A recent study has found that middle-aged and older adults who drink water, may lose more weight. Those adults who drank two glasses of water before each meal consumed fewer calories and lost more weight than those who did not drink water before meals. Two groups of overweight and obese men and women aged 55 to 75 were divided into two groups: one group was told to follow a low-fat, low-calorie diet; the other group was told to follow the same diet and to drink two glasses of water before breakfast, lunch and dinner. After 12 weeks, those who drank water before meals had lost 15.5 pounds, compared to 11 pounds for the non-water drinkers. Those who drank water took in less calories during each meal and felt fuller due to the water. After one year, preliminary data shows that those who continued to drink water before meals not only kept those pounds off, but also continued to lose more, about 1.5 pounds on average.
The researchers believe this may only be a strategy for older people. Prior research has shown that in those aged 18 to 35, drinking water before the meal did not cause them to eat fewer calories at the meal. In older people, it takes longer for the stomach to empty, which may be why the water helps them feel fuller and less hungry, while in younger people, the water may leave the stomach more quickly. More research needs to be done.