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If all else fails, dieters, drink water

August 23, 2010
  • Drinking water before meals may help with weight loss.
Drinking water before meals may help with weight loss. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles…)

If you've tried everything and still haven't had much success losing weight, it may be time for the latest, greatest idea from scientists who study weight loss. Drink two cups of water before meals.

That's the recommendation from researchers presenting a study Monday at the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society.

Drinking water before meals to limit food intake is not a new idea. However, researchers from Virginia Tech said the study is the first randomized, controlled trial to see if the water strategy works. They asked 48 adults between the ages of 55 and 75 to follow a low-calorie diet. Half of the dieters were also told to drink two cups of water before meals, three times a day. The study found the dieters who drank water before meals ate about 75 to 90 fewer calories during the meal and, overall, lost about five pounds more than the other dieters.

Water probably makes people feel fuller before they eat, limiting food intake, the lead author of the study, Brenda Davy, said in a news release. Water also may take the place of a high-calorie drink.

"People should drink more water and less sugary, high-calorie drinks," Davy said. "It's a simple way to facilitate weight management."

-- Shari Roan / Los Angeles Times

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