Weight loss and nutrition plans can come with some complex factors — calorie counting, label checking, separating food into six small meals a day rather than 3 big ones — we’ve heard all the tricks and tips. But, a new study suggest that it all comes down to one simple factor: staying hydrated.

Drinking more water as an effective tool for weight loss is not necessarily a new regimen on the block — it’s been suggested for decades to drink 8 cups of water a day — but it was recently validated by a new study out of the University of Michigan. The study was a sample size of 10,000 adults ages 18 – 14 which showed that drinking more water and eating more water-loaded fruits and vegetables may deserve more attention when it comes to weight management and fighting obesity.

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Dehydration can lead to numerous side-effects that might feel like hunger or fatigue causing us to reach for those sugary drinks or heavy foods to fill us up or wake us up. Dr. Tammy Chang, lead author of the study, noted on CNN that staying hydrated for effective weight management has been measured incorrectly in the past, saying:

Water consumption is not an ideal measure of hydration. The amount of water it takes to stay hydrated depends on your body size and many other factors like your activity level and the climate you live in. Imagine if you were a landscaper in Arizona versus a receptionist in Michigan. The amount of water it takes to stay hydrated will be drastically different.

According to the study, some also need more water than others. Hydration helps your heart pump blood more efficiently to your muscles, which then makes them work more efficiently. So, it is especially important for those who have a BMI (Body Mass Index) over 25, which is technically “overweight”, to drink more water and eat more water-filled foods like these:
Cucumbers are 96.7% water content — the highest of any solid food out there. Iceberg Lettuce is not far behind with 95.6% water content. Celery is 95.4% water content. Radishes, tomatoes, green peppers, cauliflower, watermelon, spinach, strawberries, broccoli and grapefruit are all above 90% water content and great foods to load up on to stay hydrated through the summer.