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Science Says Drinking Water Before Meals Can Make You Much Fitter

Science Says Drinking Water Before Meals Can Make You Much Fitter

“Water is the driving force of all nature.” – Leonardo da Vinci

If you drink two glasses of water before one or two meals a day, can it help you to lose weight faster? One small study by the University of Birmingham indicates this is true, so start drinking water right away! Let us look at what that study shows and what other studies reveal. It could save you a lot of time, effort, and money when trying to stick to a rigid schedule of dieting and exercising.

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Research methods and findings

About 80 obese adults in their fifties were selected for the three month study. The method used was to give all participants advice on how they might lose weight and how to go about it using diet and exercise. Then, half the group were asked to preload (drink about a pint or two glasses of water) before one or two meals a day. They were also checked to see if they were really doing so by regularly measuring their urine output! The other half group were just told to imagine they were full before they sat down to eat.

The results showed that both groups lost weight. But those who were drinking water before all meals had reduced their weight by 4.3kg (9.48 lbs) over the 12 weeks. They also lost 2.7 pounds more than the “full stomach thinkers”, who, interestingly enough were working out and exercising more than their water-drinking colleagues. The water drinkers were eating less which probably helped them a lot. More studies need to be done with larger and more diverse ethnic groups and ages.

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“The beauty of these findings is in the simplicity. Just drinking a pint of water, three times a day, before your main meals may help reduce your weight.” – Dr. Helen Parretti, researcher at the University of Birmingham.

What else does water do to help you lose weight?

Water will make you feel fuller even before you sit down to eat so it really is a great appetite suppressant. There is also another mechanism at work where the more water you drink, the less you will retain as extra weight. It also helps you to boost your metabolism. That will help you drop a few more extra pounds over a long period.

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If you feel dehydrated when you drink only a little water, the body goes into panic mode thinking you need food. You only need water but most people start to eat to stave off the unpleasant effects of dehydration.

What temperature should the water be?

I cannot really drink ice cold water so if I do the experiment, I am going to have it at room temperature. But some experts tell us that if you drink ice cold water, it actually helps you to burn more calories. Why? Well, the body has to work harder to warm the water up and that means you are using up more calories when you do that.

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Why do some people go on eating even after they feel full?

Another research study at the UT Southwestern University was done to show that some people go on eating, even though they feel full. This is obviously a barrier to losing weight. It seems that some people can get up from the table feeling not quite full, while others just go on eating till they are bursting!

Researchers at UT were working on mice but they believe that there is a hunger hormone shared by human beings and mice which is known as ghrelin. This seems to go into overdrive when we get pleasure from food. Mice were chosen for the initial study because both humans and mice share a similar brain-cell connection system as well as hormones.

Drinking water before meals is the cheapest and easiest dietary aid on record. Water has lots of other benefits too, such as brighter skin and better focus and concentration.

If you are tempted to have a nice gin and tonic before dinner, why not opt for a double H²0 on the rocks instead?

More by this author

Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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Last Updated on December 2, 2019

10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

Plato knew that the body and mind are intimately linked. And in the late 1800s, the Mayo brothers, famous physicians, estimated that over half of all hospital beds are filled with people suffering from frustration, anxiety, worry and despair. Causes of worry are everywhere, in our relationships and our jobs, so it’s key we find ways to take charge of the stress.

In his classic book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, Dale Carnegie offers tools to ditch excessive worrying that help you make a worry-free environment for your private and professional life.

These are the top 10 tips to grab worry by the horns and wrestle it to the ground:

1. Make Your Decision and Never Look Back

Have you ever made a decision in life only to second-guess it afterwards? Of course you have! It’s hard not to wonder whether you’ve done the right thing and whether there might still be time to take another path.

But keep this in mind: you’ve already made your decision, so act decisively on it and dismiss all your anxiety about it.

Don’t stop to hesitate, to reconsider, or to retrace your steps. Once you’ve chosen a course of action, stick to it and never waver.

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2. Live for Today, Package Things up in “Day-Tight Compartments”

You know that feeling: tossing, turning and worrying over something that happened or something that might, well into the wee hours. To avoid this pointless worrying, you need “day-tight compartments”. Much as a ship has different watertight compartments, your own “day-tight” ones are a way to limit your attention to the present day.

The rule is simple: whatever happened in the past or might happen in the future must not intrude upon today. Everything else has to wait its turn for tomorrow’s box or stay stuck in the past.

3. Embrace the Worst-Case Scenario and Strategize to Offset It

If you’re worried about something, ask yourself: “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” Could you lose your job? Be jailed? Get killed?

Whatever the “worst” might be, it’s probably not so world-ending. You could probably even bounce back from it!

If, for example, you lose your job, you could always find another. Once you accept the worst-case scenario and get thinking about contingency plans, you’ll feel calmer.

4. Put a Lid on Your Worrying

Sometimes we stress endlessly about negative experiences when just walking away from them would serve us far better.

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To make squashing that worry easier, try this strategy, straight from stock traders: it’s called the “stop-loss” order, where shares are bought at a certain price, and then their price development is observed. If things go badly and the share price hits a certain point, they are sold off immediately. This stops the loss from increasing further.

In the same manner, you can put a stop-loss order on things that cause you stress and grief.

5. Fake It ‘Til You Make It – Happiness, That Is

We can’t directly influence how we feel, but we can nudge ourselves to change through how we think and act.

If you’re feeling sad or low, slap a big grin on your face and whistle a chipper tune. You’ll find it impossible to be blue when acting cheerful. But you don’t necessarily need to act outwardly happy; you can simply think happier thoughts instead.

Marcus Aurelius summed it up aptly:

“Our life is what our thoughts make it.”

6. Give for the Joy of Giving

When we perform acts of kindness, we often do so with the expectation of gratitude. But harboring such expectations will probably leave you disappointed.

One person well aware of this fact was the lawyer Samuel Leibowitz. Over the course of his career, Leibowitz saved 78 people from going to the electric chair. Guess how many thanked him? None.

So stop expecting gratitude when you’re kind to someone. Instead, take joy from the act yourself.

7. Dump Envy – Enjoy Being Uniquely You

Your genes are completely unique. Even if someone had the same parents as you, the likelihood of someone identical to you being born is just one in 300,000 billion.

Despite this amazing fact, many of us long to be someone else, thinking the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. But living your life this way is pointless. Embrace your uniqueness and get comfortable with who you really are: How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

8. Haters Will Hate — It Just Means You’re Doing It Right

When you’re criticized, it often means you’re accomplishing something noteworthy. In fact, let’s take it a step further and consider this: the more you’re criticized, the more influential and important a person you likely are.

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So the next time somebody talks you down, don’t let it get to you. Take it as a compliment!

9. Chill Out! Learn to Rest Before You Get Tired

Scientists agree that emotions are the most common cause of fatigue. And it works the other way around, too: fatigue produces more worries and negative emotions.

It should be clear, therefore, that you’ve got to relax regularly before you feel tired. Otherwise, worries and fatigue will accumulate on top of each other.

It’s impossible to worry when you are relaxed, and regular rest helps you maintain your ability to work effectively.

10. Get Organized and Enjoy Your Work

There are few greater sources of misery in life than having to work, day in, day out, in a job you despise. It would make sense then that you shouldn’t pick a job you hate, or even just dislike doing.

But say you already have a job. How can you make it more enjoyable and worry-free? One way is to stay organized: a desk full of unanswered mails and memos is sure to breed worries.

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Better yet, rethink about the job you’re doing: What to Do When You Hate Your Job but Want a Successful Career

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Featured photo credit: Tyler Nix via unsplash.com

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