To shed weight, drink more water

By Doug Bennett • Published: November 27th, 2015
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

Losing weight isn’t just about what you eat, it’s also about what you drink. According to one study, consuming a 17-ounce bottle of water 30 minutes before every meal can help with weight loss.

Drinking a standard-size bottle of water led to greater weight loss among obese adults than those who didn’t hydrate before meals. The findings by researchers at the University of Birmingham in England were published in the journal Obesity.

The researchers divided 84 obese adults into two groups, with one group drinking water before meals. The other participants were asked to simply imagine their stomachs were full. After 12 weeks, the water drinkers had lost an average of 2.87 pounds more than those who didn’t have water before meals. Overall, the water drinkers lost an average of 9.48 pounds, while the non-water drinkers lost an average of 1.87 pounds.

While the study did not determine how water consumption drives weight loss, researchers have a few theories: Drinking water might increase metabolism, or it could simply create a feeling of fullness that makes people eat less.

Water also helps the body in other ways, including transporting nutrients, flushing toxins and protecting organs and tissues. Other research has found that drinking water before a mentally demanding task can boost brain performance.

The findings, researchers say, are preliminary evidence that drinking water before meals helps overweight people shed pounds. Still, researchers caution that not everyone should consume a pint of water before meals, including those with heart or kidney failure issues.

Next, researchers want to do a larger, longer study to learn more about water’s influence on weight loss. In the meantime, if you’re looking to get lighter, you may want to drink up.