(NaturalNews) If something sounds too good to be true, the old saying goes, it probably is. But here's an exception: scientists have documented that an all natural appetite-control agent with no side effects really does help people shed excess weight -- and what's more, it's practically free. Scientists just reported the results of a new clinical trial of this weight loss-promoting liquid at the 240th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS) in Boston.
So what's in this "magic elixir"? Plain water.
"We are presenting results of the first randomized controlled intervention trial demonstrating that increased water consumption is an effective weight loss strategy," scientist Brenda Davy, Ph.D., of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, said in a statement to the media. "We found in earlier studies that middle aged and older people who drank two cups of water right before eating a meal ate between 75 and 90 fewer calories during that meal. In this recent study, we found that over the course of 12 weeks, dieters who drank water before meals, three times per day, lost about 5 pounds more than dieters who did not increase their water intake."
Dr. Davy, who was the senior author of the study, explained that folklore and anecdotal experiences have long suggested that drinking more water might promote weight loss. In addition, previous research has suggested that drinking water before meals reduces the intake of calories. But until now, there has never the scientific "gold standard" evidence from a randomized, controlled clinical trial comparing weight loss among dieters who drank water before meals to dieters who did not drink the extra water.
The new study involved 48 adults between the ages of 55 and 75 years. They were divided into two groups and, although all research subjects ate a low-calorie diet for the study, one group drank 2 cups of water before meals and the other group did not. After 12 weeks, the water drinkers had lost about 15.5 pounds, while the non-water drinkers lost about 11 pounds.
So why is drinking water before a meal an effective way to lose weight? Dr. Davy said it may simply fill up the stomach with something that has no calories. And when people feel full, they usually eat fewer calorie-containing food during their meal. In addition, Dr. Davy added, drinking water may also help people lose weight if they drink plain water instead of calorie-laden sweet beverages, such as sodas.
As NaturalNews previously reported, researchers from the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and the Harvard School of Public Health analyzed what children and teens ate and drank over two different days and found that substituting water for sweetened drinks could help fight the teen obesity epidemic. Consuming water instead of sugary sodas, for example, could eliminate an average of 235 excess calories per day among children and teens (http://www.naturalnews.com/026032_health_wat...).