No single food or beverage will bring about a significant amount of weight loss on its own. However, sometimes a certain food or beverage, like lemon water, may be useful for slightly increasing weight loss results when consumed as part of a healthy weight-loss program, which includes a reduced-calorie diet and regular exercise.
Drinking Water to Lose Weight
Drinking water, with or without lemon, may be helpful for people who want to lose weight, as long as you drink it at the right time. A study published in Obesity in 2011 found that people who drank about 2 cups of water before each meal lost more weight than people who followed a similar diet without drinking water before meals. The water helps fill up the stomach so you eat less during your meal, making it easier to reduce your daily caloric intake and lose weight.
Lemon and Weight Loss
Plant chemicals in lemons, called polyphenols, may help to limit increases in body fat, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition in 2008. This was an animal study, however, so further research is necessary to determine if the same benefit occurs in people and how much lemon would be necessary to achieve this effect.
The small amount of potassium in lemons — 49 milligrams in the juice of one lemon, which is only about 1 percent of what you need in a day — helps with metabolism and digestion. The juice of one lemon contains almost a quarter of your daily vitamin C needs, which might be helpful for weight loss. According to a 2006 study published in Nutrition and Metabolism, people with lower vitamin C in their tissues don’t burn fat as efficiently during exercise. This study was done on only a small number of people, so more research is needed, but boosting your vitamin C intake with lemon water is good for overall health, too.