We’ve all heard that drinking plenty of water is an important part of maintaining a healthy body. However, can it also help you to lose weight? The answer may be yes, according to a new trial study conducted at the University of Birmingham. Among adults with obesity, drinking water prior to eating their main meals could effectively help them to lose weight.
Participants in the study, all of whom were adults with obesity, were given a weight management consultation and then monitored over a period of 12 weeks. During the consultations, 41 participants were asked to “preload” with water before their meals. Specifically, they were asked to drink 500 milliliters of water 30 minutes before eating their main meals. The other 43 participants were asked to spend some time before their meals imagining that they had a full stomach.
On average, participants in the “water preloading” group lost 1.3 kilograms more than participants in the control group over a 12-week period. Furthermore, participants who reported preloading before all three of the day’s main meals lost an average of 4.3 kilograms, while the average loss for those who preloaded only once – or not at all – was just 0.8 kilograms.
While the University of Birmingham research team hopes to conduct further studies to confirm these findings and to work with more participants over a longer period of time, they are already greatly encouraged by the implications of the initial trial. Chief among these is the simplicity of water preloading as a potential weight loss technique. An inexpensive strategy that is easy to integrate into everyday life, water preloading could be a key element in helping people to achieve extra weight loss at a healthy, moderate rate, which could potentially have significant public health benefits.