Drop more pounds faster by drinking two cups of water before each meal. You’ve probably heard that drinking water before you eat can help you lose weight. The theory behind this recommendation is that the water helps fill you up so that you end up eating less at mealtime, which leads to fewer calories consumed in the day. Now, a study provides some evidence to back up this theory.
The study participants were between the ages of 55 and 75 and overweight or obese. The researchers had them consume a low-calorie diet (1,200 calories for women or 1,500 calories for men). They were than randomly assigned to either a water or control group. The water group drank 2 cups (16 oz. total) of water before eating each of their meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner), while the control group was just given the low-calorie diet without further instructions.
Since both groups were consuming fewer calories, both groups lost weight. However, those that drank 2 cups of water before their meals had a faster rate of weight loss and ended up losing 44 percent more weight over a 12-week period than those that didn’t. The biggest changes in calorie consumption were seen at the beginning of the study, indicating that having water before meals might not continue to help reduce caloric intake as much over time.
It’s important to note that this study was fairly small, consisting of only 41 people. However, its results do support the time-honored advice of drinking water before meals. As the end of January sets in and weight-loss resolutions begin to wane, you may want to try using this technique to boost your efforts. For success, follow these tips:
- Make sure that it is water you’re drinking before the meals. Sodas, sports drinks and juice add calories to your intake and slow or stop you from reaching your goals. Diet drinks are not as good an option as water because some evidence indicates they trick our brain into wanting more sweets and other studies show they might contribute to bone loss.
- Get a 16-oz. bottle, keep it full and in plain sight. Have it on your office desk, by the refrigerator, or anywhere else where it will remind you to drink before you eat.
- If you don’t like the taste of water, add a 2 tbsp. of lemon or lime juice to add flavor. If that doesn’t work, you could add a splash of juice; just make sure you are only splashing, not pouring. If you’re a fan of the bubbly, you could try seltzer water instead.