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Charge Up for Good Health

Does drinking water before eating help you lose weight?

Does drinking water before eating help you lose weight?

Yes, my weight loss research at Virginia Tech shows that drinking water before eating can make a difference in how many pounds you drop.

In our study, reported in the journal Obesity, we divided participants aged 55 to 75 into two groups: One group was instructed to drink 2 cups of water 30 minutes before each meal, the other was not. Both groups followed the same meal plan, eating 1,200 to 1,500 calories a day.

While the water group lost, on average, 15.5 pounds over 12 weeks, the non-water group lost 11 pounds -- a notable difference. We also received fewer complaints of hunger from the water group, and they seemed to have an easier time following the diet.

In older adults, food takes longer to leave the stomach, so they’ll feel full longer by drinking water half an hour before mealtime. Younger people may need to drink water 15 minutes or even right before a meal to see the same effects. (This is something we’ll probably explore in future research.)

At the very least, caloric beverages are definitively linked to weight gain. So switching to water is an easy way to reduce the number of total calories you consume.

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