Does Drinking Water Really Help You Lose Weight?

istock_000010137980xsmallCan something as simple as drinking water before a meal help you lose weight? Water is a calorie-free drink you get straight from the faucet, and it could help you shed a few extra pounds of body fat. According to a study carried out at Virginia Tech University, drinking more water really does help with weight loss.

Drinking Water: Does It Boost Weight Loss?

To look at the benefits of drinking water to lose weight, researchers divided 48 middle-aged and older adults into two groups. One group drank 2 glasses of water prior to meals while the other group didn’t. They all ate the same reduced calorie diet over the course of the 3-month study.

The good news? Both groups lost weight since they were eating a calorie-restricted diet, but the water drinkers lost more weight than those who didn’t drink water before meals. Participants who drank water before meals lost an average of 15.5 pounds while those who drank nothing before eating lost only 11 pounds. The water drinkers were better able to maintain their weight loss too. Not only were they able to keep off the pounds they lost, but they also lost an additional few pounds over a year’s time.

Drinking Water to Lose Weight: Why Does It Work?

How does drinking water before a meal help with weight loss? It’s calorie free and the volume expands in your stomach to give a feeling of fullness even before you sit down to eat. People who drink water before a meal are less likely to overeat. Eating foods that have a high water content such as soup or a salad before a meal do the same thing. Drinking water before a meal is an effective strategy for reducing overall calorie intake that many people don’t take advantage of.

There is a disadvantage to drinking lots of water before a meal. Some experts believe it dilutes out digestive enzymes that help to break down fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. In some people, this can lead to bloating and abdominal fullness. Still, many people can drink a few glasses of water before a meal without a problem.

There’s another reason drinking water before meals help with weight loss. When you drink water it means you’re not drinking a high calorie, sugary beverage like a soft drink. This works in your favor if you’re trying to lose weight. Drinking water is a simple way to reduce calorie consumption that has few risks.

The Bottom Line?

Before sitting down to breakfast, lunch or dinner, sip two glasses of water. If you don’t enjoy plain water, add a squeeze of lemon, lime or orange for flavor. Then drink water with your meal instead of a drink that contains calories. Another calorie-free beverage to sip with a meal is unsweetened green tea. It has the added benefit of subtly boosting metabolism to give you an additional advantage in the calorie-burning department.

Whatever you do stay away from sugar-sweetened beverages and limit the amount of fruit juice you drink. Not only do they spike insulin levels, the calories really add up. Enjoy a calorie-free beverage right from the spigot instead and watch the pounds melt away.



Web MD. “Water May Be Secret Weapon in Weight Loss”
Web MD. “Green Tea Boosts Metabolism, Protects Against Diseases”


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