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Myth or Fact: Drinking Water Helps You To Lose Weight

Myth or Fact: Drinking Water Helps You To Lose Weight
February 19, 2010 Patrick Nemechek, D.O.

There are many myths surrounding weight loss.¬† It’s difficult to tell if the bits of advice about weight loss are true or false.¬†¬† One commonly encountered bit of advice¬† is that drinking a glass of water before a meal will help you lose weight.¬† Is this true?¬† Yes, if you drink a lot of water.

A study performed by researchers in Virgina looked at the weight loss effect drinking 1/2 a liter of water prior to each meal while the participants were on a 12-week low calorie diet .  The group who drank the water lost about 4 1/2 more pounds of weight during the  study.

Sounds like a great trick right?  Well it is if you like drinking lots and lots of water.  The study participants had to drink a 1/2 a liter with each meal.  A 1/2 a liter is equal to drinking  two 8 ounce  glasses of water before every breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The¬† question for the average person is, can you continue that over the long term so as to not regain the weight?¬† I doubt most of us can since drinking water (most of the fluids we drink are 98% or more water) is driven from the thirst center in our brain.¬† It’s hard to consistently drink if our body is not particularly thirsty.

Remember, the key to weight loss is permanently changing your routine behavior so that you can maintain your healthier weight over the long term. It’s hard to imagine most of us drinking that much water on a consistent basis.

So I would advise you to use the water trick only in the short term or just for those strange occasions when you feel hungry but have recently eaten and there are no Tums handy.

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