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Obesity is one of the biggest global health issues of the modern age.

Over-eating and lack of exercise are common causes, and people are always searching for new ways to control excess weight gain. There are numerous diets, exercise routines, medications, and other treatments meant to curb obesity. However, new research shows that we may have overlooked a very simple solution, one that is easy to include in our busy lives, can be tried at home, and has no adverse side effects. Sounds too good to be true, right?

A study conducted by University of Birmingham reveals this easier solution. The key to successfully losing weight is daily drinks of something that comprises about 60% of our being—water! Researchers indicated that drinking 500 milliliters of water half an hour before mealtimes may actually help reduce weight.

It almost seems too easy.

In the experiment, two groups of obese adult participants tried two different “diet” plans for a period of 12 weeks. Each group was given a weight management plan of diet and exercise to improve their life style. The study required participants to drink only tap water instead of sparkling water, sodas or sweetened drinks. One group, which had 43 participants, had meals without drinking water. They were only asked to imagine and simulate the feeling of having drunk water before meals. The other group of 41 participants were instructed to drink water before meals.

Results collected from both groups pointed out that the group which drank water lost, on average, about three pounds more than those who did not drink water. Those who finished a glass of water daily before all three main meals lost around 10 lbs over 12 weeks, whereas those who preloaded once or did not preload at all only lost about two lbs.

The reason for this phenomenon was not explicitly clear, but the researchers believed that it was due to the sensation of feeling “fuller” that the participants felt before eating their meal. The result of drinking the water was that they were mentally less inclined to overeat (or they ate less than they would normally) because they felt satisfied to some degree already.

This study was published in the journal Obesity. The team now hopes for further research with a greater number of participants. Promoting simple solutions like drinking water before meals could have far reaching health benefits, and the Birmingham research team is striving to find more ways to advocate this healthy lifestyle. Their future studies should uncover more information about ways to prevent obesity, hopefully those that everyone can practice.

Feature Image Source: A Tall Glass of Water by Enid Martindale

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