24 Nov 2010

Hurrah! No more potions, gruelling exercise, or all turnip diets.

In what could fairly be called a watershed moment, scientists have confirmed that drinking water before a meal helps shed the pounds.

Yup, it's that simple. And you don't even have to buy the book.

In clinical trials, US researchers found that drinking a pint of water before a meal leads to weight loss.
Dr Brenda Davy, an associate professor in human nutrition, who led the study 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," Dr Davy 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 have suggested that drinking water before meals reduces calorie intake, but according to Dr Davy this is the first randomised controlled clinica trial to show that increasing the amount of water that you drink water is an effective way to lose weight.

The study tracked the weight of 48 adults aged 55 to 75, who were separated into two groups. The first group drank two cups of water before meals and the second group did not. All of the subjects ate a low-calorie diet during the study.

Over the course of 12 weeks, the water drinkers lost around 15.5 pounds, while the non-water drinkers lost around 11 pounds.

Dr Davy said water may be so effective simply because it fills up the stomach and has no calories, so that people feel full quicker and eat less during meals.

She also added that replacing diet colas and other artificially sweetened drinks with water also helps to cut calories, and aids weight loss.


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