We’ve all heard about the importance of drinking enough water. Beyond diet and exercise, staying hydrated is one of the most essential aspects of a healthy lifestyle. This is especially true for individuals attempting to lose weight. But what’s not so clear, is how much water should you actually be drinking?

If you look around online, you’re likely to find different answers to this question. Some will say a gallon. Others will say two liters. Yet another will say eight glasses—but how big of a glass are they talking about?! The discrepancies can be maddening. The truth is, much like any other aspect of weight loss, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. How much water you should drink depends heavily on your current weight.

Starting at 100 pounds, 50 oz of water is recommended daily. With that baseline, we can increase the water ounces by 5 for every 10 additional pounds. For instance, someone who is 150 pounds should drink 75 oz of water. At 160 pounds, one should drink 80 oz, and so on.

This may sound like an overwhelming amount of water to drink. But consider this: if you’re making a massive lifestyle change in an attempt to lose weight, you have to get the basic building blocks in place first. Water should be one of the first aspects of your life you change. Setting it as an initial goal for your health and wellbeing makes the rest of the journey that much smoother. And just like any other weight loss routine, it becomes easier as you build the habit.

Oftentimes, when people decide to shift to a healthier lifestyle, they focus only on the food aspects of their diet and forget about the drinks they consume. Or perhaps they switch from regular soda to a diet version or use a sugar-free alternative in their coffee. But the chemicals in these options still cause issues and won’t produce the results you want. To really feel the full effects of proper hydration, try replacing sugary drinks with water. You’ll begin to see a drastic change in your body. While there may not necessarily be a drop in the numbers on the scale, you’ll see a shift in how your body carries and distributes the fat you do have.

Proper hydration has many benefits beyond losing weight, too. Drinking water right away in the morning can give you an energy boost throughout your day. It can make workouts easier and even clear up your skin. And most importantly, proper hydration balances all the systems in your body.

Now that you’ve figured out how much water you should be drinking, the real challenge starts. Having the accountability to meet your goals, as well as setting others, can be a very difficult process to accomplish on your own. But the good news is, you don’t have to. A weight loss center can be a fantastic tool on your journey and can help with hydration, among many other things.

Weight loss centers are typically staffed with medical professionals like weight loss doctors, nurses, nutritionists, psychologists, and more. This professional support system can help you not only stay on track, but reach your goals in a healthy and realistic manner. Weight loss can be stressful on the body, so being supervised by medical professionals is important to make sure you don’t accidentally injure yourself or cause other damage.

If you need help with your hydration or weight loss, contact your local Options clinic to schedule an appointment today.