A Very Cheap Weight-Loss Trick: Drink Two Glasses Before Every Meal
Forget expensive pills and potions - the secret to losing weight could simply be a glass of water.
Dieters who down two glasses of water before each meal shed more pounds than those who only count calories, a study shows.
While prescription-only weight-loss drugs cut the body’s ability to absorb fat or tinker with the brain’s chemistry, water simply fills up the stomach.
If that is not enough, water is also, of course, calorie-free and readily available.
The American researchers compared weight loss among dieters who drank just under a pint of water before each meal with those who simply watched what they ate.
Over three months, the water drinkers each lost an average of 15.5lb, 5lb more than the non-water drinkers, the American Chemical Society’s annual conference heard.
Researcher Dr Brenda Davy, of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, said: ‘People should drink more water and less sugary, high-calories drinks. It’s a simple way to facilitate weight management.’
In a previous study, she found that water drinkers ate 75 to 90 fewer calories per meal.
Over the course of a day, this could amount to almost 300 calories - the equivalent of a Danish pastry or a pint and a half of beer.
Water’s secret is perfectly simple, added Dr Davy.
If the stomach is full with water, people feel fuller and so eat less.
But the British Nutrition Foundation says that soups, stews, pasta and other water-rich foods are better for the waistline than water alone.
Mike Lean, an obesity expert, said: ‘I routinely advise patients to have a glass of water before each meal if they are planning to cut down with the aim of losing weight. It doesn’t have huge effect, but costs nothing.’
Fruit, vegetables and porridge also help fill the tummy with fewer calories, said the Glasgow University professor. But he warned that drinking large amounts of water over a short period of time can cause fits, swelling of the brain and even death.