There are so many claims by online health bloggers and pundits stipulating that lemon water helps you lose weight fast. If you’re like me, you may have thought well, let me give it a shot. But is this really the case? Here’s a quick reality check.

While there are lots of weight-loss claims surrounding lemon, from regulating sugar absorption to melting the fat away, there’s not enough science to support them. Alissa Rumsey, RD, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, says, “Hot water with lemon of itself does not cause any actual weight loss.”

So, while lemon water does not lead to weight loss, it does however offer other benefits that you might find useful while trying to lose weight.

  • Substituting beverages high in calories like coffee with sugar or fruit juice with lemon water results in a calorie deficit which can help you lose weight, according to Rumsey.
  • A 2015 study published in the journal Obesity found that drinking two cups of water 30 minutes before a meal helped a group of overweight and obese participants lose nearly three pounds over the course of 12 weeks. Therefore, if plain water is not your thing and you are trying to lose weight,  you can squeeze a little lemon juice to boost the flavor. Drinking water—hot or cold, plain or infused with lemon—also keeps your metabolism running.“Staying hydrated is an important component of a healthy diet because it boosts metabolism,” says Rumsey.
  • Did you know that the juice from one lemon has only 11 calories? So, while lemon juice may not magically melt your fat away, it can help you save calories to support your weight-loss efforts. How? Try this: instead of adding high-calorie sauces to your food, squeeze lemon on your fish, chicken, salad greens or grain dishes to add flavor and reduce your intake of calories.