Water before meals helps dieting24th August 2010
People trying to lose weight could get a boost if they drink a glass of water before eating a meal.
Researchers in Virginia have found that water consumption can help dieters because water contains no calories and makes the stomach feel full.
They said that slimmers who drink two glasses of water three times a day before eating could lose an average of five pounds more than dieters did not.
Funded by a charity, the Institute for Public Health and Water Research, the study involved 48 older adult participants over a 12-week period.
They were split into two groups, with one following a low-calorie diet with no extra water before meals, and the other following the low-calorie diet but with extra water before they ate.
However, scientists warn that excessive water consumption can lead to serious health problems.
Presenting their conclusions to the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society in Boston, researchers reported that the group drinking water lost about 15.5lbs while the others lost about 11lbs.
Previous studies have supported the idea of drinking water before a meal, showing that those who did so ate less.
Study senior author and Virginia Tech professor Brenda Davy said her team's study was the first randomised controlled trial looking at water consumption and dieting.
She said people should drink more water and less sugary, high-calorie drinks, because it offered a simple way to facilitate weight management.
But she cautioned against drinks sweetened with sugar, because they contain the same calories as 10 teaspoons of sugar.
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