Huge disagreements often break out about home weight loss solutions. Is it really possible to drop 10 pounds in a week? Can eating more green vegetables slim your waist? But what is the truth when it comes to these confusing and, often, mythical weight loss solutions?
We’re here to set things straight.
One common weight loss recommendation is to drink lemon water to help you lose weight. While some believe this is a miracle drink, others find it to be a bunch of hocus pocus.
The truth is that lemon water can help your body improve digestion in a few different ways. Let’s find out how you can use that to aid your weight loss regime!
1. Hydration Improves Weight Loss Results
Drinking enough water (the FDA recommends between 90 and 125 ounces) daily improves weight loss results when accompanied by a healthy eating or exercise plan.
When you have more water in your system, your body can burn calories and lose weight more effectively. This goes for any water – infused with lemon or otherwise, but it can cause a notable difference. (1)
Additionally, having more water in your system can help you feel full for longer periods of time. When you feel full, you’ll be less likely to snack unnecessarily on sugar snacks that would contribute to weight gain if you were to eat them too often.
So where does the lemon come into this equation? If you can drink regular water for these effects, why drink lemon water?
For some people, however, drinking more water can be difficult. Not everyone likes the taste of plain water, and it can be especially difficult to transition to drinking more water from drinking sugary, flavored beverages.
In these cases, drinking water infused with lemons is a great way to make sure that you are hydrating properly while still being able to drink something with flavor. Adding lemons to water doesn’t increase calorie or sugar intake, so you can drink this along with plain water to ensure proper hydration.
2. Reduces Body Fat Accumulation
There is anecdotal evidence (and even a study that measured this change in mice) that drinking lemon water can prevent weight gain in those who eat high-fat diets. (2)
Lemons have a specific antioxidant in them that are known as polyphenol antioxidants. This particular antioxidant increases the rate of oxidation in the body which leads to a reduction in weight gain. Basically, your body is able to process fat more effectively rather than retaining it.
Adding lemons to your diet in any uncooked form can increase the number of polyphenol antioxidants that your body has to work with. Like all good things, there is a limit to how much your body can use these antioxidants, but drinking one glass of lemon water daily is sure to reduce weight gain.
3. Metabolic Boost
You may have heard of people drinking a cup of hot lemon water in the morning to prevent constipation. This is an old wive’s cure, but like any home remedy that actually works, there is some scientific backing to support this practice.
There are some compounds in lemon juice which have both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. When you drink lemon water, hot or otherwise, your metabolic system may be given a small boost. This boost can help you to process any food that you eat more efficiently, improving your weight loss results. (3)
4. Improves Iron Absorption
Intaking more lemon juice can help to prevent anemia by helping your body absorb more iron from the food that you eat. Specifically, lemon can help you get more iron out of the plant-based foods that you eat. (4)
How does increased iron absorption help when it comes to weight loss?
In this case, the results are most pronounced for those who are at risk of or suffer from iron deficiency anemia. When anemia is treated through a greater iron intake, it can lead to weight loss and improved metabolic functions. (5)
Anyone who does not eat enough foods with iron in them or simply has shown signs of anemia may benefit from adding lemon to their diet. This addition could help them to lose weight thanks to the increase iron absorption.
5. Improve Overall Gut Health
Whole lemons are a great source of soluble fiber. When you take in a greater amount of soluble fiber, you are reducing the level of sugar in your blood, and this is known to increase weight loss results as well as lower your risk of obesity-causing diseases such as diabetes. (6)
That being said, simply drinking water with lemon slices in it won’t be enough to see this effect. The whole lemon – skin and juice – will need to be part of your diet.
Some people have found that they can use a food processor to juice the lemon and mash up the skin. This mixture can then be mixed with hot water to make a kind of lemon tea which transports more of the soluble fiber to your body than straight lemon water would do.
Making hot lemon tea like this is easy and has a number of great benefits for your body.
6. Cuts Down On Stomach Bloat
For those who are working out or eating a protein-rich diet, stomach bloat can be a big problem. While bloat is temporary, it can impede your weight loss progress because you cannot see your results when you are bloated!
Drinking water that has lemon juice added to it is an effective way to cut down on this bloat. Between the citric acid and potassium that is present in lemon juice, your body will be less bloated.
While this method doesn’t actually cause weight loss, your health journey will always feel better when you can actually see and feel the results that you have been working towards!
How To Consume Lemon Water
Let’s recap the information that we’ve talked about above. Drinking lemon water at any time isn’t going to help you drop pounds immediately, but drinking it in the following ways is sure to improve your digestion and lead to a better figure.
No matter which of these methods you choose, reach for one of these lemon-based drinks instead of a sugary beverage the next time that you are thirsty. You’ll be surprised at the difference that this small change can make!
Method #1: Infused Water
If you plan to replace water with lemon water to make it more appetizing, all you need to do is add lemons to your water!
For best results, do this a few hours before you plan to drink it. One suggestion that many people try is cutting up one or two lemons and putting the slices in a pitcher of water. Let this chill for 1-2 hours before drinking, and then you’ll be able to enjoy the taste of lightly infused lemon water!
For best results, drink this when you are craving a sweetened beverage that would otherwise add calories or sugar to your diet. Doing this will help you avoid unnecessary calories while still being able to enjoy a tasty beverage.
Method #2: Hot Lemon Tea
Because many of the benefits of lemons are hidden in their rind, it’s important that you find a way to drink lemon water which incorporates some of that goodness.
One common way is to do the following:
1. Remove seeds from lemons.
2. Put lemons in a food processor.
3. Process until smooth.
4. Transfer this to a jar and keep it in the fridge.
5. Mix one tablespoon of this mixture with hot water.
Drinking this lemon tea in the morning before breakfast is a great way to kickstart your digestive system and improve your overall gut health. (7)
Method #3: Mix Lemon Juice With Water
Finally, juicing lemons and then adding this juice to hot or cold water is a good way to get the benefits that are associated with lemon juice.
Lemon juice contains high levels of many useful nutrients such as potassium, vitamin C, and citric acid. Adding these nutrients to your water is a good way to improve basic digestive functions, and you can see long-term benefits from doing this regularly.
Remember: Lemon Water Is A Small Step
The above scientific points should have helped to make it clear that lemon water is not an automatic weight loss solution! Drinking this beverage can help speed up your metabolism, but it’s not an overnight miracle worker.
That being said, it is important to remember that:
- Lemon water won’t cause you to immediately lose weight.
- Lemon water should not replace all of your meals.
- Drinking lemonade or other sugar-sweetened waters is not as good for you as drinking water with fresh lemons added to it.
- Adding lemon water to your diet is part of a long-term healthy lifestyle and not a miracle solution.
If you incorporate lemon water into your diet in appropriate ways, you’ll begin to notice that you’re healthier, get sick less often, and generally feel better. Remember that improving your health can take many little steps to see big differences. Let lemon water be one of those small steps!