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10 Ways Drinking Lemon Water Can Support Weight Loss

A registered dietitian reveals how this hydrating beverage can help you keep extra pounds off.
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

Enjoying a refreshing glass of freshly squeezed lemon water has become a popular daily ritual that boasts a myriad of health benefits. According to the Cleveland Clinic, drinking lemon water can support digestion, give you a healthy dose of vitamin C, keep you hydrated, and help you lose weight. To learn more about how drinking lemon water can support weight loss, we chatted with Catherine Gervacio, RND, a registered nutritionist-dietitian and certified exercise nutrition coach at EHProject, who reveals 10 ways that adopting this daily practice can reduce your waistline and help you achieve a toned and trim figure.

Lemons are a source of essential nutrients like vitamin C and antioxidants, according to a 2021 study in Frontiers in Nutrition. These nutrients can contribute to overall well-being and, indirectly, support a healthy weight. A body that receives adequate nutrients is less likely to experience cravings for junk food that provides little nourishment. Additionally, lemons contain a type of fiber called pectin, which one study found can significantly reduce appetite and calorie intake.

"Having a consistent behavior to get into the habit of drinking lemon water with a well-balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle is the key to effective weight loss," says Gervacio. "With regular healthy eating, hydration, and exercise, you are creating a routine that becomes a part of your lifestyle and reduces the chances of falling back into less healthy habits."

Read on to uncover how drinking lemon water can support weight loss. And when you're done, learn more about What Happens to Your Body When You Drink Lemon Water.

It can help balance blood sugar levels.

blood sugar concept

The combination of lemon's natural compounds, including soluble fiber, may stabilize blood sugar levels. Research shows that lemons are a low glycemic index food. Therefore, drinking lemon water can help keep your blood sugar levels in check, reducing cravings for sugary foods.

"Not only will drinking lemon water add flavor, but it may also help control your appetite," Gervacio explains. "While doing this, practice mindful eating and be aware of the type of food you're eating, as well as the portion size."

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It can support healthy digestion.

holding heart over stomach, good digestion

According to a 2022 study published in Food Technology & Biotechnology, lemon water increases the production of digestive juices and enzymes. This effect can result in a smoother digestion process and improved nutrient absorption. A well-functioning digestive system is essential for maintaining a healthy weight, and lemon water can be a refreshing way to support this aspect of digestive health.

"Start your day with a warm cup of lemon water. Do this by squeezing lemon into warm water and drinking it on an empty stomach. This will kickstart your hydration after a good night's sleep," says Gervacio.

It can alkalize your body.

Woman squeezing lemon into glass water

Despite being acidic on their own, lemons have an alkalizing effect on the body once they're metabolized. An alkaline environment is believed to be less conducive to fat storage, supporting healthy weight management.

Gervacio suggests, "Substitute sugary drinks or other high-calorie beverages with lemon water. The natural flavor will satisfy your taste buds without added calories."

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It may improve skin health.

woman looking at neck skin, concept of ways to minimize neck wrinkles

Clear and healthy skin is often associated with overall well-being, including weight management. Studies suggest that the antioxidants in lemons, particularly vitamin C, can contribute to skin health. A radiant complexion can boost your confidence and support a positive mindset on your weight loss journey.

It can increase energy levels.

woman running, concept of how often to do cardio to lose weight

According to a 2019 review, proper hydration, combined with the natural energy-boosting properties of lemons, can ramp up your energy throughout the day. Staying hydrated is crucial for maintaining energy levels throughout the day, allowing you to do more physical activity and burn even more calories.

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It can encourage mindful hydration.

Woman drinking lemon water to be hydrated

Adding lemon to your water can make hydration more enjoyable and encourage a mindful approach to your fluid intake. Being mindful of your hydration can lead to healthier beverage choices, reducing your consumption of high-calorie, sugary options.

"Adequate hydration ensures that your body will perform at its best because water is involved in many physiological functions like muscle contraction, nutrient transportation, and temperature regulation," says Gervacio.

It can boost your metabolism.

metabolism concept

Research suggests that the combination of hydration and the natural compounds in lemons, such as polyphenols, may contribute to a slight increase in metabolic rate. A well-hydrated and efficient metabolism is essential for torching calories and supporting weight loss efforts.

It can enhance detoxification.

lemon water

Lemons are known for their detoxifying properties, and incorporating them into your water can support the body's natural detox processes. Research points out that the citric acid in lemons can stimulate the liver to help eliminate toxins.

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It can increase satiety.

woman feeling full

The fiber in lemons, namely pectin, and consuming water can promote a sense of fullness and increase satiety. According to research, drinking water before and during mealtime boosts feelings of fullness, which in turn, can help prevent overeating.

It can curb cravings.

no to chips and snacking concept

The natural tanginess of lemon water can satisfy taste buds without the need for added sugars or sweeteners. Choosing lemon water over sugary beverages or snacks can help reduce your overall calorie and sugar intake. It's a simple swap that can contribute to a calorie deficit, a crucial component of weight loss.

Adam Meyer, RHN
Adam is a health writer, certified holistic nutritionist, and 100% plant-based athlete. Read more about Adam
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