Is Shedding Belly Fat Really as Simple as Sipping Lemon Water? Here's What We Know

There's no doubt that there are benefits to drinking lemon water. The citrus fruit is packed with antioxidants like vitamin C, "which remove potentially damageing oxidizing agents from the body, decreasing or preventing their ability to cause further havoc," according to Gabrielle Mancella, a registered dietitian at Orlando Health. But while lemons can help ward off illness and keep your skin healthy, you shouldn't count on them to target stubborn belly fat.

"There is no 'spot cleaning' when it comes to weight loss," Gabrielle told POPSUGAR. Even if there were, many experts believe that lemon water's weight-loss powers have been overstated. As Gabrielle explained, the idea is that sipping lemon water first thing in the morning can jump-start your system, so your body is better prepared to digest and metabolize food.

Research suggests it's more likely that simply staying hydrated helps strengthen your metabolism (Gabrielle noted that the body doesn't function properly when you're dehydrated), and that water anytime could help you cut calories throughout the day, though that can vary from person to person.

Bottom line: you should drink more water — with lemon if you like it for the taste or its other health benefits, but not to reduce belly fat. Given that Gabrielle also warned that the acid can wear down your enamel, it's more than fine to pass. (At the very least, consider popping a straw into your drink!)