One of the most simplest and talked about weight loss tip is drinking water frequently.
But doesn’t it sound way to simple? If this was the case then probably all diet and weight loss programs would run out of business.
So what is the whole story about water and weight loss?
A research study indicates that consuming water prior to a low calorie diet can help middle aged and older individuals lose weight.
Interestingly another study reports that water ingestion does not promote weight loss in young adults (19-21 years). This indicates that there could be age related differences in the ability of water to reduce energy intake.
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What happened in the study?
Adults of the age group 55-75 years were assigned to either of the groups: one group consuming 500ml water prior to a low calorie diet and other consuming only low calorie diet.
Calorie restriction of 1200kcal for women and 1500 kcal for men was distributed among 3 daily meals.
The study spanned over 12 weeks. Body weight and meal energy intake was recorded regularly. Participants were instructed to maintain their current level of physical activity.
What was the outcome?
Weight loss was significant in both groups at the end of 12 weeks however water group showed 44% greater decline in weight than non water group.
Weight loss was approximately 2 kg greater in water group than non water group.
Decline in total fat mass was greater in water group.
Reductions in BMI, waist circumference, cholesterol and other metabolism related parameters were seen in both groups but no significant differences were observed.
How did this occur?
Consuming water prior to a meal or with a meal increases satiety and reduces hunger sensations.
This reduces energy intake.
Additionally providing a diet low in calories helps preventing weight gain.
Advancing age and delayed gastric emptying could also be responsible for reduced energy intake. Energy containing drinks in the diet were replaced with water to further reduce the calorie intake.
What does this mean?
This means that water does aid in weight loss when consumed 30 minutes prior to a hypocaloric diet.
However this study observes this effect only in old and middle aged obese individuals.
Apart from helping with weight loss, regular consumption of water can help flush out toxins and hydrate the system.
It is important to remember that weight loss by water consumption is only possible when combined with a consistent low calorie diet.