remember, for weight loss, there are always multiple variables to consider besides just one factor that will affect your results.
There are no scientific research studies showing that drinking lemon water helps with losing weight compared to regular water. There is also not a clear consensus on how much lemon water is needed for supposed weight loss. Some websites advocate the more lemon water you drink, the more weight you will lose.
There are many personal testimonies from people claiming it worked for them, but there is no evidence from clinical research. There are also claims that lemon water is beneficial for digestion health, but again scientific research is waning on this claim.
What is known to help for weight loss is lowering calorie intake while raising calorie expenditure. Drinking lemon water may help you feel fuller, which in turn may help lower calorie intake. If this is the case, then drinking lemon water may help with weight loss, but it is because you are cutting calories.
No magic bullet
Drinking lemon water will not automatically make you shed pounds. If you drink lemon water but eat junk the rest of the day, you won’t see weight loss. Also, in order to have sustained weight loss while keeping your muscle mass, you need to exercise.
Be wary of any claims for weight loss supplements or food/drink combinations that promise immediate weight loss (especially fat loss). Even if weight loss does occur with these, will it last? Is it something sustainable?
There may be nothing “wrong” with drinking lemon water, and yes it can be healthy. But steer away from the idea if you switch to drinking lemon water it will magically help you lose weight.
What is lemon water replacing?
One reason people adamantly claim lemon water helps them lose weight is because the switch to lemon water may be replacing high calorie drinks. Switching hot water with lemon for coffee drinks will save you extra empty calories.
Filling up on lemon water instead of eating more food will help with weight loss. So, if lemon water is replacing high calorie drinks or extra food portions, yes that will help you lose weight.
Possible placebo effect
It could be a possible placebo effect with drinking lemon water and losing weight. If someone starts to drink lemon water but also eats healthier and starts exercising, it could be the weight loss has nothing to do with the lemon water. However, someone might associate the weight loss with the lemon water because that’s what they heard.
If someone thinks lemon water will help them lose weight, it might if they implement other weight loss principles at the same time. This does not mean they need to stop drinking lemon water! If you like drinking lemon water and thinks it helps, by all means continue. No harm done.
Staying hydrated is always beneficial. Drinking water in place of other sugary or diet drinks is a great idea anytime. Adding lemons to your diet can have many health benefits including:
- A rich source of antioxidant vitamin C
- A good source of potassium
- Can help boost immune health to fight off bacteria and other pathogens
- Has other phytochemicals that may help lower inflammation in the body
- If you get more than just the juice in your water, lemons have soluble fiber that can be beneficial for digestive and heart health.
If you like drinking lemon water and you feel it helps with weight loss, there is no reason to stop drinking it. However, if you start drinking lemon water will weight loss all of a sudden happen?
Probably not. It really matters what you are doing with your total diet and exercise patterns. Drinking lemon water won’t negate an unhealthy diet or lack of exercise. Drinking lemon water can have many health benefits, but adding other fruit/vegetable or herbs to your water can also be beneficial.
If you have a hard time drinking enough water, adding fresh squeezed lemons, limes, oranges or adding whole strawberries, cucumber slices or herbs can add a fresh flavor without sugar or artificial flavors. Drinking this could also help lower calorie intake, replace other high calorie drinks or curb cravings for sweets. See also: Low calorie alcoholic drinks
Although drinking lemon water may not be a magic bullet for weight loss as some claim, it does have additional health benefits. For variety, try adding other fruits or vegetables to water for a diverse intake of phytochemicals