Researchers at Virginia Tech studied 48 people on a low calorie diet.
Half the people drank an additional 2 cups of plain water (a total of 16 ounces) right before each of three daily meals, and the other half did not drink their extra water before meals.
Those who drank the extra water before eating lost significantly more weight (over 40% more) during the 12 week study and continued to lose weight during the next year.
Drinking water before each meal
All participants were overweight or obese, and followed a low calorie diet of 1200 to 1500 calories. They all received the extra water, but the control group were not told when to drink it.
After 12 weeks, the dieters drinking water before each meal lost an average of 15.5 pounds compared to an average of 11 pounds in the control group.
A year later, the drinking water before meals group had maintained their weight loss and continued to lose an average of an additional 1.5 pounds.
How does this water diet secret work?
Some research has suggested that a feeling of fullness will reduce calorie intake by about 75 to 90 fewer calories per meal.
Other studies show that the actual pressure of 16 ounces of water (called osmolality) changes the metabolism to increase the release of fat while preserving or sparing protein in muscles.
What about zero calorie beverages?
While it is crucial to restrict high-calorie beverages for overweight people, these studies did not test all zero calorie beverages, only plain water.
It may be possible to substitute tea, coffee, or other zero calorie beverages.
Can water make you lose weight at any age?
The current study was effective with older participants, age 55 to 75 years. Studies with younger people did not show the same sensation of fullness or reduced calorie intake (Davy B, American Chemical Society meeting, August 2010).
People with health conditions should check with their licensed health care provider before starting lifestyle changes.
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