If you want to lose weight, just drink a little water before all three meals.
According to TIME, a new study conducted by researchers at England's University of Birmingham found drinking just 16 ounces of water can make one significantly less hungry and, therefore, less likely to gain weight.
The team, led by Dr. Amanda Daley, put 84 obese adults into two groups. The members of the first group were instructed to drink 500 ml of water, or about 16 ounces, half an hour before each of their daily meals. The others were told to merely imagine they were full before eating, and they did not alter their usual water intakes.
Neither group was told to increase or decrease their physical activity throughout the 12-week experiment.
By the end of the study, each member of the first group reportedly lost approximately nine pounds while each member of the second group only lost six pounds on average.
Dr. Daley noted the first group's weekly results satisfied the requirements for what Weight Watchers deems an effective path to weight loss. She reportedly said,
That's about what you get from going to Weight Watchers for 12 weeks. That's a real success.
The study also highlighted drinking water before a meal can greatly affect what one chooses to eat, and Dr. Daley believes people of all body types could lose weight should they drink water before meals.
Dr. Daley added,
We all get fatter over time, so it might well work as a prevention strategy at a population level. We want people to drink more water anyway.
This study was originally published in Obesity.