Researchers from the University of Birmingham have shown that drinking 500 ml (2 cups) of water at half an hour before eating main meals may help obese adults to lose weight.
Obese adult participants were recruited from general medical practices and monitored over a 12-week period.
Each of the participants, all adults with obesity, were given a weight management consultation, where they were advised on how to adapt their lifestyle and improve their diet and exercise level. 41 of those recruited were asked to preload with water, and 43 were advised to imagine that they had a full stomach before eating.
Those in the group who were instructed to 'preload' with water lost, on average, 1.3 kg (2.87 lbs) more than those in the control group.
Those who reported preloading before all three main meals in the day reported a loss of 4.3 kg (9.48 lbs) over the 12 weeks, whereas those who only preloaded once, or not at all, only lost an average of 0.8 kg (1.76 lbs).
A researcher from the University of Birmingham explained, "The beauty of these findings is in the simplicity. Just drinking a pint (2 cups) of water, three times a day, before your main meals may help reduce your weight."
When combined with advice on diet and exercise, this seems to help people to achieve some extra weight loss. And it's something that doesn't take much work to incorporate into your daily life.
The study, published in the journal Obesity, showed encouraging initial results for the trial, and the team hope that the findings will inform further research into the benefits of water preloading before meals. They hope to receive backing for a trial with a larger number of participants and over a longer period of time in order to confirm the findings.
The lead researcher added, "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.”
Source: Obesity, August 3, 2015.
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