A study found overweight adults lost nearly 10lb in12 weeks after drinking
water half an hour beforebreakfast, lunch and dinner.
Researchers say it could provide a low-cost solutionto Britain's escalating
The trial saw obese adults recruited and given aweight management
They were advised on lifestyle and dietary changes and how to improve their
levels of physicalactivity.
Half were asked to "pre-load" with water before meals and half were just
asked to imagine thatthey had a full stomach before eating.
The first group lost 2lb 14oz more than the second group, on average, with
a loss of 9lb 8ozover 12 weeks compared with just 1lb 12oz.
Sparkling water, sodas and sweetened drinks were not allowed and
participants drank plain tapwater.
Dr Helen Parretti, of the National Institute for Health Research at the
University of Birmingham,the lead author of the research, said: "The beauty of
these findings is in the simplicity. Justdrinking a pint of water, three times a
day, before your main meals may help reduce yourweight.
"When combined with brief instructions on how to increase your amount of
physical activity andon a healthy diet, this seems to help people to achieve
some extra weight loss – at amoderate and healthy rate.
"It's something that doesn't take much work to integrate into our busy
Many weight-loss programmes advise people to drink water, but no previous
studies directlytested this.
Last night Tam Fry, of the National Obesity Forum, said: "There is a widely
held view thatsimple tap water is plain boring and couldn't possibly help you
feel full – but it does.
Dr Louis Levy, head of nutrition science at Public Health England, said
"thirst can sometimesbe mistaken for hunger".
He added: "Whilst water does not cause you to lose weight, it does keep you
hydrated andmight help you to eat less."