The long-recognized practice of drinking water before meals to suppress appetite has recently been confirmed by a study that looked into its impact on weight loss.
According to a research team from the University of Birmingham in the UK, drinking 500 mL of water 30 minutes before taking a meal resulted to a more significant weight loss in people diagnosed with obesity. Study co-author Dr. Helen Parretti believes that this could help people lose weight and keep it that way. “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,” Parretti said in a news item.
The study, published in the journal Obesity, monitored 84 obese individuals who were placed in either of two groups: one group was required to drink 500 mL of water half an hour before their scheduled meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner); while the other group was asked to imagine that they are already full prior to taking the meals. Both groups were provided consultations on how to manage their weight and keep themselves physically active.
Results were clear: those who drank water prior to meals lost an average of 1.3 kg more than the control group. In terms of absolute amounts, participants preloaded with water lost 4.3 kg on the average during the 12-week observation period, compared to only 0.8 kg by those who didn’t drink before meals.
The researchers are confident that this practice can drastically improve the way people manage their 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,” Parretti added.