On a weight-loss diet? Nutritionists at Virginia Tech have discovered a way of losing extra weight. Before you eat breakfast, lunch or supper, drink two glasses of water and the speed with which you lose weight will increase by 44 percent.
Nutrition experts have been saying for years that people who want to lose weight should drink water rather than other fluids. This advice is based on studies which show that people who drink mainly calorie-free water when thirsty are thinner than people who go for soft drinks or juice, both of which are full of fast carbohydrates that don't satisfy hunger.
Fundamental research is now starting to show that the positive effect of water consumption is actually more complex. The more water you drink, the more fat you burn, and the thriftier your body becomes with its proteins. Experiments also suggest that your body burns more energy if you drink more water. [J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2003 Dec;88(12):6015-9.]
So water may be both a slimming aid and a body recompositioning drug. Note, we say 'may be'. There's still no evidence for the claim. At least, there wasn't until recently. But the researchers at Virginia Tech have now come up with evidence that supports the claim.
The researchers put 48 subjects aged 55-75 on a low-calorie diet for 12 weeks. Half of the test subjects drank 500 ml water before each meal. After 12 weeks the subjects who had drunk extra water had lost about 2 kg more weight. That's the equivalent of a 44 percent increase in weight loss.
The table above shows that the subjects in the non-water group lost 3.3 kg fat. In the water group the amount was 5.4 kg, which is 64 percent more.
Drinking a little more water while on a weight-loss diet not only helps you lose more kilograms; it also means that more of the kilograms you lose will consist of broken down body fat.
Obesity (Silver Spring). 2010 Feb;18(2):300-7.