Can drinking water help you lose weight?

It’s one of the first things mentioned in pretty much any diet plan.  Drink more water.  Ensure you’re hydrated.  It’ll help with your weight loss.  But is this true or is it just an urban myth?  We’ve reviewed the information available so you can make up your own mind …

The usual advice is to drink a glass of water before a meal.  The idea being that you will feel fuller, your stomach will have less room for the food and so, quite simply, you’ll eat less than you would otherwise have done.  This article on Science Daily explains that although dieticians have made this recommendation for years, there has been little or no scientific evidence to back it up until more recently.

A study was carried out of 48 adults aged between 55 and 75 where one group drank two 8 ounce cups of water before every meal.  Both groups ate a low calorie diet.  At the end of the study, those who had drunk the water before eating had lost around 15 1/2 pounds while those in the control group had lost around 11 pounds.  Those drinking the water ate between 75 and 90 fewer calories at each meal.  Which adds up to a whole heap of calories over a year.

The entry on Wikipedia “Weight Loss Effects of Water” mentions the above study along with other studies carried out over the last few years.  It seems that the level of scientific investigation into this concept is not that great which is surprising given the automatic suggestion to anyone dieting to “drink more water”.  What studies have taken place, certainly indicate that there is, indeed, some scientific basis behind the dietician’s recommendation.

This seems to be an area ripe for a larger scale investigation but until that happens and is published, it’s down to each individual to decide just how useful this particular diet tip is.