You shouldn't just be sipping the stuff when your stomach starts to rumble an hour before dinner. You should be drinking water all the time. (Okay, that's a little bit of an exaggeration. You don't literally need to gulp water 24/7. And your individual hydration depends on your size, activity level, and the climate where you live.)
But regardless: if you're trying to lose your spare tire, you probably should be sipping more often. Here are 3 surprising facts that'll make you reach for your reusable bottle.
1. Drinking water can help you eat less at mealtime
Downing a big glass of water won't just help you cut back on the snacks. It's also an effortless way to feel satisfied for fewer calories at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Overweight adults who chugged 16 oz of water half an hour before mealtime for 12 weeks lost about 2 more kilos compared to those who were told to simply imagine that their stomachs were full before mealtime, found research published in Obesity. The likely reason? Your stomach can only hold so much stuff at once. If it's already partly filled with water, there's less room for food.
2. Water gives your metabolism an instant jolt
A couple glasses of water is like a shot of espresso for your body's fat-burning system. It kicks that thing into high gear – pronto. Subjects who swigged two full glasses of room temperature water experienced a 30 per cent spike in their metabolic rate in just half an hour, found one German study. Much of the jolt came from the subject's bodies having to expend energy to warm the water to body temperature.
3. Ice water is even more potent
Sip very cold water, and your body will have to work even harder to cope with the chilly influx. Warming an 8 oz glass of ice-cold water to body temperature burns about 7 calories, according to research published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. Drink 10 chilly glasses a day for a week, and you'll burn an extra 490 calories in a week. Over the course of a year, that adds up to more than 3 kilograms – just for staying hydrated. Now, that's some advice that's easy to swallow.
A version of this article originally appeared on MensHealth.com