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Drinking a pint of water before eating could help you lose weight

With some conditions.

Image: Shutterstock/Robert Brown Stock

NEED TO LOSE weight? The key could be drinking half a litre of water half an hour before eating your three main meals of the day.

Researchers at the University of Birmingham took obese adult participants and monitored them over 12 weeks. They gave the adults a weight management consultation, “where they were advised on how to adapt their lifestyle and improve their diet and levels of physical activity”.

The study, which was published in the journal Obesity, showed that 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, 1.3kg (2.87lbs) more than those in the control group.
Those who reported preloading before all three main meals in the day reported a loss of 4.3kg (9.48lbs) over the 12 weeks, whereas those who only preloaded once, or not at all, only lost an average of 0.8kg (1.76lbs).

Dr Helen Parretti, NIHR Clinical Lecturer at the University of Birmingham said of drinking a pint of water three times a day, before main meals:

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.

What did they drink? Just tap water. Sparkling water, sodas or sweetened drinks were not allowed as part of the study.

It has to be noted that the water presumably filled up the participants’ stomachs a little before they ate – and they had the benefit of being given what might have been new information on eating well.

So when tried at home, the results for you might not be the exact same.

The team hope that the findings will inform further research into the benefits of “water preloading” before meals. They are hoping to get backing for a larger trial with more people over a longer period of time.

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.

Read: Rosanna Davison: “I don’t want people to take my advice as medical advice”>

Read: Scottish people are getting too big to be cremated>

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