Dietician explains truth in old wives' tale

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - By Sara Story - bio | email
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TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Losing weight could actually be as simple as drinking water before you eat. A new study found that people who drink two glasses of water before their meals shed pounds quicker than those who do not drink water before they eat.

An East Texas dietician says water could be an alternative to fad diets as long as it is done correctly.

"[I] probably [drink] half a glass," said Joi Wood.

"I had a bottle of water about an hour ago," said Shirley Johnson.

"Probably just half a glass - maybe a glass," said Mary Whisenhunt.

A study by a Virginia Tech professor followed 48 people. Half of them drank water before they ate. The other half did not.

"What they found is the group that drank the water before the meal, ended up losing about four pounds more than the group that did not," said Erin Langewisch, a dietician at U.T. Health Science Center in Tyler.

Participants in the study were told to drink two 8-ounce glasses of water before breakfast, lunch and dinner.

"Obviously, if your stomach is full of something, you are not going to want to eat as much food or as big of portions," said Langewisch. "I don't think people drink enough water to begin with."

She says people should consume 64 ounces of water a day. This is the first controlled study done on water consumption and its effects on weight loss.

"If nothing else, it's kind of an old wives tale," said Langewisch. "You have always heard, 'Drink the glass of water before a meal and it will make you less hungry.'"

Langewisch says you should not try to fill your stomach with high caloric drinks like juice and sodas. The research was done in a low calorie setting.

"I don't want people to get frustrated, if they are adding their two cups of water, if they are still eating their friend chicken or greasy meals and not seeing the weight loss," said Langewisch.

An old wives' tale, this study proves true.

The participants in the study were ages 55 to 75. Researchers say the water method may not work as well for younger adults because they empty water from their stomachs quicker than the people in the study.

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