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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?

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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 September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

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    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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