How to Do a Water Diet
There are tons of diets out there, and you can buy all sorts of books and prepared meals for them. On the water diet, you don't have to buy a thing you don't want to! Even better, exercise isn't the focus of this diet. It’s all about the water.
Part 1Getting Ready to Lose Weight
1There are many variations on this diet, ranging from all-out fasting to just making sure your daily water is cold. One version, for example, suggests that you consume roughly two glasses of water before each meal while following a low-calorie diet. Researchers found that people who did this lost about 5 pounds more than those who skipped the water. The water diet is best for a short amount of time. It is safest when combined with a normal diet, and can be dangerous when combined with fasting. The water diet may not be safe for everyone. When doing a water fast, you risk symptoms of low blood sugar like dizziness and fatigue, not to mention constipation, dehydration, and an intolerance of cold temperatures. If you know you struggle with low blood sugar, the water diet may not be for you. This diet tends to be a "yo-yo" diet, meaning that once you lose the weight, as soon as you go off of it, the weight comes back.
2When setting out to lose weight, you need to know where you are and where you want to be. Take the time to make some measurements (such as weighing yourself) and check standards for your body's healthy weight (such as BMI), and then set your goals from here. Weigh yourself. Once you see your current weight, you'll be able to set accurate weight loss goals. Check your BMI (body mass index). BMI can tell you how healthy your weight to height ratio is. Someone who is 5’9” and weighs 150 pounds would do this math: [150 ÷ (65x65)] x 703 = 24.96. This BMI of 24.96 is in a normal weight range. 
3You may check your BMI at home, but don’t start a new weight loss program without consulting your primary care physician. He or she will be able to more accurately evaluate your BMI and make fitness and diet recommendations. Tell your doctor about your water diet plan so he can suggest safe dietary recommendations. Everyone has different physical requirements, and seeing a doctor will prevent you from unnecessarily harming yourself.
Part 2Losing Weight
1The amount of water you consume overall each day is up to you, but experts recommend drinking half your body weight in ounces (that is, if you weigh 150 pounds, drink 75 ounces of water a day). If you forget to drink water before meals--an inevitable occurrence since you are trying something new--don't beat yourself up about it. Just try again at the next meal. You'll get the hang of it.
2Drink it both first thing when you wake up and 30 minutes before you eat a meal. The feeling of fullness you get when filling your stomach with water prevents you from overeating. Drink after meals. Contrary to rumors that drinking while eating is bad for you, drinking after eating actually aids in digestion and prevents constipation. Drink after exercising. You need to replace fluids, even if you’re not noticeably thirsty. Athletes should drink about 1.5-2.5 cups of water beyond the recommended amount (half your body weight in ounces).
3Tap water gets a bad rap for having chemicals in it, but the EPA directly supervises its production. Bottled water must follow a few regulations, but the EPA can’t guarantee its safety like it can with tap water. If your home has a filtration system in place, use it, but don’t stress about having access to filtered water. Even though bottled water sales have surpassed those of coffee, milk, and juice, bottled water is terrible for the environment and some cities have started taxing it and removing it from their governments. Tap water is just as safe to drink, it's free, and does not harm the environment to consume. Home water filtration systems can sift out some things in tap water, like chlorine, but none of them can remove all water contaminants. Plus you have to maintain these systems or they will grow contaminants, defeating the purpose.
4To keep water at your fingertips all day, invest in a good BPA-free water bottle, whether plastic, metal, or glass. You don't have to purchase a water bottle, but you do need to keep up with how many ounces of water you're drinking each day. Perhaps designate a cup at work and one at home and use those instead of a water bottle. When eating out, take advantage of the pre-meal drink order and ask for water. Make sure you sip your glass down two times before the meal is brought out.
5Your focus on the water diet is drinking water to lose weight, but exercise helps burn calories. If you already have a workout routine in place, don’t change it for the water diet. If you don’t, begin by walking several times a week before starting in on more strenuous exercise. Only exercise if you are also eating. Exercising while doing a water fast will deplete your metabolism even more, making you vulnerable to the effects of low blood sugar, which can be dangerous.
Part 3Meeting Your Goals
1Goal setting keeps you motivated and helps you decide what things work and don’t work. For example, make a list of things you want to accomplish physically. If you want to lose 10 pounds in a month, write this down somewhere you can look at it everyday. You have to estimate how much weight you will lose on the water diet in order to set a clear goal. For example, in the study we mentioned above, researchers found that subjects lost 15.5 pounds over the course of 12 weeks when drinking 2 glasses of water before each meal.
2Hang it where you’ll see it, like the kitchen. Mark beginning and end dates for your diet. Even if you have your fitness goals mapped out elsewhere, like on a piece of paper or on your phone, having a wall calendar posted keeps your goals visible. This is key when you're standing in the kitchen and reaching for an unhealthy snack.
3You look at your smartphone everyday—why not turn it into a weight loss motivator? Apps like MyFitnessPal help track your water, food, and calories burned each day. Studies show that documenting food and exercise helps people lose more weight than people who don’t. Some people add the convenience of a fitness tracking bracelet so they don't have to think entering data into a phone (such as the FitBIt). These bracelets can track your movement and measure your sleeping habits, among other things.
4The goal of the water diet isn’t to count calories, but to put your body in weight loss mode, you do still need to consume fewer calories than you burn. The point is to require your body to pull energy from its fat stores. Record every bite you eat in a fitness app. It might surprise you how much you really eat in a day, and motivate you to eat less. If you forget to record anything, just go back and make your best guess. Even estimated data is better than no data when you're trying to generate quantifiable results. Keep in mind that the reason the water diet is labeled "yo-yo" is because when you drink water instead of eating, your body tends to take nutrients from your muscles rather than fat. This depletes your metabolism, requiring you to maintain an extremely low calorie diet that isn't sustainable in order to keep the weight off.