Does water make you lose weight? This question fuels many scientific debates and is still not clarified. If water has the advantage of providing no calories, it also takes up space in the stomach, which can have an impact on appetite and therefore calorie intake.

And this is precisely what this small British study conducted with 94 obese adults, followed for 12 weeks, assessed.

500 ml of water 30 minutes before each meal

At the start of the study, the participants all received a dietary consultation with recommendations to improve their diet and physical activity. In a randomized fashion, 41 volunteers were encouraged to consume 500 ml of water before main meals, the others serving as controls. Other drinks, such as sparkling water, sodas or diet drinks, were not permitted as beverages.

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Spectacular results

Surprisingly, the results are not only significant, but dramatic. Individuals consuming water before meals lost an average of 1.3 kg more than the control group. And the effect is linear: weight loss increases (-4.3 kg) if water consumption occurs before the 3 main meals (against -0.8 kg for a single dose).

For the authors, if these data must be confirmed, they show however that a gesture as simple as drinking more water, in particular before the meal, is certainly an interesting preventive approach to overweight.


Parretti HM et al. : Efficacy of water preloading before main meals as a strategy for weight loss in primary care patients with obesity: RCT Obesity, Volume 23, Issue 9, pages 1785-1791.

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