Drinking water before meals helps dieting, says study

Drinking water before meals can help people to lose weight, says a US study. Scientists from Virginia found that slimmers can lose an average of 5lb extra if they drink two cups of water three times a day before meals.

They tested the theory on 48 older adults, split into two groups, over 12 weeks. While drinking water can make you feel full on zero calories, say researchers, too much water can also lead to serious health problems. All adults who took part in the study were aged 55 to 75.

The first group followed a low-calorie diet but did not drink any extra water before meals. The second group followed the low-calorie diet but also drank two cups of water before each meal.

Over the course of 12 weeks, those drinking water lost about 15.5lbs while the others lost about 11lbs.

A previous study found that middle-aged and older people who drank two cups of water before eating a meal ate between 75 and 90 fewer calories during that meal.

The reason water may be so effective is because it fills up the stomach with a liquid that has no calories.