Water is a useful tool in your weight-loss arsenal, but drinking it has no direct effect on stomach fat. To lose the stomach jiggle, you need to embark on an overall fat-loss plan to slim your entire body; then, your stomach will shrink proportionately. Before starting a new diet and exercise routine, check with your doctor to ensure safety.
Water Before Meals
Water is calorie-free, and may help you eat less at your meals. One study, published in Obesity in 2015, found that drinking water before eating helps promote weight loss. The researchers found that people who drank 2 cups of water before each meal lost about 3 pounds more — over a 2-week period — than people who didn't drink water before their meals. And while there's no such thing as spot reduction — so the study subjects lost weight from all over, not just their midsection — losing weight will flatten your stomach, too.
Water and Weight
Appetite-suppressing effects aside, water can help you lose weight if you drink it instead of sugary sodas, juices or alcoholic drinks. If you normally consume two cans of cola per day, substituting plain or sparkling water can spare you about 270 calories daily. A pound of fat is equal to 3,500 calories, so that can make the difference of half a pound of weight loss per week. Water also keeps you hydrated, which may prevent overeating -- people often confuse thirst for hunger, reaching for a snack when they really need fluid.
Planning for Fat Loss
To lose fat, burn more calories than you eat. To estimate how many calories you use each day, multiply your body weight in pounds times 15. At 160 pounds, you expend 2,400 calories if you live a relatively active lifestyle -- fewer if you have a high body-fat percentage or are sedentary. Subtract 500 from the number of calories needed for maintenance, and eat that amount of calories each day to shed a pound every week. For faster results, add regular exercise to your routine.
Losing Stomach Fat
A large waistline -- more than 35 inches for women or more than 40 inches for men -- signifies high levels of visceral fat, which pads abdominal organs. This type of fat is especially dangerous, contributing to cardiovascular disease, diabetes and colorectal cancer, according to MayoClinic.com. Visceral fat responds more readily to diet and exercise than the subcutaneous fat just under the skin. To get rid of visceral fat, Harvard Medical School recommends eating a diet rich in calcium, avoiding trans fats, managing stress and sleeping about eight hours per night -- but no more than that.