Diet Myth or Fact? Can Lemon Water Help you Lose Weight?

 

Are you among one  the many still looking for that magic bullet to help you lose weight…and keep it off? If you answered yes then you most likely have fallen prey to at least one or two diet myths that may have put a dent in your wallet  but not your weight. The media of course doesn’t help with all the confusion;  especially when celebs are touting the benefits of  juicing or detox diets (which involves drinking a concoction of lemon juice, cayenne pepper and maple syrup). If  done day in and day out for weeks at a time some may miss out on important nutrients including calcium, vitamin D and iron. Something that sounds to good to be true probably is, and can actually be harmful to your body.
But what about drinking lemon water? You may have heard that drinking water infused with lemon may help rev your metabolism and in turn, help you lose weight. Metabolism is the rate at which your body burns fuel for energy and varies from person to person. It is largely determined by heredity and how much lean body mass you have. Figure in activity level, portion control and healthy food choices and now we’re talking!  You would have a better chance of boosting your metabolism by lifting weights two to three times a week  to increase lean body mass instead of sipping lemon water till you float. Cardio exercise performed at your target heart rate range also may help with weight control and keep your heart healthy.
Lemons are rich in potassium, magnesium, calcium and electrolytes and vitamin C so they pack a vitamin punch. It has been found that drinking water with lemon can help some with bloating and may act as a mild diretic. A word of caution if you are plagued with long term bloat…it’s best to figure out what may be causing the symptoms and work to stop those habits. Eating too fast, drinking carbonated beverages and foods containing sugar alcohols are common culprits.  If adding lemon to your water helps you to drink more then by all means do it. An average lemon only has fifteen calories so adds very little calories.
If lemon water is replacing another high calorie, high sugar or high fat beverage that you regularly chug (think sugar laden sodas, Starbucks Caramel Macchiato’s every day at 140-250 calories a cup) then YES, it may indirectly help with losing a few pounds. Water is vital to all body systems and prevents dehydration so make sure you drink enough that you lose through perspiration.  Daily needs vary person to person but most should aim for 10-15 cups a day.

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