…A pint before the meal keeps the portions down
In clinical trials scientists found that drinking two half pint glasses of water before a meal leads to weight loss.
Lead author Brenda Davy said: "We found in earlier studies that middle aged and older people who drank two cups of water right before eating a meal ate between 75 and 90 fewer calories during that meal. In this recent study, we found that over the course of 12 weeks, dieters who drank water before meals, three times per day, lost about 5 pounds more than dieters who did not increase their water intake."
"People should drink more water and less sugary, high-calorie drinks. It's a simple way to facilitate weight management," she added.
While drinking water to lose weight is very much common sense, Dr Davy said that there has been little scientific information on this topic. Previous studies did suggest that drinking water before meals reduces calorie intake, but according to Dr Davy this was the first randomized controlled intervention trial demonstrating that increased water consumption is an effective weight loss strategy.
The study followed 48 adults aged 55 to 75, divided into two groups. One group drank 2 cups of water prior to meals and the other did not. All of the subjects ate a low-calorie diet during the study. Over the course of 12 weeks, water drinkers lost about 15.5 pounds, while the non-water drinkers lost about 11 pounds.
Dr Davy said water may be so effective simply because it fills up the stomach and has no calories. People feel full, and eat less during the meal.