A pint of water drunk half-an-hour before eating can increase weight loss by five times, research finds.
Drinking water before a meal led to 10 pounds of weight loss across three months.
In comparison, people in the study who only drank water before one meal lost just 2 pounds.
Drinking water works simply by making people feel more full before they eat.
As a result, they consume fewer calories.
Water is a natural appetite suppressant and can help in the burning of fat and calories.
The only drink allowed in the study was tap water — not sodas, sweetened drinks or sparkling water.
However, as long as the drink contains no calories, it would probably be just as effective.
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.”
For the study, 84 people were split into two group.
One group only imagined that their stomachs were full before each meal.
The other group drank a pint of water 30 minutes before eating.
The results showed that drinking water before every meal led to 9.48 pounds of weight loss, on average.
However, only drinking water before one meal was linked to an average weight loss of just 1.76 pounds.
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).