Drinking water before a meal can help with weight loss
Researchers studied 84 obese adults over a 12-week period. The participants attended a weight management consultation where they were given recommendations on how to change their lifestyle and improve their diet.
Approximately 41 of the participants were asked to drink 500 milliliters of water half an hour before eating each meal and the rest of the participants drank water only before one meal or didn’t drink water at all.
Those who drank water before all three meals each day lost an average of 9.48 pounds over the 12-week period, according to the study. Those who only drank water before one meal each day, or didn’t drink water at all, lost an average of 1.76 pounds.
“Water is important during weight loss as it provides hydration with unwanted calories,” says Cathy O’Shea, dietitian at Advocate Sherman Hospital in Elgin, Ill. “Drinking water prior to a meal can help you feel fuller sooner, thereby consuming less calories and adhering to your weight-loss plan.”
Drinking water before meals combined with simple advice on how to increase a person’s amount of activity and improve his or her diet helped participants lose weight at a reasonable and healthy rate.
“Sometimes people will eat food when they are actually thirsty, and consequently consume unneeded calories,” says O’Shea. “By drinking enough water a day you can avoid this. Some people find that adding low or non-calorie flavorings to water like a wedge of fruit or a cucumber slice helps to alter the smell and taste of water and helps satisfy their appetite cravings.”
O’Shea also says two groups of people should be cautious about dramatically increasing their water consumption – those who have kidney disease, and those who take diuretics. They should consult with their physician first, she says.
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