Researchers have shown that drinking 500ml of water (two cups) half an hour before eating the main meal may help obese adults to lose weight. In one study obese participants were given a weight management consultation being advised on how to adapt their lifestyle and improve their diet and levels of physical activity. 41 participants were asked to preload with water, and 43 were advised to imagine that they had a full stomach before eating. Those in the group that drank water 30 minutes prior to all three meals lost on the average 1.3kg (2.87lbs) more than those in the control group. At the end of 12 weeks those individuals who reported preloading water, before all three main meals in the day, had a loss of 4.3kg (9.48lbs). Those who only preloaded water before one meal, or not at all, only lost an average of 0.8kg (1.76lbs).1
Earlier studies showed that middle aged and older people who drank two cups of water right before eating a meal, ate between 75 and 90 fewer calories during that meal.2 Another study found that at the end of a 12-week period, dieters who drank water before meals, three times per day, lost about 5 pounds more than dieters who did not increase their water intake.3
Boschman and associates discovered that drinking 500 ml of water increases metabolic rate by 30% in both men and women. The increase in metabolic rate was observed within 10 min after completion and reached a maximum metabolic rate 30–40 min after water drinking. This effect was sustained for an hour.4
Water drinking offers another advantage for obese individuals. Obesity significantly increases the risk for blood clots. Water is a natural blood thinner. So, if you are obese, why not try to drink two cups of pure water 30 minutes before each meal? Your results will be even better if you eat mainly whole, unrefined plant foods and engage in regular exercise!
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Disclaimer: The information in this article is educational and general in nature. Neither Wildwood Lifestyle Center, its entities, nor author intend this article as a substitute for medical diagnosis, counsel, or treatment by a qualified health professional.
- University of Birmingham. “Glass of water before each meal could help in weight reduction.” ScienceDaily
- Clinical trial confirms effectiveness of simple appetite control method. www.acs.org. Aug 23, 2010
- American Chemical Society. “Drink water to curb weight gain? Clinical trial confirms effectiveness of simple appetite control method.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 August 2010. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100823142929.htm
- Boschmann. M. Water-Induced Thermogenesis. JCEM DOI: dx.doi.org/10.1210/jc.2003-030780 August 14, 2003