Will Japanese Water Therapy Actually Help You Lose Weight?

Japanese water therapy has become extremely popular around the world thanks to word of mouth (per Healthline). It started in Japan but now has become a way to lose weight for health enthusiasts, probably due to its simplicity. Japanese water therapy involves drinking up to five glasses of room-temperature water on an empty stomach every morning. Then eating within 15-minute windows and not eating or drinking anything else for two hours in between meals. If you're just starting out, experts recommend drinking only one to two glasses of water in the morning and slowly upping it. 

There are no restrictions on what you can eat, but Japanese water therapy is meant to be combined with healthy eating habits. Many people believe in the method and immediate hydration has helped them lose weight and live healthier lives. After all, staying hydrated has many health benefits, including getting a good night's sleep, enhancing mood and cognition, and keeping organs functioning properly, according to Harvard T.H. Chan. However, when it comes to weight loss, the research may show a different story.

Research does not support Japanese water therapy for weight loss

Supporters of Japanese water therapy assert that proper hydration and self-control when eating are key to losing weight. However, research has found no such link between the specific practices of Japanese water therapy and weight loss (per Healthline).

In general, how hydrated you are seems to have no effect on weight loss, as per a 2016 study published in Nutrients. Also, the 15-minute window for eating may actually stop you from losing weight because your stomach doesn't have time to tell your brain it is full, according to Healthline. In fact, children who eat quickly are three times more likely to increase in weight (via 2011 study). In the same study, eating slowly was shown to positively correlate with weight loss

Adequate hydration is always important, and drinking glasses of water first thing in the morning may be beneficial. However, keep in mind, research does not support the specific claims made by Japanese water therapy for weight loss.