Simply drinking a pint of water around 30 minutes before eating boosts weight loss by 5 times, a study finds.
People who drank water before every meal lost 10 pounds in just 12 weeks.
Those who only drank water before one meal lost just 2 pounds in the 12 weeks.
People were asked to only drink tap water, not sodas, sparkling water or sweetened drinks.
Drinking water works by making people feel more full before a meal, so that they eat less.
Water works as a natural appetite suppressant and may aid in the burning of calories and fat.
Dr Helen Parretti, the study’s first author, said:
“The beauty of these findings is in the simplicity.
Just drinking a pint of water, three times a day, before your main meals may help reduce your weight.
When combined with brief instructions on how to increase your amount of physical activity and on a healthy diet, this seems to help people to achieve some extra weight loss — at a moderate and healthy rate.
It’s something that doesn’t take much work to integrate into our busy everyday lives.”
The study split 84 people into two groups, in which the first drank a pint of water before each meal.
The rest just imagined their stomachs were full before each meal.
After 12 weeks, those drinking water before every meal lost an average of 9.48 pounds.
Those drinking water before only one meal, or doing the mental exercise, lost only 1.76 pounds, on average.
Dr Parretti said:
“Losing a few extra pounds over the course of a year can be significant to an individual, and this could be an easy way to help with that weight loss.
It’s a simple message that has the potential to make a real contribution to public health.”
About the author
Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2003) and several ebooks:
- Accept Yourself: How to feel a profound sense of warmth and self-compassion
- The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic
- Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything
- Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do
The study was published in the journal Obesity (Parretti et al., 2015).